IOWA Magazine | 05-24-2023

Hawk Couture: Inside Iowa City's Growing Fashion Scene

1 minute read
Get to know these stylish University of Iowa creators and trendsetters.

The satirical news outlet The Onion once poked fun at the style sensibilities of the Hawkeye State with the headline “Iowa Fashion Week Begins.” The article quipped: “This week is a chance to show off the hottest new Iowa looks—from long johns to windbreakers to hooded sweatshirts.”

While our black-and-gold striped game day overalls may not land Iowa on a best-dressed list any time soon, living in a place where the unpredictable weather fluctuates between polar vortexes and August heat waves has made us appreciate the practicality of parkas and jorts.

Despite this, Iowa City—like many college towns filled with creative people—is a stylish place. The city boasts talented seamsters and seamstresses, sustainability-minded students experimenting with upcycling, and campus and community fashion shows. Recently, a new fashion house supporting Black designers opened its doors.

So, let’s fasten our overalls and get to know a few of the Hawkeyes who are a part of Iowa City’s vibrant fashion scene.

Surbhi Saxena

Walk it Out Fashion Show Celebrates Iowa’s Cultural Threads

The annual UI student event packs the IMU to spotlight international style.

André Wright

New Iowa City Fashion House Empowers Black Creators

Founded by a UI alumnus, the Wright House of Fashion hosts design programs and gives aspiring artists the tools to become cultural changemakers.

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PHOTO: JASON SMITH Students take a bow during the annual Walk It Out Multicultural Fashion Show his past spring in the Iowa Memorial Union.

Molly Kresse

For Clothing Upcyler Molly Kresse, Green is the New Black

The recent UI graduate creates handmade pieces through thrifted materials and organizes a local flea market.

Anna Wolle

Iowa Law Student and Seamstress Builds a Case for Fashion

Anna Wolle hopes to one day open a legal practice to help arts organizations and fellow creators.

Kaelen Novak

Iowa Theatre Graduate Explores the Frontiers of Digital Fashion

Kaelen Novak uses motion-capture technology to create stunning costumes for real and virtual stage productions.

Myreanna Bebe and Julien Gillum

Star Hawkeye Runners Set the Pace for Style

Iowa All-Americans Myreanna Bebe and Julien Gillum are as fashionable as they are fast.

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