Marlee Ju, Molly Elizabeth Designs & Young Hearted Socks showcase the next generation of fashion at KC Fashion Week

Kansas City Fashion Week 2015

Kansas City Fashion Week returned to Union Station as designers showcased their Fall/Winter designs. (Photo property of Jacob Elyachar)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

One bi-annual event that I look forward to is Kansas City Fashion Week!

I am so proud how this event has grown over the past three years. Each year, Kansas City Fashion Week bring impeccable designers to showcase their brands’ point-of-view.

Last night, the show kicked off its three-night celebration of all things fashion with the Mayor’s Night at KCFW—-which benefited Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Before the event got underway, several members of the audience received hair touchups from Posh KC Blow-Dry-Bar (a special shout out to both Michaela and Melissa for putting extra shine in my hair) and learned more about several fashion and style schools across the area (the Arts Institutes International and the Marinello School of Beauty).

As the audience got settled and took selfies, Kansas City Fashion Week President Teisha Barber welcomed everyone to the event and introduced FOX 4’s Abby Eden, who served as the night’s emcee. In turn, she introduced Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James, who shared his passion of reviving the arts in downtown Kansas City and slightly (and playfully) embarrassed his daughter, Aja, before leaving the runway.

Once, Major James left the runway, Abby introduced one of KCFW’s staple designers, Paolini Garment Company, who kicked off the event. The County Club Plaza-based designer is the official clothier of Sporting Kansas City and showed off his unique suits that will be quite in demand during the Fall/Winter season. In fact, I would definitely wear one of his suits.

Another KC-based designer, Dolyn Bags, brought out something I have not seen in all my years attending the KCFW shows: handbags. Their creator, Ami Beck, beautifully constructed these impeccable bags by combining earth tone colors (brown, tan and red) with rich leather and detailed stitching. Don’t worry, guys! I even saw a luxurious gym bag that you could bring to your workouts. Ms. Beck’s bags would be the perfect accessory for any lady in your life!

A chorus of “Awws” erupted when Marlee Ju began their presentation. All of their models were adorable children, who might be the next generation of models. It looked like a majority of the models were first timers walking the runway, but they stole the show with their sass and confidence as they took multiple trips down the runway. Marlee Ju showed their admiration for all things pop culture as several outfits were ripped right from Dragon Ball Z, Naurto and trendy topics (“The Dress”). Marlee Ju has a great future ahead of them and I look forward to seeing what else they come up with for their spring/summer collection.

After a plug from main sponsor Independence Center and a short intermission, it was time for the youngest designer to take the stage. At just 15-years-old, Omaha native Molly Elizabeth showcased her outfits that were inspired by the 1960s and 1970s. I enjoyed seeing the “prairie girl and flower child” hybrids and multiple colleagues stated to me they could see her designs being worn at Bonaroo, Coachella and Woodstock. I strongly believe that Molly Elizabeth has a bright future in the fashion industry and I look forward to see what she comes up with next.

Molly’s fellow Omahan, Jessica Lynn, was able to recapture the chorus of “Awws” as her young models stepped onto the stage. Her unique leather-inspired designs showcased roots from tribal wear and animal fur. In addition to the models that smiled brighter than before, there were several “Elsa”-inspired dresses that caught my attention.

Young Hearted Socks ended the night with their unique designs. The company was founded by Kansas City Chiefs player Sanders Commings and Kyle Green, who met as students at the University of Georgia. Their goal was to create: “Quality socks for your Inner Child.” Before the show, I was able to meet the guys and was able to look at the designs up close and personal. After seeing the designs, I was instantly transported to the 1990s, where Free Willy and Dinosaurs reigned supreme. Their designs are impeccable and worthy of being sold in stores nationwide.

Want to see some of my photos from night one of KC Fashion Week? Head to my Facebook page!


  1. Jessica Lynn says

    Just read the article and wanted to say those dresses that I’m sure you are referencing as Elsa inspired where not Elsa inspired. Those two little girls where from the Mercy ChildrensHospital and I did fringe on the dress so it tied in with the rest of the Native American inspired garments but was still special for them. I know they popped out from the rest but that’s why they where pulled out at the end so people would see that.

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