Westword's Artopia now includes Whiteout, our annual fashion show. In advance of this year's art extravaganza, which is coming down on February 21 at City Hall, we checked in with the seven designers and boutiques that will be part of the Alice in Wonderland-themed Whiteout to ask what they have in store for the show. Read on for the answers from designer Deb Henriksen, founder of Equillibrium, and see some of her runway fashions.
Westword: How did you get into fashion/design?
Deb Henriksen: Fashion has always stoked me out. My home economics class in middle school showed me how to run a sewing machine. Then modeling as a teen and working in fashion retail during high school expanded my experience in the industry. I worked retail off and on as a young adult at local skateboard and snowboard shops. I even worked at a Betsey Johnson boutique. Now I only work retail at pop-up shops for Equillibrium and run Equillibrium's showroom boutique in our shop.
How do you describe your style/work?
I'd say my style is Equillibrium's style, which is timeless, cool, balanced, conscious and focused on, quality not quantity. I don't skimp on detail or proper finishes for selected fabrics. [My designs are] well-constructed, sustainable, authentic, consistent, functional and bitchin'!
What should people know about what you'll be showing at Artopia?
There will be some new silhouettes I haven't made before and a new skull graphic will be debuting! We will hit the runway hard to rock you -- as always.
What's your favorite thing about the Denver art/fashion/design scene?
A good sense of community is important in any "scene." Even this lone wolf appreciates that infrastructure, and Denver has it. I've lived in Colorado for over 24 years and I'm not going anywhere! I make it work, and try not to allow any "scene" to frustrate me.
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[Fashion] is a tough Industry everywhere, and not getting any easier. I am appreciative for all the support I get from Denver and Westword.
What's the one thing that could most improve the Denver art/fashion/design scene?
If there were more synergy working together in efforts to advance or mature the community. There are always people new to the community who think they'll put it on the map, which usually is counter-productive to moving things forward. The effects are more like a holding pattern. One simple example of working together is with scheduling events staggered rather than at the same time or on same night. An example of this was last year, with 303's Denver Fashion Week and the City of Denver's Arts Week competing for the fashion crowd the same weekend. Everyone has their own agenda, and I wish they worked together more to realize opportunities for greater strides and bigger impacts forward.
Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
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Equillibrium is a sustainable-street wear brand, specializing in men's and women's apparel, handbags and accessories, established in 2000 in Denver, Colorado. Find out more about Equillibrium here. Buy $20 general admission tickets to Westword's Artopia, which now includes the Whiteout fashion show, for just $20 here -- use the showandtell promo code.