Portland Fashion Week: An Emerging Fashion Capital

With cities like New York, London and Milan to compete with - it’s no wonder that people forget about lil’ ol’ Portland once in a while- but with fierce millennials in charge, we’re starting to change that. Amidst a diverse and energetic generation comes unique style, motivation, drive and a courage to take on and change the world. In the fashion world, Portland is what one would call unique - but they have a reason for it.

Coming from New York City, you see the constant judgement on style and feel the need to succumb to trends and follow the it girls around the city. Portland has been a freeing experience, style-wise making it simpler than ever to find myself and where my style fits in in this “weird” city. Portland is quite the breath of fresh air in a cruel and grueling fashion world - especially due to the fact that clothes have a purpose, and people are connecting themselves through this environmental friendly fashion trends. Some people see Eco-friendly and sustainable fashion as “slow fashion” when in fact - taking it slow not only changes the world, but gets you better quality for your buck.

Portland is constantly recycling it’s fashion, with thrift shops on every block it’s hard to believe you’re recycling while you shop. Countless designers through the city are locally supported for their organic textiles and high end boutique quality customer service. Michael, a business owner and musician here in Portland describes the way Portlandians buy clothes as “So much clothing is incinerated everyday. [We] Support independent and locally made. [We] Spend a little more money on one quality item verses twenty things that are disposable.​​​​​”

Portland Fashion Week: An Emerging Fashion Capital

Portland takes advantage of the idea of closet “staples” - pieces you need for your wardrobe, that can be paired with various items of your wardrobe and are relevant to the climate, and the need for the piece. Michael, (pictured) says his favorite thing about Portland fashion is “It's very representative of living in the northwest. In other cities it might look out of place. It relates to our environment.” And with unique outdoors mixed with high fashion looks, we definitely recognize this throughout the Pacific Northwest.

A lot of style even trickles out of the California beach-vibe. Breanna (pictured), a sales associate in Portland describes her style as “70's bohemian with kinda modern, beachy, skater” and thinks Portland fashion is diverse, and it’s diversity makes it fashionable… and we agree. Portland screams “I do what I want.” It’s a land where people of all kinds can feel without judgement to dress how they please, express how they feel and making a unique impact on the world - instead of just fitting in.

Portland can easily compete with top fashion capitals, and with our method of sustainability, our use and creativeness with slow fashion as well as our loyalty to locally made and sold products makes us a top contender to be a fashion capital in this nation. Portland Fashion Week is the world’s ONLY carbon-negative fashion week as well as one of the most sustainable fashion weeks in the world. Portland Fashion Week’s proceeds go to a number of good causes, and they support our local talent while working with real, local models and bloggers. As Portland Fashion Week continues to grow, we’re looking forward to see a lot more emerging talent coming out of Portland, Oregon.

For more information, visit: www.portlandfashionweek.net

Photos: Danelle Painter