This past Sunday, Denver Fashion Week (DFW) held a sold-out modeling workshop to help prepare for model auditions on July 31. The day consisted of a presentation from DFW Model Coordinator Nikki Strickler who talked about what to bring and what to expect — followed by an opportunity for models to practice their walk.
The upcoming DFW takes place on Nov. 11-20 and is Colorado’s largest fashion showcase featuring emerging designers, local boutiques, national brands, hairstylists, makeup artists and models.
Denver Fashion Week prides itself on being all-inclusive, uplifting and supportive of emerging talent. Because of this, models range from various heights, body types, ages and experience levels. For Dominic “DJ” Fernandez, it was his first time attending the model workshop and auditioning.
“My favorite part of the workshop has to be when we walk the runway because you get to be yourself and I like how [Strickler] tells you corrections,” Fernandez said.
For many local models, DFW gives them the opportunity to begin their modeling careers and modeling workshops allow newcomers to rehearse prior to auditions.
Another first-timer was Ashlee Stephenson, who is looking forward to her first audition experience and thought the workshop was very helpful, especially the one-on-one coaching.
“I learned about what to bring to auditions and how to present myself better to whoever is at casting,” Stephenson said. “I also learned how to leave an impression and not be another face in the crowd, to really make that impact and make myself be known.”
DFW is the perfect opportunity for models to immerse themselves in the Denver fashion community and model Penelope Rayfield couldn’t agree more. She said the model workshop is one of the best ways to meet new people and learn about DFW.
“I learned that you should be very confident when you’re walking and that you have to stand tall and keep your shoulders back,” Rayfield said.
Walking the runway requires unique skills — models need to exude confidence, great posture and character. For many newcomers, this may seem daunting. However, model Lauren Reedy said it was beneficial to know what’s to come at auditions.
“I feel like I learned key points about what to keep in mind when doing my walk and that was really helpful,” Reedy said. “It was nice to see what to expect. Nikki was really knowledgeable and it was a fun experience.”
As someone who usually attends DFW every year as an audience member, Danny O’Reilly is looking forward to seeing what goes on behind the scenes if he makes the casting.
“I want to be a part of that creative process like working with the designer,” O’Reilly said. “I’m an Art Director myself so it would be nice to get involved and see behind the scenes of production and how it comes together.”
Because of DFW’s age inclusivity, there is a large number of kids who are auditioning for the first time, one being Anna Nicole Silverstone. She said showcasing her sassiness on the runway is one of her favorite parts of runway modeling.
“I learned how to be confident through my smile and eyes,” Silverstone said.
Similarly, Molly Romero has never walked a runway before. She said she learned how to calm her nerves and be more confident.
“I learned about posture which is really difficult for me, so that was nice to know for the Denver Fashion Week audition,” Romero said. “And how to walk on a tightrope, that’s new to me because most people don’t walk with one foot in front of the other.”
Save the date for DFW Nov. 11-20 and model auditions on July 31. Sign up for model auditions on July 31 and to be DFW volunteer here. Contact DFW Model Coordinator Nikki Strickler for more information about more model workshop opportunities.
All photography by Lauren Lippert.