Made in Richmond: local fashion gurus exhibit T-shirt designs

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The T-Shirt Con Fashion Show took over Bridge Storage and Art Space’s film space on Maine Avenue on Saturday, July 21, 2019. (Photos credit: Javier Anaya)

By Kathy Chouteau

Richmond’s best fashion design talent was on full display Saturday, when the T-Shirt Con Fashion Show took over Bridge Storage and Art Space’s film space on Maine Avenue and transformed it into a catwalk.

Hosted by R&R Coffee owner Phillip Mitchell and directed by Ruth De Leon Valle, the T-Shirt Con Fashion Show spotlighted the latest, made-in-Richmond T-shirt designs from the city’s rising stars.

Highlights of the special event also included vibrant, inventive performances by singer NiNi Heart, rapper/spoken word artist Jlyricevans and twin dancers Amelia and Adinah. Christina Alexandria brought enthusiastic energy to her role as event emcee and DJ SelectaRebel did outstanding work spinning the tunes. Scattered throughout the afternoon were three generous raffle giveaways of designer @Toorawgear’s swag.

Aside from the Richmond-centric focus of the fashion show, another hallmark of the event was its wide array of models, who spanned the decades in age from a few years old to a few decades. Designers whose T-shirts were showcased by models on the runway that day included @Twinxculture; @Savageicewear; @Chillandgrow; @Left.rightandbearhanded; @Toorawgear; @Safadiscustoms; @Baysickinc; and @Explore360.tv.

Youth and adults alike helped exhibit T-shirt designs the T-Shirt Con Fashion Show at Bridge Storage and Art Space on Maine Avenue on July 21, 2019 (photo by Kathy Chouteau)

Following the runway show, the T-shirt designers sold their goods at vending tables stationed throughout the event space and Bridge Storage and Art Space’s beautiful grounds. Designers appeared to be selling much of their wares to the enthusiastic crowd of attendees. Over at R&R Coffee’s onsite kiosk, Chef Rebecca Orengo McFarlane was selling some of her tasty offerings.

Mitchell previously told the Richmond Standard that the reason behind his hosting the fashion show was that he wanted to highlight the diversity of Richmond and its talented T-shirt artists.

“I want to thank the entire T-Shirt Con group from the bottom of my heart,” Mitchell said in a statement to all involved following the fashion show. “Your creativity, your energy and your passion was a beautiful thing to see. I hope every one of you had a chance to live your dream for a day. Your energy took Richmond to a new level yesterday…”

Up next for Mitchell and R&R Coffee is the Curves Fashion Show Sat., Aug. 31, which will showcase “curvy queens,” according to him. Mitchell is currently on the lookout for volunteer models, local fashion designers and a makeup artist for the show. Contact him at 415.875.0786 or via R&R Coffee’s Instagram account at @coffee.rr.

The following photos were taken by Kathy Chouteau: