Fashion Week Cleveland (FWC) is a week-long series of fashion shows, style events and educational programs held the first week of May in Cleveland, Ohio. The event has become a highly anticipated vehicle for introducing the work of American designers toa wider public. Fashion Week Cleveland is known as the "educational fashion week" and has become the most significant industry event between New York and Los Angeles (Women's Wear Daily). In addition to traditional runway shows, the event incorporates exhibits, films, industry tours, seminars and workshops at cultural institutions, universities, and museums. Central to fashion week in Cleveland, these educational programs present informative and insightful perspectives on the topics of fashion design, merchandising, manufacture, education, consumerism, and retail growth.This deepening of the strategic vision of Fashion Week Cleveland makes Fashion Week Cleveland absolutely unique and truly innovative and we believe those who sponsor and partner with FWC will share our success.
Cleveland is known for its 3M’s; music, medicine, and museums. Educational partners have included the Chisholm Halle Costume Wing, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland International Film Festival, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Public Theatre, Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Hard Rock Café-Historical Costume Collection, International Women's Air & Space Museum, Inter-museum Conservation Association, Kent State University Costume Museum, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ohio International Film Festival, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Tuskegee Airman, and Ursuline College. These prominent institutions join Fashion Week Cleveland in building awareness and support for our city's rich past and promising future in the American fashion industry. They recognize that our city is one of museums and educational institutions on a Great Lake.
Mission Fashion Week Cleveland (FWC) exists to inform consumers and industry leaders about the cultural importance and economic importance of fashion design, manufacturing, marketing, and merchandising. in addition to classic and creative runway events, FWC incorporates exhibits, films, industry tours, seminars, and workshops in partnership with a diverse group of cultural and educational institutions.
History by Year
2000; A proposed retail event, much like American and French fashion shows of the 1930's - 1970's, is proposed by Donald Shingler of Cleveland, Ohio.
2002; Donald Shingler brings back the classic, big-city "retail fashion show" concept. Known for 100 years as a way of promoting garment retailing and business development, such events had disappeared in the early 1970's as retailers abandoned downtown Cleveland. Dr. Shingler offers the event as a way to showcase, a long suffering, downtown Cleveland, he calls his event; The Cleveland Fashion Show.
2003; On May 7, 2003, Donald Shingler announces, in a Plain Dealer newspaper story, that a corridor along Euclid Avenue will one day become Cleveland's retail and garment district. Fashion designers, rather than retailers, show their work in the first ever direct-to-consumer runway shows in the United States.
2004; The first regional fashion week is established in the United States, it is called Fashion Week Cleveland.
2008; Joining forces with educational and cultural institutions in educating the consumer public and industry leaders as to the importance of fashion design and merchandising; the event becomes known as "The Educational Fashion Week"; this is a distinctive competency unique to Cleveland's fashion week. Kristen Haglund, Miss America 2008, serves as a spokesperson and sings at the event.
2008; Women's Wear Daily, the international fashion-industry bible, proclaims that Fashion Week Cleveland is one of the most significant industry events in the United States.
2009; Creative Director Ted Kim, of Anne Klein, comes to Cleveland in a collaboration with Dilliard's department stores.
2013; Developer Richard Pace and Founder Donald Shingler collaborate in focusing the events of Fashion Week Cleveland on downtown retail development. Fashion Week Cleveland opens its corporate office in the 5h Street Arcades on Euclid Avenue.
2013; Referring to Fashion Week Cleveland's educational programming and business development aspects, CNN reports upon the importance of a "regional fashion week". In the same piece, Fern Mallis, former head of IMG Fashion and former president of the Council of American Fashion Designers, speaks as to the benefits of such an event.