MINNEAPOLIS — Keiona Cook believes there's a space in fashion for everyone. It's one of the reasons she centers her business, Qe'Bella Couture, on creating tailor-made, one-of-a-kind items.
"Just like the state fair could be for everyone – there’s always some delicious food that one person may be attracted to and another person may be attracted to that – it's the same thing with fashion," Cook said.
Cook's fashions will be front and center at Fashion Week MN's Wednesday show: Luxe Streetwear. She aims to empower everyone who attends fashion week to show up as their most authentic selves, reflecting it in what they wear.
"It allows each individual to be self-expressive, because a lot of times you have these cookie cutter outfits, and everything looks the same, so it puts out the image that everybody is supposed to dress the same," she said. "But as couture designers, we’re able to help individuals break out of their shell."
One of the runway models at Wednesday's show is Azja Kennedy.
"I’m a big fashionista, so I love my shoes, I love matching my clothes," Kennedy said.
As someone who has always used a wheelchair, at Wednesday's show she hopes others can feel seen and valued through her presence on the runway.
"Showing individuals or people that are quote unquote like me that wheelchairs or disabilities – whether it’s physically or mentally – variety of disabilities – that there’s no boundaries," Kennedy said. "You can do anything that you want to."
Artists and creators of all ages will be featured at Wednesday's event, which kicks off at 4:30 p.m.
Cook is the founder of a nonprofit called Lovely's Sewing and Arts Collective, where kids up to age 16 are taught sewing skills, yoga, and meditation. Cook also teaches them money management and financial literacy, helping them sell their creations.
To get involved in Lovely's Sewing and Arts Collective, find more information here.
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