Jefferson City native Enjoli Dixon has wanted to unite fashion, art, music and people together in her hometown for some time.
For years, she has fueled her passion for fashion with tutelage from her mother and her sewing talents, working at notable clothing stores like GAP and Eddie Bauer, and making connections with industry professionals. Her vibrant career in architecture, becoming a mother of two boys and seeing the downtown revitalization in her hometown inspired her to get even more involved in the fashion field.
Yet, it was after serving as a long-term substitute of fashion- and style-related courses through the Jefferson City Public Schools that she realized her vision of Mid Mo Fashion Week needed to happen.
"A lot of these students were so gung-ho and curious about the design world. A lot of them will not go to places like New York and will not get experience anywhere else. I needed to bring it to them," she said.
Dixon founded and is directing the inaugural Mid Mo Fashion Week from Sept. 29-Oct. 1. The event will showcase designers' collections, models, photographers, stylists and artists from Mid-Missouri and within the state during a slew of events including a kick-off party and preview show in Columbia, model workshops, philanthropic activities and four runway shows open to the public on Saturday at Capital Mall.
Dixon and her fellow organizers have packed a lot of exciting events into one weekend that embody her mission to unite fashion, art, music and people. Assembling a team of industry professionals and fashion experts, they have worked hard during the last several months to showcase the talents of about 10 aspiring and working designers, 60 models (including local celebrities), and numerous photographers, artists, musicians, stylists and others from Mid-Missouri and around the state, including Kansas City and St. Louis.
"A few things I am looking forward to for MMFW is just seeing the dream of Enjoli Dixon and the MMFW team manifest. They have been working extremely hard to make this happen. I'm looking forward to seeing the local models get their chance to shine on their own turf," said Phyllis Williams, who is a co-casting director and model at the event. "I'm also excited about representing real women — women with curves, women with flaws, women bigger than a size six, women over the age of 25 and women that love fashion."
On Sept. 29, Mid Mo Fashion Week begins with designer fittings as well as workshops for models. Dixon said models will meet with professional trainers, photographers and industry experts to teach them what they need to know about the fashion business and how to be prepared and well-represented at events and photo shoots, among other topics. The models will also meet with girls at the Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson City and local schools, teaching them about self-esteem, respect, and body health and image.
Select models and designers will be able to preview their fall fashions to the public, buyers and guests at the Mid-Mo Fashion Week Kick-Off event, hosted by MUSE Clothing in Columbia. Food and beverages are served from 7:30-8:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:30 p.m. An after party is planned at The Roof at the Broadway Hotel, also in downtown Columbia.
The main event begins with hair and makeup from the talents of House of Beauty Salon on Sept. 30, followed by four runway shows at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Capital Mall. Each show runs about 30-40 minutes, will showcase collections from a handful of designers, and will give a portion of proceeds raised from ticket sales back to either the American Cancer Society, Heart Transplant Association of St. Louis, HALO, or a scholarship for a Mid-Missouri senior who will study fashion design, music or art, all of which are close to Dixon's heart.
With general admission tickets available to one show or all four, as well as special VIP all access passes, guests can see an array of different styles of clothing, including designs from local students. The garments range from men's and women's clothing to children's, mommy-and-me ensembles, swimwear and plus size attire. Jefferson City native designers like Mikel Antoni and Gayla Rogers will have models strut their collections alongside other popular St. Louis and Kansas City brands such as Liv & Kiss and Christian Michael Schuster. Other designer participants showcasing their lines at the show are Aura Lynn, Kyrie Eleison Apparel, Natasha Shangari, and Dixon's clothing lines, including WAVE, CK Lawrence, Mama Fabulosa and Alberta Pat Designs.
For more information, visit MidMoFashionWeek.com. Find out more about Dixon and Mid Missouri Fashion Week designers, models and participants in HER Magazine's September/October issue, hitting Jefferson City stands, inserted in the News Tribune and available on HERMagazineMidMo.com on Wednesday.