Helping to change minds about the fashion scene in Indianapolis is DLang Ferguson, an Indiana native and graduate of Harrison College with degrees in Business Administration and Fashion Merchandising, who believes the opportunities are there. The IFT-UnZip the Runway fashion show is her vision and initiative. “The production is growing and we have so many talented people here who just need that opportunity,” Ferguson said. “IFT- UnZIP the Runway brings these types of opportunities and I just encourage others to get involved, regardless if they are a designer, volunteer, sponsor or guest.”
While Indianapolis’s fashion identity develops, Ferguson’s business IFT (Indy Fashion Time) went live into its 5th Annual fashion show of Un-Zip the Runway on June 1st. ”Six years ago I was at a point, where I decided to focus on a quality event that could be hosted annually in Indiana. I spoke with many other designers that expressed having the same issues as me with wanting to produce their fashion lines, but not having the resources. So, I decided to launch a fashion competition,” Ferguson said.
After four years of learning and growth, Ferguson believes she is close to achieving her vision. “The best thing about this year’s event is that the designers and guests came from so many places like Chicago, Ohio, Atlanta, Kentucky, Michigan & St. Louis to be part of the show,” she said. “I’m excited to see that the productions market is expanding. UnZIP the Runway is giving fashion lovers another reason to visit Indiana, while helping Indiana’s designing community and youth.”
One thing’s for certain, Indianapolis is full of talented fashion designers whose sense of independence and drive sets them apart from all others. The 2012 IFT-UnZip the Runway winner, Sharon Evans, displayed her hard work in the competition and instantly caught the eye of one of the judges, Murph Damron, local image consultant and all around fashion extraordinaire. “Her pieces are truly ready for the shop,” Duncan said. “I knew the moment I saw the execution on the first white lace dress she was my winner. Her designs are steps away from being couture.”
The talent in Indianapolis is undeniable and Ferguson has a feeling the city is on its way to finding its identity in fashion. “I have some really cool outside the box ideas. I would love to offer more workshops and give away more prizes to the competing designers, but it’s going to take more funding to be able to get there,” Ferguson said. “I pray others see the benefits the show brings to the city and the heart of the production and will show support.”
The dust has barely settled after this year’s show, but Ferguson is already in the midst of creating concepts and building ideas. She wouldn’t reveal too much but assured me that in 2013, the competition is going to be bigger and better than ever before. “I’m working now to bring in other major sewing and fashion companies into the competition”, she said. “The prizes give the designers the tools to work on their fashion lines and dreams. I strongly believe you should start where you are and work with what you have and that’s how I’ve continued to grow the show.”
If you are interested in getting involved as a designer or sponsor, please visit www.unziptherunway.com