Modesto Fashion Week (2016)
Dressed 209 started in 2015 as a small collection of individuals who had a passion for fashion, and saw it as a vehicle to change perceptions about ourselves as individuals, and our community at large. We had a simple ask: On the 20th day of every month, we would gather, dressed to the nines.
No occasion necessary. It was simply a reminder that we owe it to ourselves and each other to be our best selves every day, regardless of where we live or any of our other circumstances. While the monthly gatherings began to take a back seat to life in the fall and winter of 2015, the calendar turned to 2016 with a re-invigorating concept. Let's have a Modesto Fashion Week. And so, co-founders Reggie Rucker and Michael Palana set out to gather a band of fashion misfits to help see the idea come to life.
The event would consist of 5-days of activities highlighting different Downtown businesses and venues while featuring fashion and exploring the idea from the Charles Hix quote that, "Looking good isn't self-importance; it's self-respect." It started on a Wednesday with our presentation of Fashion On Film at The State Theatre, followed by an Art of Fashion gallery display at The Chartreuse Muse during the 3rd Thursday Art Walk. Friday evening was the Fashion Show of The Century at The Century, and Saturday contained a Fashion Forum of industry professionals from across the world of fashion at Greens on Tenth. We finished the week with a Mixer Over Mimosas at Ralston's Goat to reconnect all the participants from throughout the week and celebrate what we accomplished as a community.
This was the signature event that changed the trajectory of Reggie's career. The social media business was thriving and he had been developing greater connections throughout the community, but Modesto Fashion Week was the first major venture that moved Reggie from a support role to the frontman. As creator and executive producer of the 5-day event that included businesses and venues throughout Downtown and creatives from across the region, this was an exercise in connecting community on a scale that Reggie had never been responsible for prior to this endeavor. From press relations to sponsor development to event production consisting of dozens of designers, artists, models, venue coordinators, staging, food and beverage, guest speakers... the countless number of players required to come together to make this happen with a small team and even smaller budget was a minor miracle, but in the end, Reggie and his team pulled it off nearly flawlessly.