Recent Designers

Anna Van Gheem
Currently studying Fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute, Anna uses traditional fiber processes such as dyeing, quilting, and embellishing along with innovative technology like laser cutting and 3D printing to create unexpected elements within her pieces that excite and intrigue. She was awarded a four-year competitive scholarship from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2013, the Susan Lordi Marker Award of Excellence in Fiber in 2015, and in 2016 Anna designed and created original costumes for critically acclaimed international choreographer Emma Portner.

Avery Denninson
Before founding Equal People, Avery received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber at the Kansas City Art Institute. As a designer she feels compelled to expose the uniqueness of the individual through a social justice lens. In order to expose wrong doings in American society she choses to create wearable “posters.” Wearing these pieces out in public is an act of protest and confrontation to create conversation and newfound empathy in places it has been lacking, or perhaps never even existed before.

Bethany Ann Wicker
Bethany’s interest in designing clothing was inspired early-on by her favorite fantasy characters and her passion for surrealist couture. Her creative pursuits derailed due to the economic downturn, Bethany spent several years in law enforcement before returning to school to study Fashion Design and Merchandising. Today she participates in a number of costuming and fashion events in Kansas City. She also designs, constructs, and tailors costumes and clothing for private clients. Her designs include motifs inspired by alternative fashion, historical costume, and both classic and modern art.

Caroline Allander
With a background in ecology, Caroline is now pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She spent three years designing costumes for musicals such as Hello, Dolly! and Mary Poppins, along with dramas, including Oedipus. Proficient in flat patterning and draping, she has worked at a number of theaters, including Humboldt Light and Opera and The Ferndale Repertory Theater, and has sewn costumes for casts ranging from six to sixty-three. Her science background has given her a very detail-oriented view of the natural world and, with this collection, she seeks to bring that view of the natural world into the realm of fashion.
Christine Nelson
Mainly inspired by physical structures and architecture, Christine creates wearable pieces utilizing these design elements. Recently, her work has focused on creating crowns, where she produces wearable art while exploring the interaction between the face and the top of the head. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing. Featured in Kansas City Fashion Week in 2016, this is Christine’s third year with the West 18th Street Fashion Show as an accessory designer.
Christopher Bender
Christopher graduated from Design and Architecture Senior High in 2010, majoring in Fashion Design. In 2014 he graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fiber. Inspired by confetti-covered dance floors and the luxurious fabrics and gowns that appear on celebrity-filled red carpets, Christopher’s collection explores “morning after” style and seeks to find the pride in the “walk of shame.” Every piece begins with one question: “What do the young celebrity party girls look like the morning after?”
Hollie Hermes
A 22-year-old fashion designer living in Kansas City, Hollie’s aesthetic is marked by her flair for the fantastic and her love for pieces that elevate the wearer beyond the everyday and dazzling viewer and wearer alike with fantastical details. Hollie was a 2015 Fashion Design graduate from Johnson County Community College and recipient of the school’s Rookie Of The Year award in her freshman year. She later went on to win first place in her school’s yearly fashion show.
Jennifer Wilkinson
Jennifer graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute with a BFA in Ceramic Sculpture and studied abroad at The International Ceramic Studio in Hungary. During her time as a resident artist at the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Urban Culture Project in 2015, Wilkinson made her mark by pioneering polymer clay. Today, her work consists of fine polymer clay paintings, ceramic sculptures, mixed media installations, and polymer clay & porcelain jewelry.
Justin Atwater-Taylor
Justin is an award-winning designer of soft goods, hard goods, and branding collateral. Soon after graduating from the University of Kansas, Justin founded Grip Equipment, which quickly grew to boast localized distribution across the US and in over 20 countries, eventually earning the Emerging Business of the Year Award from the Kansas Legislature in 2014. After recommitting himself to purely creative output, Justin has focused primarily on brand development projects and a joint venture with Margie Hogue called Crown Town Carriage, which will be a line of bags, wallets, and more, each upcycled locally using vinyl sign waste.
Kate. E Burke
As an artist and designer, Kate’s work is focused on pattern, textile design, fashion, and accessories. She finds inspiration in the natural world, including wildlife, minerals, and space imagery. She translates complicated and intricate natural objects into simple ink and watercolor drawings. Turning these drawings into graphic pattern repeats, she creates screen-printed fabric. Kate also explores the ways in which pattern and color can transform into bold clothing and accessories by layering and mixing her screen-printed designs with custom dyed fabric. Kate currently maintains her textile studio in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, Missouri.
Margie Hogue
Margie is committed to advancing the fit and function of fashion with responsibly sourced materials and talent. A technical designer for Lee Jeans and a pattern design instructor at the Arts Institutes International – Kansas City, Margie’s passion for pattern design and ethical fashion brand entrepreneurship fuels her aim to champion economic empowerment and sustainability through her work. This is Hogue’s fifth year participating in the West 18th Street Fashion Show, but her first year showing accessories. Her entrance onto the accessories stage was spurred by a joint venture with fellow designer Justin Atwater-Taylor called Crown Town Carriage.
Opal & Gold
Lauren Foxworth and Sadie Everblue met in 2005 while working at a local independent movie theater and inspired each other to never take life too seriously. They are best friends, metalsmiths, lapidarists, and business partners with a passion for adorning ladies (and gents) with unusual and distinct jewels. The textures, shapes, and colors of plants and flowers are a constant source of inspiration for Opal & Gold. They use raw and natural stones—often cutting and faceting stones themselves—in all of their jewelry, pairing brass, copper, gold, and silver with fossils, crystals, and gemstones to create unexpected combinations.

