Let’s Connect in 2021!

Women wearing a off the shoulder blue dress at Indiana Fashion Week in front of a group of people
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When I think about fashion’s social impact, I think back to working as a Case Manager in 2003. One of my jobs was to observe youth behaviors in a classroom setting. I would often see kids — whether withdrawn, outspoken, shy, social, etc. — be drawn together by one common thread; their talents for writing or drawing and their love of fashion.

When I think about fashion and creativity’s impact on health and well-being, I think back to working as a research assistant in 2010. I’d often visit patients with Alzheimer’s, Depression, Diabetes, etc whose symptoms would seemingly subside when they talked about their love of music, art, knitting, and other creative forms.

When I think about why fashion drives me, I think about having been surrounded by the most talented creators all of my life. It’s saddened me to see many of these creators not pursue their chosen careers or leave Indiana to do so due to lack of resources (among many other things). This is why I founded Indiana Fashion Foundation — to be a bridge to resources and provide students and professionals with tools necessary to develop businesses and the expertise to build an infrastructure that creates a sustainable industry in Indiana.

What comes to your mind when you think of fashion?

I ask you to think of fashion as an innovative way to connect academia and creativity for youth development. Think of it as a way to create generational learning and collaboration. Think of fashion as a vessel to support local businesses and train the next generation of leaders. Think of it as a way to develop sustainable resources that can benefit the economy. I ask you to think of fashion as art, a form of self-expression and as a business.

Fashion is a connector and I’ve seen it connect people of all generations, races and cultures. Fashion is a common thread between all of us because fashion is clothes (and we all wear clothes). I ask you to support our efforts as we provide programs to enrich Indiana’s creative economy. We have some amazing opportunities coming up, including a talk with the President of the CFDA, a spring fashion camp for youth, and internship opportunities. Please, take advantage of these opportunities as we endeavor to Connect in 2021.

To Fashion, Impact and Beyond!
Denisha Dlang Ferguson

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