This year’s theme, Summer Migration, debuts the eighteenth year of the West 18th Street Fashion Show and its “golden birthday” on June 9, 2018.

Desire is the energy of evolution. We fly across borders to fall in love, embolden our species, refine and complicate the rituals that protect us from the elements. There is a reason it is called Wanderlust. Travel and introspection breed compassion and a bolder understanding of the human experience. This year we ask you to present us with your heritage, your history, to recontextualize the garments of your ancestors. Please open your door, set an extra plate at the table, present us with the intimate stories of your culture.

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A season inspired by memory, movement, resilience, and transcendence, Summer Migration aims to create an experience where narrative and fashion converge to elevate our dreams, our voices, and our humanity.

We are now requesting applications for the show, which will include up to eighteen carefully curated collections that explore the theme of Summer Migration. For the show’s “golden birthday,” 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 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018:

  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 15:  Designer Meeting & Orientation, 10:00 a.m.-Noon
  • Tuesday, May 8:  Designer Party and Collection Review, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 3:  Show Rehearsal, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 9:  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.