Come Backstage to DSW’s First-Ever Runway Redone Event in NYC

This post is in paid partnership with DSW.


In life, there are some rules you’re meant to follow, and others that are meant to be broken. Say what? Yup, you read that correctly.  We believe that in order to live a fulfilled life, you might need to bend the guidelines every once in a while—and some just really never made sense, to begin with. 

Let’s take the rules of the runway for example. For as long as we can remember, there has been a standard size, weight, and height that qualifies you to walk. Create & Cultivate and DSW recognize these outdated criteria and decided it was high time we throw out the rule book. So, in honor of fashion season, we joined forces with DSW to host an inclusive runway show called Runway Redone that was all about breaking down cultural barriers and celebrating inclusivity, individuality, and self-expression. 

This was no ordinary fashion show. For the casting-call, DSW opened it’s entries to everyone across America. Instead of choosing people based on their appearances, we looked for those who have big personalities, charisma, and a unique story to tell—because that’s what really translates to beauty on the runway. The response was monumental with over 4,500 heartfelt entries and we read every single one. 

After choosing the final 10 winners—which took an entire week—we flew them to New York City for a full day of beauty and confidence workshops hosted by Be Strong Representative, Shira Blumenthal, in conversation with model, activist & runway host, Hunter McGrady and Be Strong Speaker, Kechi Okwuchi. Be Strong is DSW Gives’ philanthropic partner and were founded as a national non-profit organization focused on preventing bullying and inspiring positivity and confidence. The Runway Redone models took part in one-on-one styling sessions with celebrity stylist Samantha Brown and glam sessions to perfect their looks for the fashion show. The following day, Hunter McGrady introduced our incredible winners who walked the runway alongside five DSW-selected stylish influencers and five DSW store associates to showcase the brand’s stunning new Fall ‘19 campaign. It was truly a moving experience to witness what a runway show should really look like—inclusive and vibrant. 

The message was clear—we want representation, we want to see ourselves reflected on the runway, and in the clothing and footwear we want to wear. Our hope is that the momentum from this show lives on and becomes the norm for every fashion week. Follow along for some incredible behind-the-scenes moments caught on camera at the show—we hope you enjoy them as much as we do. 

Watch the full fashion show here! #DSWRunwayRedone

Click to view the event slideshow!