As you probably followed on Instagram, I had a crazy week last week (but a good crazy!). I was recently selected by supermodel Karlie Kloss to walk in the runway show for the debut of her new capsule collection with Express.
As background, Karlie Kloss has been working with Express on a new collection for over a year. When deciding on the launch event for the release, she really wanted to step out the box-- so chose her hometown (and mine!) of Saint Louis! The venue, "The Pageant", was where Karlie walked her first runway show for a charity event at age 13. This time around, she was on the design side of the production, while hiring women of all races, shapes and sizes to walk in her collection.
What I really liked about the show was that Karlie wanted everyday people to walk in her show. Whether it be fashion bloggers, photographers, or military women, she wanted a diverse group of boss-like ladies! I felt honored to be handpicked by Karlie, especially in a time where representation in the fashion industry is more important than ever. After the show, I was able to speak to Teen Vogue about my experience in the runway:
"Growing up, I rarely saw anyone who dressed like I do in magazines or on television, so I feel very proud and grateful to have been able to walk in Karlie's show," Summer told Teen Vogue. "I hope to be able to bridge the gap between mainstream and modest fashion for my sisters around the world."
To explain how the two days went down, I arrived to the set up in downtown Saint Louis to meet Karlie and work with a stylist on three looks for the runway show. To be genuinely forthright, Express was extremely accommodating for my personal dressing. From providing a private room for changing, to a female stylist to dress me & wrap my scarf in between outfit changes for the runway, I really appreciated being a part of the project.
The next day, the group of runway girls & I headed to downtown Saint Louis to tour the arch! We had such a fun time shooting with Express and their drone, and I can't wait to share future footage and videos as they go live on their site.
After lunch at PI Pizza, we headed to the rehearsals at the Pageant. For the makeup looks, the stylist wanted us all to be in a nude face with a bold red lip (loved it!). We ran rehearsals on the runway with the famous Stephen Galloway, a top runway coach who has worked with Karlie and several models on Fashion Week shows. He was SO much fun (and funny!).
Right before hitting the runway, Karlie gave us amazing pep talks and stood behind the runway stage to encourage us each as we walked the runway each time. She really wanted to be part of every step of the way, and I appreciate her being so active in the two day process! Also, Karlie and I actually wore the same suit for our final look, which was quite awesome!
Here are more images featured on VOGUE!
This was really a one of a kind, unique experience, and especially the fact that it took place in my hometown of Saint Louis. I often find myself flying out of Saint Louis to fashion capital destinations, so when Karlie is able to bring the entire Express team and create so much hype in the city we both call home, it couldn't get better. Thank you Express and Karlie for the wonderful week, and I can't wait to rock my new collection of Karlie Kloss x Express outfits!