April 19, 2019
Justin Ikerionwu
Muenfua Lewis

He kept telling me how this year was going to be different. His exact words,  this next show I was to go to that next level. Mark is a man with a lot of vision, what makes him unique is that he’ll see that vision through. With the help of event coordinator extraordinaire L’Chelle Green and the rest of the Kritiq team they put on a show in which the energy was unlike any show prior. This type of energy and creativity Kansas City needs and loves. The Kritiq Fashion Show has truly carved a lane for itself within the fashion scene in Kansas City.

“I never looked at it as if something was missing, Mark stated. I just looked at it as “what can I contribute?”. I wanted to contribute culture. I wanted to contribute our history and our story. Fashion is about art, art is beauty defined by eye of the beholder. Every industry has a gatekeeper, they tend to never go outside the box. I don’t like gatekeepers, they take their job too serious. I want to have fun, I want the designers to be them, I want the energy to bring audience to their feet. That’s The Kritiq. The culture”.

Model Crystal Rivera at the Kritiq

You couldn’t help but to feel just how different things were as you pulled up to the venue. I started thinking to myself, what do they have up their sleeve’s. We got checked in and I looked up to a space curated from top to bottom. Few words would do the visual justice.

The show began with Wesley Hamilton as the host and he quickly got straight into the first designers. Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas was up first and showed us pieces put together and modeled by children. The Kritiq and Goodwill partnership has been amazing so far. They provided the Kritiq designers with the funds to put unique pieces together for the children. These kids took the runway and the crowd loved it, this got the show off right. Throughout the night this theme would continue, some of these kids were walked as if they had 10+ years experience. They did their best to steal the show. This year had an amazing lineup of designers and models, from all styles, something I really enjoyed.

“What’s different in this Showcase, is that there are more streetwear brands that are involved. There’s more energy! All previous years there were usually 2-3 streetwear brands max and the other 5 would be high fashion. We balanced it out well this Showcase. The venue was sick too, it added an additional “wow” to the experience. Everyone, including photographers who shot other fashion shows said it’s their favorite thus far, that it’s not your typical show nor venue,” Mark explained.

There is nothing typical about the Kritiq. This was the show the culture would be proud of. ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY. That was all the second half of the show was about the moment House of Rena collection walked through that back curtain and Mark had grabbed the mic the entire vibe in the room went up a notch. House of Rena killed it in their yellow pieces. The way they came down the runway demanded everyone in the rooms attention. A true highlight of the night.

Wesley Hamilton host of the Kritiq

Chris SWAP posing for MADE MOBB at the Kritiq

The party started when Made Mobb came out the back. Draped in their next season’s collection they made sure nobody in the building was seated. As each model came down more and more people rose from their seats. The center of the show quickly went from runway to house party. The energy was unmatched, if you were there Sunday I’m sure the feeling in your spirit is rising up just thinking about what took place as the Made Mobb team took the stage.

This was a great show. Something I saw go from ideas to reality and I can say it exceeded my imagination.

I asked Mark what his biggest takeaways from the experience were and also his favorite moments. “Just seeing the vision come to life. I mean it’s an airport hangar, he laughed. When we first went in my first thoughts were “this gon cost a lot of money” but I wanted to push the envelope and really give people an experience. I wanted to show people you can dream big and go big. My team really deserves the credit though if we are being honest. That’s my biggest thing, just seeing them own their lanes and mastering them. We’re still fairly new even though it’s been 5 years, he said laughingly. There’s so much to learn”.

Congrats on another dope show. The city is ready for the next.