Ever since tickets went on sale last week for Kansas City Fashion Week’s upcoming S/S 2020 show at Union Station in September, president Teisha Barber has noticed a staggering amount of buzz—more than usual, she says. Could it be because the event is celebrating their Sweet 16 season this year? Perhaps it’s the slew of well-known local and national designers appearing at the show? Or maybe people want to get their tix before they sell out like they did in the Fall/Winter ’19 show last March.
Whatever the reason, Barber is touting the event as one of their biggest yet. “Our incredible leadership team has produced 15 full fashion weeks now. This time they have about 300 participants per night to work with—between models, photographers, designers, and style teams. They’re planning an amazing week of shows that usually attracts more than 2,500 guests,” she says.
From its humble beginnings with the first week of runway shows held in the Spring of 2012, the show has grown into a behemoth fashion event. “Kansas City Fashion Week not only has plenty of local KC designers, but we also bring in designers from all over the US and internationally,” says Barber. And as with any good fashion show, there are plenty of pre-party activities planned to get you in the mood. “We’re forever trying to add new events each season—like our vendor market on Saturday, September 21st. We’re opening that during the day from 1pm-4pm for our vendors to unveil their merchandise,” says Barber. “Local boutiques, jewelry designers, clothing designers—all showcasing their amazing wares. The vendor market is completely free and open to the public at Union Station during that timeframe.”
Barber has her eyes on several designers—some of whom are destined to catch the interest of fashion-forward patrons. “Andrew Clancey of Any Old Iron is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to follow. He does ALL the sequined looks,” she says. “He recently had a cape featured in Taylor Swift’s new video You Need to Calm Down. (You’ll spy Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness wearing it.) He had a look featured in the Rocketman movie and he has celebs wearing his looks all the time—Jennifer Nettles, Kesha, and Kate Bosworth recently wore one of his sequin dresses.” According to Clancey, he’s a big fan of Union Station. “I’m excited to be showing at KCFW this season,” says the Nashville-based designer. “I’m bringing my A-game this year to give y’all something a little special. Be quick on getting those tickets!” (Fun fact: Clancey’s girlfriend, Laura Citron—another fab designer—is also unveiling her collection at KCFW.)
A few more fan favorites are also joining in the ranks again this season. “Joshua Christensen is always a delight. Duane Topping is coming back from Colorado,” says Barber. “Tiffany Brown, a local Kansas City designer, who recently moved to LA, is coming back this season as well.”
New Kids On The Fashion Block
As with any show, there are always a few noteworthy newbies you’ll want to check off your list.
Keep an eye out for Peri Conner and her line Perichette. “She’s originally from Zurich, Switzerland and moved to Kansas City. She designs handbags inspired by the opera—they’re small, delicate, and beautiful,” says Barber.
When we asked Barber who’s on her “designer wish list” to showcase a line of clothes at KCFW, she says, laughing. “Christian Siriano! I am in love with every gown he designs. He takes chances,” says Barber. “There are so many celebs out there that some designers refuse to dress. Take (SNL’s) Leslie Jones. He’s now dressed her twice and she looks stunning! He has built a wonderful reputation of dressing all body types and I very much respect that.”
With the aforementioned buzz on social media, we’d suggest getting your tickets now for one of autumn’s biggest events. “People have been clamoring for tickets. Everyone is very excited,” she says. “And, of course, we’re really happy to be back at Union Station. Fall is just a good time to get out and about, to see and be seen.”
And when we asked if there might be any secret guest stars or celebs Barber might want to announce for the show, she just smiled. We’ll take that as a definite, fashionable maybe.