A fashion reality show is coming to the Queen City this summer. The Collective Fashion Show will bring 15 designers from across the globe to Cincinnati for a week of in-person and virtual events, including two runway shows, afterparties, and a marketplace trunk show where designers can sell their pieces.
Unlike other reality shows, The Collective is not a competition series. Fans will instead get an unfiltered look at designers’ behind-the-scenes process, starting with their social media video diaries. Many of the participants are celebrity designers and reality TV alums, including Project Runway Top 5 contestant and Cincinnati native, Tessa Clark. America’s Next Top Model alum Laura Kirkpatrick-Cianciolo, who lives in Cincinnati, will also serve as a co-host. “Being in Cincinnati, we feel like we’re so much more a part of this than any other reality show we’ve been on,” Clark says.
Clark manages Idlewild Woman on Vine St. and owns her own design brand, Grind and Glaze. She hopes to show other emerging designers that they can be successful in their hometowns.
“I interned in New York City, but I realized with the type of company I wanted to work for— a smaller brand and not a corporation—that I wouldn’t be able to live the lifestyle I wanted to live,” she says. “Once I came back, I realized how much the city has to offer, and I realized the impact someone can have in a smaller metropolitan city.”
“I always encourage my interns to do an internship or try another city for a couple years, but bring those skills and that knowledge back to Cincinnati,” she added. “We have some really cool things happening here and the creative community is really supportive.”
Clark was first approached about the show by co-executive producer Amy Bond, who was inspired while visiting Cincinnati for a model workshop. After seeing the city’s venues and meeting with local fashion tastemakers, The Collective snowballed from a few individual events into a first-of-its-kind series.
“It unfolded piece-by-piece because of Cincinnati, because of the people we met and because of the venues we saw and meeting all these young models who really wanted to be a part of this,” Bond says. “Seeing what’s happening in Cincinnati right now, the rehabbing of all these amazing buildings, restoring places like The Transept into these incredible venues, the restaurants, the nightlife—it’s all so fresh.”
The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP, of which Clark is a graduate, will also be highlighted.
“It’s not just about a fashion show—it’s really about the fabric of fashion and what is happening in Cincinnati,” Co-Executive Producer Angelo La Pietra says. “There’s a great foundation of art and culture here, and this show’s going to highlight a lot of that.”
Celebrity stylist Ty Hunter, who’s worked with Beyoncé, Solange, and more, will co-host The Collective and musician and model Shaun Ross will serve as the series’ music director. Along with co-hosting, Kirkpatrick-Cianciolo will also mentor the featured models, who hail from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
The Collective kicks off on July 29 with an official launch party, followed by two runway shows on July 30 and July 31, held at to-be-announced “Cincinnati landmarks.” The marketplace trunk show will wrap up the weekend on August 1, followed by afterparties. Tickets to the show’s in-person and live-streamed events are on sale here.