Students plan first UW Fashion Week

For the staff of MODA Magazine, UW-Madison’s online style magazine, next week will be anything but routine because the group will put on the first annual UW Fashion week, which it has spent the entire year pulling together.

“We’ve treated this project like a baby,” Editor in Chief Mia Hanekamp said. “We’ve been putting everything we have into it and giving up sleep, but in the end it’s all going to be worth it.”

The project may be a fledgling, but it will bring class and culture to campus for fashionistas and non-fashionistas alike. The group has three events planned for UWFW: a networking opportunity, a panel discussion and a runway show. These events are designed to allow students to immerse themselves in various aspects of the style industry.

As the MODA staff explained to me, style and fashion are very different.

Jeff Cartwright, deputy editor at MODA, clarified it.

“Fashion is what designers produce,” he said. “Style is how you portray yourself. It’s how you live.”

MODA specializes in style, including lifestyle, food and nightlife. Hanekamp and Cartwright co-founded the online magazine after realizing Madison needed a style magazine for students, by students.

According to the editors, Madison is the ideal place for style to thrive. Hanekamp described the city’s vibe as young and fast yet laid-back.

UWFW was Hanekamp’s brainchild while she was an intern in New York City. The Big Apple inspired her to help make the type of events that are available in NYC available in Madison.

MODA’s Public Relations Director Katie Kruse described UWFW’s events, emphasizing that they include much more than just a runway show.

Monday, March 12 kicks off UWFW in tandem with  the event MODA’s Night Out. The event will be held at The Icon, a trendy tapas bar on State Street. According to Kruse, the night will provide a prime networking opportunity and a glimpse into the business side of the fashion industry. Students and professionals alike will congregate to eat, drink and socialize in style amid trunk shows and mannequin displays.

Street Smart: Blogging for a Stylish World, a panel discussion, will take place at Memorial Union Wednesday.

“Style blogging is becoming a huge trend,” Kruse said. “Bloggers are becoming icons, like Jessica Quirk from ‘What I Wore.’ This is a great way to find concrete examples of how to mix creative passion with a career.”

This event will cover topics useful to UW-Madison students who plans to become professionals of any sort, like portraying themselves online and creating a personal brand. Quirk will be in attendance, along with UW-Madison professors and staff from Madison Magazine.

UWFW will culminate on Friday, March 16 with a runway show held at The Sett in Union South, where national brands, local stores and Madison students will have collections shown in the tradition of big city fashion weeks.

“This runway show is an excuse to get dressed up for a night, to feel very glitzy,” Cartwright said. “It’s definitely a red carpet night.”

The red carpet, symbol of glamour and fame, will be rolled out for the runway show, along with plenty of professional photographers, refreshments and live music courtesy of co-sponsor, WUD Music. Chicago’s BBU and UW-Madison’s DJ Diox will provide the beats for the show.

That’s right: Live out your celebrity dream for free in the city that never sleeps (well, not on weekends anyway).

Admission is free for all events. Check out the UWFW Facebook page for more information. The online style magazine bringing you these great events can be found at Those looking for more information can also find MODA on Twitter under the handle @modamadison where they will announce UWFW updates, like a contest to win VIP gifts, with #UWFW tags.

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