CSU joins Denver Arts Week with fashion collections inspired by the city

Video by Christian Knoll

Design and Merchandising students from Colorado State University joined Denver Arts Week this year for the first time, developing collections inspired by Denver.

The collections were on display during Denver Arts Week at the CSU Denver Center. Students attended the gallery on Nov. 10 to showcase their work.

“Students were able to explore any part of Denver that they wanted,” said instructor Kevin Kissell. “In the past, I have had students look at architecture, historical figures and even trash to inspire collections and patterns.”

“I was mostly inspired by the architecture throughout Denver to create my collections,” said Michaela Coleman, an apparel design and production major. “I spent most of my time looking at the homes in the city; they have great colors and unique architecture.”

Coleman, one of the students who participated in the exhibition, hopes to finish her degree and pursue work in New York City in the fashion design industry.

The idea for the project came from Kissell after he was approached by the Denver Center for collaboration.

Michaela Coleman poses with her clothing collection illustrations
Austin Korth poses with his clothing collection illustrations

“It was a great experience being able to get out of the classroom and look for inspiration in a new environment,” said Austin Korth, an apparel design and production major.

The Design and Merchandising program at CSU is the top program in the state. And the apparel design and production program is selective, as it only accepts students who produce exceptional content.

“This is a great opportunity to be professional and gain some experience for these undergrads,” said Nancy Miller, head of the department. “It is great for them to meet all of the connections that we have through the Denver Center, and to receive some critique on their work as well.”

The Department of Design and Merchandising is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.