Kansas City can step onto the runway as a fashion-forward city with the right education and attention, said Jennifer Lapka.
Rightfully Sewn’s third annual fashion designer professional development seminar returns Saturday. With its attendance growing exponentially from year to year, the event underscores the development of Kansas City’s fashion scene, said Lapka, the founder of the Crossroads-based seamstress training program and clothing manufacturer.
Click here to learn more about mission and journey of Rightfully Sewn.
“We cannot wait for [the speakers] to step onto the stage and think, ‘Wow, who are all of these people?’ and ‘Look at this beautiful venue and look at all the development in downtown Kansas City,’” she said. “I really want them to go back to their communities and talk about us and say, ‘Kansas City is a really an emerging fashion community and we need to think about sending resources here.’”
The lineup of forward-thinking and successful fashion-preneurs from Chicago to Los Angeles is bringing home the educational stitching of the June 1 event at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, she said, noting more than 250 attendees are expected to attend.
Click here to learn more about the speakers and the timeline of the event.
Three main speakers are expected to address topics ranging from the shifting paradigm of transparency from manufacturers, to the future of shipping globally and transportation, to a discussion on inclusive sizing, she added, as well as a keynote given by Katie Johnson, founder of Carbon38 — an incubator for athletic wear brands for women.
“She’s kind of like Steve Jobs, who had so many different life and work experiences,” said Lapka. “I think she has so much to share with our community about fashion, fitness, and the entrepreneurial community [in general].”
“I’m really inspired by the fact that if you look at the fashion industry as a whole — only 14 percent of [companies] are led by women. For Carbon38, over 70 of the brands she represents are led by women,” she added. “She has a lot to say about female empowerment.”
The event is expected to also feature a networking component for students, designers, and manufacturers to connect and “forge relationships,” said Lapka.
“We have wonderful fashion design programs in the area, so the high school students who are in the audience can actually start thinking about where they can stay in the region to learn more about their chosen career,” she said.