Fashion Week off? MNfashion goes on hiatus

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 1/5/2014

After five strong years, local fashion organization MNfashion has announced "The Shows" and "Voltage" are on indefinite hiatus.

Ivan Idland's collection at the Shows

Ivan Idland's collection at the Shows

Ivan Idland's collection at "The Shows"

Local fashion organization MNfashion has put on the brakes indefinitely, announcing today that it will not produce its signature events "The Shows" and "Voltage" this spring.

According to the statement issued by MNfashion marketing director Katie Schutrop: "Due to our quick growth as a nonprofit organization run by all volunteers, MNfashion has come to a point where we have outgrown our current business practice. It is now important that we take a closer look at day-to-day operations so as to continue to serve retailers, emerging designers and established designers in the best way possible."

If the signs were there, they came in the form of a last-minute version of "Voltage" last spring, which came after a year-long hiatus following the departure of "Voltage" founder and producer Anna Lee (also the founder of MNfashion) in 2011. The organization has since come into the hands of a series of executive directors, including Emily Blanche, Amy Overson and current director Tara Murphy. But despite 2011's return of "Voltage" and a strong showing of some of the Twin Cities' best designers in last fall's "Shows" -- including Christopher Straub, Lindsey Hopkins, Samantha Rei, Lisa Hackwith and Caroline Hayden -- MNfashion has decided that, for whatever reason, "the way we do business right now could not fully support all designers (from emerging to veterans) and stores in the manner they need and deserve," according to an open letter posted by Murphy on Thursday.

As for whether Minneapolis-St. Paul Fashion Week will still take place this February, Schutrop says that "many local designers are planning their own events" but MNfashion will not be coordinating it nor maintaining an online calendar. It looks like it's up to independent designers, shops and producers to make the week happen on their own.

[Photo by Rhea Pappas/MNfashion]