July 14, 2024

Experiencing Fashion Week Columbus

This year’s Fashion Week Columbus runway event was held with a variety of beautiful outfits and more.

The week ended with the 12th Annual Finale Runway Show featuring renowned designers, including Destiny Howard, Zhane Wiley, Gerardo Encinas, Vincent Quevedo, Xantha Ward and Alex Vinash.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to check out the designers themselves. Now for me, this was a treat. I had never been to a fashion show before and I didn’t even score tickets to the show until 3 p.m. the day of…for free! My co-worker, Macie Hewitt, was in the show, walking for designer Vincent Quevedo. 

The show took place this past Saturday, Oct. 2. I arrived at the venue, Gravity, at 7:45 p.m. with a ticket for VIP seats. We were greeted with free drink tickets for being VIP guests and had the luxury of sitting in the third row. 

The venue was beautiful—cool lights everywhere, everyone dressed in their best fashions, mingling, anticipating the start of the show. Photographers surrounded the venue ready to capture the runway. 

However, the one downfall was that the show was supposed to start at 8:30 p.m. but did not begin until shortly after 9 p.m. The show was supposed to be outside on the lawn, but because of the rain, they had to move everything inside, which put them behind just a bit. 

Once the show finally began, we were greeted by Karina Nova, Emmy award-winning news anchor for WBNS-10TV. Her floral dress was absolutely stunning and was designed by Gerardo Encinas. 

Nova then introduced Lubna Najjar, president of the Columbus Fashion Council, as well as Thomas McClure, founder and executive director of the Columbus Fashion Council. Nia Noel, program director of Columbus Fashion Council was also there to say a few words. 

Lubna Najjar, President of the Columbus Fashion Council. Photo taken by Bianca Blanks.

The Columbus Fashion Council is a non-profit design company, which has been running for 12 years now, helping students from the Columbus School of Art and Design finish out their programs. 

Nia Noel, program director of Columbus Fashion Council. Photo taken by Bianca Blanks.

They provide yearly scholarships and place a heavy emphasis on education, creativity and economic development. 

Maria Mendoza was announced as the new scholarship recipient of this year, receiving a $6,000 scholarship from the Columbus Fashion Council to reward her work. 

Maria Mendoza, Columbus School of Art and Design scholarship recipient. Photo taken by Bianca Blanks.

Following this, there were several other awards announced for people who made an impact in one way or another through fashion. 

Award Recipients

  • Sustainability award: Celeste Malvar-Stewart
  • Outstanding achievement award: Lubna Najjar
  • Design and innovation award: Gerardo Encinas
  • The Impact award: Janelle Coleman
  • Positive change award: Columbus Fashion Alliance

After the awards were announced, the show began. All six of the designers had their own unique themes for the show. 

Xantha Ward began the show with her designs that were eccentric and European themed. All her models for her collection had bluish/purple lipstick on to stick with her theme. They all as well were wearing some assortment of black and white. 

An outfit from the Xantha Ward Collection. Photo taken by Bianca Blanks.

Next, Vincent Quevedo showcased his collection that paired bright colors and browns, with particular emphasis on the browns in his collection. This was the collection that my friend Hewitt was a model for, showing off a long satin brown coat. 

Following Quevedo was Destiny Howard, who presented more of a natural collection, using a variation of tans and nudes. 

Destiny Howard collection. Photo taken by Bianca Blanks.

Designer Zhane Wiley was next and designed what was probably my favorite collection of the evening. Her collection was drag-themed with purples, pinks, blues, and tons of sequins and glitter. All the models looked like they were just having the best time enjoying the pieces they were showcasing. 

The next designer, Gerardo Encinas, showcased a collection of golds, blacks and nudes, with a hint of red. It was one of the more classy collections, in my opinion.

Alex Vinash is a fashion and interior designer in New York City,  and his collection served as the show’s finale. All of the pieces in his collection featured extravagant colors and designs, as well as some chic and classy pieces.

Alex Vinash collection. Photo via Alex Vinash’s instagram @alexvinash

The show ended up being around an hour and a half. Afterwards, the designers had stands showcasing their collections, with some pieces available for purchase.


  • Bianca Blanks

    Bianca is a triple major in sociology, criminology, and Spanish, treasurer of the Criminology and Sociology club, America Reads tutor, along with her position as a reporter for the Chimes.

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