The Independent Designer Runway Show

Posted on August 20, 2013, 8:00 am
2 mins

fashion week runway

Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection
Image courtesy of The Bellevue Collection

Fashion Week at The Bellevue Collection is approaching and tickets are on sale now for what could be one of the more interesting fashion showcases that we’ve had in the Pacific Northwest—the Independent Designer Runway Show during Bellevue Fashion Week. Inspiring a culture of serious fashion aficionados is no easy feat and the local fashion industry struggles to be viable, yet it is our own Nordstrom that has been willing to take risks with many designers who are now well known. Nordstrom helped Diane Von Furstenberg relaunch her career not too long ago, was one of the first stores to carry Esquivel shoes for men, and has also been one of the first to carry the Rachel Zoe collection. This demonstrates the ability of local industry leaders to elevate designers and the fashion community as a whole. This is nothing new for the department store, and yet many wonder if our area is capable of being a fashion center. The Bellevue Collection has positioned itself as a next level cultivator of fashion by developing and hosting an event the likes of the Independent Designer Runway Show during fashion week (Wednesday, September 25th at The Hyatt Regency Bellevue, 6:30 pm). Those designers who often felt as though they were working in a vacuum have something to strive for by being recognized, both by audience and the media. No artist can survive creatively or financially without this kind of feedback from their community.

The Independent Designer Runway Show or IDRS is a collaboration of sorts where local fashion designers are asked to submit a concept for a collection. The IDRS panel mentors these emerging designers who then get to showcase their collection in a fashion show at Fashion Week. This year, eleven designers were chosen out of 37 applicants. If the PNW is to gain traction in the larger fashion community, events like IDRS are a critical element in helping emerging Seattle based designers grow into serious contenders.


Sarah Caples has lived in Seattle since 2004 working as a fashion stylist for private clients. Sarah launched an art and society blog in 2008, along with a monthly salon at The Sorrento Hotel, which ran until June 2012. As executive editor of, Caples hopes to cultivate an informed dialog about regional culture and bring people of diverse backgrounds together in support of nonprofits, artists and community builders.