Anne Kon started designing clothes with teddy bears

When Anne Cohn’s grandmother told her, “If you want clothes for your teddy bear, you have to make it yourself,” she had no idea it would pave her way to a career in fashion.

She was so convincing that I went home and started sewing things. There weren’t any patterns for the teddy bear’s clothes, so I had to make the patterns. “That’s how I started making patterns,” Cohen says.

Kuehn now has a company, Design to Fashion, that works with fashion designers on product development through model making education and artistic fashion design. It’s an aspect of fashion that not many people see or think about before a beautiful dress hits store shelves, she says.

“I tell fashion-conscious teens that it’s not all about art and design and a little bit of sewing. It’s building clothes in 3D. There’s a lot of math. It gets complicated and gets very technical,” says Cohen.

Click to enlarge Anne Cohen Designs.  Photo by KEIFER HUNNIFORD

Anne Cohen Designs.

Kiefer Honeyford Photography

She created her company to help designers make their vision a reality. Some come with concepts, others with illustrations. You work with them to develop the product they have in mind, finalize the design, and create a digital style file that’s ready to go to the factory manufacturer. She wants designers to know that they don’t have to do all this on their own. “A lot of designers take their work to a point and get stuck,” Cohn says. “They think they have to figure it out. They don’t realize that getting to a technical designer is the next step.”

Quinn also heads her own design brand, Eliza and Edgar Clifton Fashion. The name uses a combination of her middle name, her grandmother’s name, and her father’s name. The process allows her to extend her pattern making skills to create extreme designs. Her ensemble includes a three-point jacket and sheet music-inspired dress with invisible arrows to give her a discreet look.

She is now preparing to present her collection in Denver magazine On Friday, January 14, the annual fashion show, fifteen models will wear menswear and womenswear that will be a mix of previously shown, new ready-to-wear and custom pieces.

Denver fashion show in its ninth year. It started before Denver magazine Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director George Dabeet when he was in college studying event management. “I always dressed very funky, and I looked around, I just thought people weren’t dressed well. I wanted to do something about it, and make a change. So I went to the office where they set up school clubs, and they supported that. I started the club,” says Dabit. I took him from there.”

Click to enlarge George Dabit - GEORGEZ DABIT

George Debit

George Debit

The show will include designs by Corner of Sunshine, Anaabel Jacobs, Eliza, Edgar Clifton and PowItIsMe.

Dabit is turned on Denver magazine, published annually, since 2011. He handles most of the production tasks and loves to feature a large variety of fashion, models, hair and makeup artists. For him, fashion is a passion, especially working with local creators in the industry. He says, “I love to show new designers. I know a lot of them don’t have the opportunity, because fashion shows want big names. There are a lot of people who aren’t big names, and it’s fun to work with, and they come up with such creative ideas.”

Click to enlarge Anne Kuehn's designs will appear at the DenVhere fashion show.  Photo by KEIFER HUNNIFORD

Anne Kuehn’s designs will appear at the DenVhere fashion show.

Kiefer Honeyford Photography

For Kuehn, who has walked many DenVhere fashion shows in the past, it’s a chance to prove what she can do. “I use my brand to push the boundaries of pattern-making to create a portfolio,” she says. “I want designers to know that I can do things that are more complex than regular clothes.”

Cohn says the kit she’s offering at the fashion show isn’t for sale, but she’s considering creating patterns and sewing kits that include pre-cut patterns and fabrics so that others can venture into sewing the pieces themselves. She says the biggest problem she’s heard from the designers she works with is the lack of good seamstresses and quality workmanship in the factories.

“They can’t produce high-end clothes; the quality just isn’t there,” she says. I have clients that go from one plant to another, and they just can’t get the samples up to par.”

Quinn is president of the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. She says she is currently working on a change business apprenticeship program.

The Ministry of Labor approved the work procedures. So, now any modification work approved by the association can use this software to train people. “We want to create a quality standard.” She says she is considering setting up the next program to build garments in factories to improve manufacturing across the country.

She hopes she can help more designers bring their visions to fruition. “I love working with clients. More creative ideas come out of working with other designers than I can come up with on my own,” says Cohen. “Just seeing the excitement on a designer’s face when they see something come to life through posters, scale, and sales ready—it’s a Really alive when the finished product starts to sell. It is really our pleasure.”

Denver Magazine Fashion Show, 8 p.m. Friday, January 14, Vista Ridge Community Center, 2750 Vista Parkway, Erie. Get tickets, $30-$60, and more info at denvheremag.com.

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