Minnesota Style in a New York Fashion
Photographers, designers, art directors, stylists, and magazine editors are the unspoken heroes of the fashion industry. While supermodels and celebrities play the face of our favorite magazines, advertisements, and runway shows, the skilled individuals that fill these pages are the brave and bright Minnesotans who work behind the camera to make magic happen. At MPLSTYLE, we’re always excited to feature the fashion industry connection between New York City and Minnesota. The people featured in “Minnesota Style in a New York Fashion” have made the pilgrimage from the Land of Lakes to the Big Apple in pursuit of a creative dream. This project is dedicated to the talented artists that have shared their craft between the two best cities in the world.
Minneapolis, MN â€“ Brooklyn, NY Associate Style Editor at Martha Stewart Living
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Melissa Colgan began her fashion career as a retail marketing and advertising intern at the Mall of America. She then assumed the incredibly valuable position of style editor at Mpls/St.Paul Magazine, where she managed several sections from shops to lifestyle to weddings. Melissa now stays busy as the Fine Jewelry and Accessories Specialist at Martha Stewart Living, where her editorials pose a blissful elegance that can only be compared to the delight of meeting her in person.
Roseville, MN – Brooklyn, NY Photographer “I take photos as they present themselves, really laid back, really natural—candid, if you will.” A powerhouse freelancer, since moving to New York, Brad has photographed for Spin, Good Magazine, Vice, and many other independent projects. His organic aesthetic is apparent in the relaxed demeanor of his subjects. Brad has a knack for capturing vibrant personalities like Coco & Breezy, Yelle, Yeasayer, Mette Towley, and Fresh Daily, at their very best. Whether he’s shooting a video, model, or celebrity, Brad brings a refreshingly chill Minnesota vibe to the chaos of New York.
Minnetonka, MN – Manhattan, NY Senior in the Fashion Design Program at Parsons School of Design “My senior thesis is inspired by the city. It’s derived from classical men’s tailoring and playing with images of skyscrapers and scaffolding—clean lines.” No need to look any further than the simple muslin samples of Taylor Brown’s designs to see how special she is. In middle school, Taylor’s thirst for fashion design led her to create dresses from trash bags. Now finishing up at Parsons School of Design, she has all the talent and resources to make her dreams come true. Armed with great style, a tough work ethic, and a sketchbook of radical beauty, Taylor will undoubtedly bring innovation to New York’s next generation of fashion designers.
Shoreview, MN – Manhattan, NY Freelance Art Director, Currently at Ann Taylor Loft “...photography, clothing, emotion, typography. You have to bring all these different elements together to create something that gives a feel at a glace. There’s a lot of psychology behind it.” If you’ve seen more than a few advertisements by Macy’s, JCPenny, Nexxus, TRESemme, St. Ives, Famous Footwear, Regis, or Ann Taylor Loft, chances are Hilary Davis had a hand in their art direction. A graduate from the University of Minnesota, after working for some of the best clients Minnesota had to offer, Hilary moved out to New York City to work for the internationally renowned advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi. Since then, Hilary has gone freelance and is currently spicing things up at Ann Taylor Loft.
Minneapolis, MN – Queens, NY Visual Stylist at Bloomingdale’s “I love that I can be creative in my job. I dress mannequins and have the freedom to do whatever I want. I’m inspired by things off the street, magazines, and people watching.” I first met Susan Kim on a fashion shoot with Filipe Marques. Her eye for good style immediately impressed me. More recently, I was not the least bit surprised to find out Bloomingdale’s had her transferred to New York. The Bloomingdale’s flagship store, where Susan is currently making an impact, is located on the infamous-forshopping 59th street. I’m particularly excited to see Susan’s work during the holidays in the coveted exposure of the Bloomingdale’s front window display.
Minneapolis, MN – Manhattan, NY Designer & Intern at Christian V. Siriano “I like to push the boundaries of gender and conventional concepts of clothing. I strive to challenge people’s idea of what clothes should be.” Having presented her work at Voltage, Envision, Cliche, Sol Inspirations, Fashion Fight Night, and the University of Minnesota, anyone who is a true member of the Minneapolis fashion community knows of Niki English. With fantastic structure and subtle plays on gender, Niki describes her dark and sophisticated designs as “not for the faint of heart.” Since her big move, she has had the pleasure of working with Alice & Trixie, Zac Posen, and now Christian V. Siriano, all while developing and growing her own brand.
Benjamin Fredrickson Minnetonka, MN – Brooklyn, NY Photographer
“As broad and generic as it sounds, I’m just documenting my life as a gay male artist in New York City with my own personal point of view.” From Perpich Arts High School to Parsons in Paris, Benjamin is a living, breathing, man of art. His intimate style of photo taking is both captivating and courageous. In addition to managing public interest in his personal work, including his own exhibition at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design, Benjamin has been commissioned by Ice Rod, Jake Yuzna, and various independent publications.
St. Paul, MN – Brooklyn, NY Assistant Designer at Bass Shoes “I love the traveling that comes with my job. I get to see Tokyo and Los Angeles... and I love being in New York.” While the word “cute” may describe Ashley’s style and sweet demeanor, “cute” does not do justice to the hard-pressed businesswoman she becomes on a daily basis. Before moving to New York, Ashley left her mark on the Twin Cities with the design company, Calpurnia Peach, which she co-founded with Luci Kandler. Upon her arrival to New York, Ashley worked with the legendary Rachel Antonoff on her F/W 2011 Collection. While Minneapolis may be grieving the loss of a Voltage fashion show favorite, this was just the beginning for Ashley Wokasch. She currently spends her days jet-setting and meeting with footwear luminaries for Bass to bring us the “cutest” shoes money can buy.
Coco & Breezy
Minneapolis, MN – Brooklyn, NY Designers “We’re really inspired by music... It’s crazy because we’ll go from orchestra music to dubstep to Drake. We’ll listen to different music to change our mood while we’re designing.” After graduating high school, these fearless twins trekked out to New York and dove headfirst into one of the most competitive industries in the world. In truth, these ambitious women are building an empire. From their features in magazines to their kids line to their growing celebrity client list, which includes Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Ashanti, Coco & Breezy have already made a name for themselves. As personalities, they make appearances in music videos, host runway shows, guest lecture at local schools, and enjoy engaging with their community. Coco & Breezy have a future so bright, they got to wear shades.
Minneapolis, MN – Brooklyn, NY Hair Stylist “I think I’ve been very lucky. A lot of great things have happened from meeting the right people at the right time.” From styling hair on the runways of Paris to grooming Jake Gyllenhal for the cover of Vanity Fair, Adam has come a long was from his education at the Aveda School in Minneapolis. Adam attributes much of his success to his mentorship under hairstyling legend, Oribe Canales. In addition to winning the Wella National Trend Vision Gold Award, Adam has worked with Naomi Campell, Cher, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Lopez, and for countless editorials. With a surprisingly humble and genuine personality, Adam finds joy working as an educator for various salons and schools in both Minneapolis and New York.
Photography & Design by Drew Krason Writing & Interviews by John-Mark