Oneofakind Baton Rouge Fashion Week showcases new talent featuring collections from local designers and inspirational University students.
The fashion show that took place during Oneofakind Baton Rouge fashion week's Big Night on Feb. 23. featured collections from Kaleb Duncan and Natalie Welch who are both students in the Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising department of the College of Agriculture.
Duncan debuted his line “Kei Ai” at Oneofakind Baton Rouge Fashion Week’s Big Night. The designer didn’t have a passion for clothes originally, so when he discovered his newfound love for fashion, his world was flipped upside down.
“My line is inspired from my upbringing, basically, because I really love stories and I feel like fashion is a storytelling genre," Duncan said. "The only difference is you substitute words for fabric."
The line played around with neutral tones and velvet fabrics while featuring fun cutouts.
Meanwhile, Welch’s line “Natalia Cheria” inspired by a secret garden gave a ‘70s feel with florals and colorful contrasting fabrics. The University student shared her excitement about showing her line to the public while representing her city and school.
“I think it’s very rewarding in the end to see all the things you made walk down the runway," Welch said. "I think it’s a really nice platform that I can show off my work, and I think it’s cool to represent LSU too."
The founder, president, and executive producer of Oneofakind Baton Rouge Week, Brandon Campbell, shared his desire to make partnerships with local education systems to benefit young designers. He emphasized how the University played a role in Oneofakind Baton Rouge Week’s success.
Campbell wanted to create an avenue where young designers could explore and develop their talents. He reached out to LSU’s Textile, Apparel & Merchandising department who then later became a sponsor for the event.
“LSU got on board with presenting fashions in my fashion week where I had several different students through the years to also showcase at Baton Rouge Fashion Week,” Campbell said.
“It’s been a beneficial partnership on both ends for LSU and Oneofakind Baton Rouge Fashion Week.”
The Oneofakind Baton Rouge Fashion Week team have worked for six years to not just bring fashion to Baton Rouge but to push it forward. With a great turnout and with models and designers coming from all over the region to participate in fashion week, you can say they've done just that.
Campbell shared what it was like to work with Duncan and Welch and how proud he was of the students' success. He sees potential and entrepreneurship in them both.
“I see a lot of talent in them and I see that they’re only going to continue to grow, so it is my hope that Baton Rouge Fashion Week will be the catalyst to their continued growth in fashion and also in their skills to take it to a whole other level,” Campbell said. “I’m just gracious for everything and I’m just proud that they chose to debut their first fashion collections in Baton Rouge Fashion Week.”
The students are definitely leaving their mark on the local fashion industry, both leaving behind powerful messages along with their killer walks down the runway at the Big Night. Both of the student’s lines were greatly praised and it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw more from the young designers soon.
Duncan hopes to inspire people who view his line to do anything they dream to do.
“I hope people get the thought of achievement like you can do anything, if I can make a whole fashion line you could make anything in the world because the way I see it is if you can do something that’s really hard you can do something that anyone else can do,” Duncan said.
“Just because I did it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it means I did it you can do it too I’m just me and you’re you.”
Welch also has a goal to empower people with her line, women in particular, to shine in her designs.
“I feel like my philosophy with design is that I want to design for women that want to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing but also want to sort of be the center of attention and looked at differently,” Welch said. “I want people to smile when they see my clothes and it’s all really bright colors, so I think it’s just a fun thing, my line is just going to be fun and I hope people are just like happy and in a good mood afterwards.”