Omaha Fashion Week Ticket Giveaway + Designer Interviews
Win 2 awesome OFW Ticket Packages
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Late at night, the sound of Beethoven reverberating off of thick brick walls, the neighbors sleep, tucked snugly in their beds, while Daniel Muñoz attempts to sharpen the leading edge of Omaha fashion. He and his newly formed team are feverishly preparing for the upcoming Omaha Fashion Week where the Daniel Muñoz Collection will debut as the last runway show in the Saturday Grand Finale.
The final stitches of another evening-to-morning work session complete, Daniel finally rests, as elsewhere in town, the harsh light of a new morning shoots through large floor-to-ceiling windows. The ground, covered in swatches of bright neon fabric, coruscates with each break in the clouds, transforming the entire apartment into one glowing radioactive heart.
Designer Jennie Mason wouldn’t have it any other way.
Daniel Muñoz Collection by Daniel Muñoz
Though you could say designing is in Muñoz’ blood (his mother is a seamstress, all of her brothers are tailors), fashion was not his first love. "I wanted to be a comic book artist," says Muñoz, "I tried out for Disney Camp!" His comic book heroes, always well dressed, finally lost out to fashion when Muñoz saw a televised Versace show.
Muñoz, who moved to Omaha from Guatemala (by way of LA) at age 14, is a young, ambitious designer whose five years in the industry are reflected not only in his place at the show—Muñoz’ designs will close a week featuring 35 area designers—but in the intricacy of his designs.
Though his Omaha Fashion Week collection will focus on ready to wear items, the clothing still displays the bombastic superhero influence of his youth, with touches of gold lame and exaggerated cuts highlighting a edgy brand he hopes to one day bring to luxury department stores. His influences—"Hollywood glamor, Hollywood rock, Hollywood celebrities"—fuel designs that may soon be available in local boutiques.
"It’s a little bit harder [in Omaha]," muses Muñoz. "There’s not so much demand," he says before pausing. "Yet."
As Omaha Fashion Week continues to raise the visibility of the fashion industry in the Metro, Muñoz is hopeful, as are others in the city, that Omaha can become something of a Midwest fashion hub. It’s no secret that Nick Hudson, owner of the Hudson 1869 Group, which controls OFW and Nomad Lounge among other properties, is forward thinking yet Omaha focused.
"Nick is a genius when it comes to knowing what is good for the growth of the city," says Muñoz, who was proud to note that only 15 cities in the country host fashion weeks, with many places far larger than Omaha missing out.
However, it’s not all music and comics for Muñoz. He’s keenly aware of the female body image problems created by high fashion: "I spend countless hours researching what women want," he begins, going on to state that "[he wants to] make women feel happy with themselves."
Though his custom gowns can top out in the thousands, Muñoz claims that women shouldn’t have to spend even $300 – 400 to look good. "Clothing gives you confidence," he says. "Fashion is about how the clothes make you feel."
And how does he feel to be included in Omaha Fashion Week 2010?
"I feel very privileged. It’s a dream. I feel lucky."
radioactive heart by jennie mason
Mason has a penchant for lowercase letters, but this may be the only thing understated about the tall, blond designer, whose pieces, often bathed in the electric yellow that’s become her signature, will also be shown at the Omaha Fashion Week Grand Finale.
Unlike Muñoz, who had prior commitments for last year’s OFW, this will be Mason’s second show with the group. Though the designer "didn’t realize until the day of Omaha Fashion Week how big it was going to be," presumably this year she will be prepared, showing 10 menswear pieces and two women’s wear. Mason, who has also had a boutique show at Bellwether Boutique, appreciated the experience she gained at the 2009 Omaha Fashion Week: "I learned more about model fittings, working with hair and makeup."
The 2008 graduate of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology—she majored in (what else) fashion design—speaks highly of the team behind Omaha Fashion Week, making a similar music analogy to Muñoz. Much like Saddle Creek Records, the Omaha-based Bright Eyes vehicle that eventually won national acclaim, OFW is founded on a belief in people, talent, and possibility. "Nick and Rachel," referring to Nick Hudson and Rachel Richards, the Marketing/Events Director at Nomad, "really just believe that it can happen in Omaha," says Mason.
The collection to be shown is an evolution of Mason’s radioactive heart label and will focus on "wearable pieces that are unique and fun," with t-shirts going for as little as $25 and jackets and dresses coming in around $200 (designs will be available online and at Bellwether Boutique).
Muñoz considers himself a fan of Mason’s work, calling her "very gifted" and a designer who "thinks outside the box." Falling in line with this, Mason takes an atypical approach to her designs. "My whole clothing line is based on beauty and imperfections," she says, "things people find disturbing or disgusting or weird."
Though she admits that "for Omaha, I think me being a menswear designer gets me more recognition," Mason is quick to cite fellow Metro designers who innovate in unique ways, like Dan Richters—"He did CD dresses last year…it’s not necessarily wearable, it’s more art form stuff"—and Sabrina Jones, who has an upcoming show at the Joslyn Castle.
As for innovation, Mason would be wise to add herself to that list.
Omaha Fashion Week 2010 (Sept. 13 - 18th at Nomad Lounge) has some 35 talented designers! Are you a fashionista who can’t get enough of Omaha Fashion? Enter to win this special prize package from Omaha.net and Omaha Fashion Week…a $250 value!
What are you playing for?
Win 2 Reserved Tickets for the Saturday Runway Grand Finale (value: $40 each), 2 passes good for entrance into ALL shows Monday - Friday, AND 2 OFW t-shirts! Kazaam!
AND get this, Sirens Salon & Day Spa is generously donating an amazing bonus package:
- 1 Hour Classic Pedicure with Siobhan
- Classic Manicure with Siobhan
- Jennie Mason, the designer in featured in this article, will attend!
4) C’est tout.
(one winner will be chosen at random from all registered comments. Contest ends Sunday, September 12th, 11pm)