There are many cities that come to mind when thinking of the fashion industry. Columbus, Ohio may not be one of them, but we know how to change that. All it took was hearing Columbus fashion designer and Fashion Mingle Brand Ambassador Mellissa Miller talk about the industry in her city for us to realize that the Midwest is catching up with the fashion capitols of the world, and fast!
Mellissa: The fashion industry here in Columbus, while still not known or acknowledged much as yet, is growing by leaps and bounds. Our city is third in the NATION for resident fashion designers, and first for concentration of apparel headquarters (such as L Brands, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, DSW, Express, etc.). Ohio State University offers a Bachelors Program in Fashion & Retail Studies, and CCAD (Columbus College of Art & Design) offers a Fashion Design program that ranks within the Top 25 worldwide! We boast some of the world’s foremost brands, branding agencies and store design firms, and Columbus is located within a 10-hour drive of 46% of the US population!
Our biggest pressing issue is probably the fact that many figures within the fashion community at large are unaware of the impact Columbus has on the fashion industry as a whole, and what we can offer both in terms of large brands AND all our amazing independent designers.
We have some amazing teams working on changing that though. Fashion Week Columbus is a 501c3 organization “with a mission to produce a platform to showcase local and emerging fashion designers while also providing scholarships to fashion design students in Central Ohio.” This year is a big one for them, as they celebrate their 10th anniversary. We also have the brand-new Columbus Fashion Council which is a collaboration between FWC and the City of Columbus. The CFC will be helping further develop central Ohio’s Fashion Industry by supporting local designers & fashion organizations, focusing on growth initiatives, & developing programs to further provide scholarships and a platform for local & emerging designers. They’re also working on creating a Textile & Manufacturing District that can compete within the US product testing & manufacturing scene.
READ THE REST OF HER INTERVIEW HERE
CHECK OUT THE COLUMBUS FASHION DIRECTORY HERE