Paige Beltowski
Often blending the worlds of fashion, theatre, and fine art, Paige received a BFA in Fiber from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2015 after studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London for two terms. She is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Costume Design at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Paige recently worked in costume design as co-designer of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play at the Unicorn Theatre. Along with costume and fashion design, Paige has displayed her fine art works in several galleries and museums, including Leedy-Voulkos, The Kansas City Museum, Kemper at the Crossroads, ArtsKC, Kansas City Artists Coalition, and Octagon Center for the Arts.
Hilary Brown
As a freelance fashion designer, Hilary specializes in creating custom swimwear and wedding gowns and has shown collections in the West 18th Street Fashion Show, Color + Couture, and Kansas City Fashion Week. Her career also includes time at Infusion Design, KnollTextiles, the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Costume, and Elevé Dancewear. For Wild Summer, Hilary is drawing on her experience as a professional ballet dancer—taking the expectations of perfection and straight lines and breaking free from the bun-head mold. Using layers upon layers of tulle, pointe shoe ribbon, gold accents, and hand-painted lace, this is ballet gone rogue.
Tabbetha Evans
Tabbetha, a Kansas City native, designs textiles and clothing with an emphasis in knitwear. She translates the inspiration she finds in ethnic, handmade textiles into knitting, felting, and printed textiles to create bohemian-inspired clothing and jewelry. Tabbetha launched her own jewelry line in 2013, including one-of-a-kind and small-production runs of pieces made from felt, beads, and metals. In 2015, she made her West 18th Street Fashion Show debut. Her collection for Wild Summer will work to combine the music, fashion, and pulse of 1983 with her knowledge and experience working in fashion.
Virginia Zetmeir
Virginia was born in Germany where her exposure to eccentric fashion came at an early age. She believes in functional garments that use basic shapes to create interesting silhouettes. Her fashion inspiration pulls from imaginative aesthetics, textiles, storytelling, children’s art, languages, travel, and community artists. Themes found in her current work include nostalgia, intuition, and identity with a healthy dose of clumsiness and charm. Virginia recently accepted the exciting opportunity to teach art with Quality Hill Academy, a new school opening this fall.
Sydney Pener
Sydney’s jewelry and metalwork focuses on the transformation of metals, the inspiration of natural forms, and the integration of vintage found-objects into her work. By upcycling ornate metal antiques, her goal is to breathe new life into old things. Her artwork honors the traditions of the metalworking and craft while utilizing a diversity of techniques.Teaching metalsmithing and jewelry-making for over 15 years at the university level, Sydney is represented by the Phoenix Gallery on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, and was an accessory designer for the Rachel Anne Gottlieb Collection at Kansas City Fashion Week 2016.
Seance by Phil Keophaphone
Design Team
Seance is a design team led by Phil Keophaphone. Raised by his great-grandmother, Mary Hines, Phil’s love of family and his faith is represented in all facets of HK|StyleGroup, founded in 2012. Phil has dedicated his works to improving not only the outer appearance of his clients, but promoting self-love and passion in all areas of life. The inspiration that fuels Phil comes directly from his connection with his family, and his love for other people. Through his Wild Summer collection, Phil wishes to inspire and create an artistic high in the minds of each eye that views his work.
Brock has been sewing and designing since he was 10. His passion led him from a small town in Mississippi to the Kansas City Art Institute where he studied Fiber. He enjoys detailed handsewn works like sequinning, beading, and embroidery, along with intricate pattern work. Brock’s aesthetic is marked by bright colors, pop culture influences, mixed media textures, rave culture, and anything that sparkles. His collection for Wild Summer will feature pop imagery emojis, each piece designed with a youthful play on wearable cuts and fabrics with a unexpected twist.

Ngan Vuong
Born in Vietnam and raised there until she was six, Ngan has been creating jewelry since childhood. Today, her label—eNVe Designs—is a jewelry line that makes unique statements in stone and metal with creations that strike a unique balance between edge and elegance. This year’s collection, entitled Alter Ego, is a pure reflection of her aesthetic—to combine contrasting, yet complimentary elements to create a single harmonious and powerful look. Ngan has shown collections at Kansas City Fashion Week in both 2015 and 2016, accompanying collections by Rachel Anne Gottlieb and Andrea Marie Long.
Cheryl Eve Acosta
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Cheryl Eve holds a BFA in Jewelry from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Jewelry & Metals from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has exhibited nationally and internationally, including shows in Santa Fe, Atlanta, Chicago, Seoul, Florence and Munich and her work has been featured in numerous publications including 500 Earrings, Dreaming Jewelry and Art Jewelry Today 3, and published her book Hidden in Nature. Cheryl Eve has received Arts KC Inspiration Grant that allowing her twice participate in Kansas City’s West 18th Street Fashion Show. Cheryl Eve currently works from her Crossroads studio in Kansas City, MO.
Nataliya Meyer
Nataliya’s work is marked by her vast array of influences, her passion for design, and the resourcefulness she developed as a child. She has always found inspiration in researching the heritage of cultures all over world, merging those sources of inspiration with her passion for perfection and her ability to turn unlikely scraps into wearable art. Her process begins with inspiration from daily life, advances through found scraps and objects, and develops through fit and careful tailoring. Every piece is custom-made with the wearer in mind and reflects her drive to develop her skills and give back to those around her through design.

Lucia’s Sarto