This year’s theme, Wild Summer, debuts the sixteenth year of the West 18th Street Fashion Show on June 11th, 2016. A season inspired by rebellion and growth, our designers will evoke ideas of initiation and coming of age. As Kansas City breaks new ground, presents fresh ideas, and celebrates a revival of craft and industry, expect a runway of alchemy and anarchy.

We are now requesting applications for the show, which will include up to eighteen carefully curated collections that explore the idea of how we grow and evolve. The show’s “sweet sixteen” aims to lionize the young rebel, basking in that formative moment of self-determination and self-expression. We are seeking a dynamic group of garment and accessories designers who understand the visual space between costuming and high fashion. By selecting a strong group of designers who are willing to take risks and work hard, we will create an innovative and inspiring runway show. Accessory designers will be accepted and featured on the same level as garment designers this year, so consider applying with a partner or possible paring in mind.

To apply, submit the following by 5pm on Tuesday, March 22nd:

  1. A one page resume
  2. Three to eight printed photographs of previous original work
  3. Mood board: collage of images intended to be used as inspiration for the collection—one 8.5×11″ page filled
  4. Color story board: intended colors/textiles/textures intended to be used in fabricated collection
  5. Sketches of the five proposed looks you intend to make for the runway (on 1-2 pages). Please consider the following: styling, hair, makeup, shoes, etc.
  6. A one to two paragraph explanation of your intended collection—500 words or LESS. (Any visual information you submit is considered first and foremost.)
  7. Registration Fee: $20 (cash or check made to “18th St. Fashion Show”)

Please mail or hand-deliver your application packet to:

West 18th Street Fashion Show c/o Birdies
116 West 18th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108

Please note: To deliver your application after hours, place it in the mail slot. Application materials may not exceed 11X17” and must be flat. Submissions that do not fulfill the standard guidelines listed above will not be reviewed. No materials will be returned. Selected designers will be notified via email.

To be eligible, designers must be available for the following events:

  • Sunday, April 10: Designer Meeting & Orientation, 4pm-5pm
  • Tuesday, May 10: Designer Party and Collection Review, 6pm-9pm
  • Sunday, June 5: Show Rehearsal, 4pm-7pm
  • Saturday, June 11: Entire Day of the Show

Since its inception, the West 18th Street Fashion Show has highlighted Kansas City’s growing status as a center for fashion and design, both regionally and nationally. Though the show’s focus is on local fashion, the producers also include a small number of national designers in order to promote Kansas City’s vibrant fashion community to a broader audience. The West 18th Street Fashion Show is the largest fashion show in Kansas City and was voted Best Fashion Event in Pitch’s Best of Kansas City Reader’s Choice Awards. The show will be held outside at dusk in the Crossroads Arts District on West 18th Street between Baltimore and Wyandotte.