November 16, 2022
From pop culture influences to collective aesthetics, join us in an intimate conversation with Minnesota-based and nationally recognized costume and fashion designers. In this one of a kind presentation, their extraordinary work will be discussed, including an exploration on the connections between costume design and the fashion industry. Learn how dreams are made and stories are brought to life, across stages and runways—and beyond!
RSVPs are now closed.
This event is free and open to the public. Walk-up attendance is still welcome. Light refreshments will be served and cash bar will be available.
About the panelists
Sarah Bahr, Costume and Scenic Designer
Sarah is a Twin Cities-based freelance costume and scenic designer for theater, opera, and dance. Her work has been featured with companies including the Minnesota Opera, Jungle Theater, Ten Thousand Things Theater, Trademark Theater, Guthrie Theater, Theater Mu, Theater Latte Da, Penumbra Theater, History Theater, Mixed Blood Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Mill City Summer Opera, San Diego Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and Vail Dance Festival. In addition to freelance design work, Sarah teaches design courses at various universities and advocates for emerging theater artists to have meaningful opportunities. She is also an advocate for equity among designers and technicians in the performing arts industry. She holds a Design and Technical Theatre MFA from the University of Minnesota, a Studio Art MA from New York University, and a Design and Technical Theatre BFA from University of Minnesota Duluth. Sarah is a United Scenic Artist Local 829 Union Member.
Alexis Brazil, Fashion Designer – The Lexurie Collection
In 2019, Alexis created a women’s apparel line primarily focused on statement garments. Over the last 3 years, the designer has honed in on the brand's purpose, structure, and foundation. With a mission of cultivating and sustaining a luxury fashion house, The Lexurie Collection focuses on inclusive sizing, affordability, and the reinvestment of profits back into communities of color, with a heavy emphasis on celebrating diversity and culture. In Alexis' own words, “It wasn’t until recently that I knew why God placed this gift upon me. My goal will always be to pour back into my community. To give back to the pillar of my community, the black woman. To uplift, encourage and honor her. There’s something powerful that awakens in a woman when she is clothed with confidence and not always pouring from an empty cup. My purpose is to replenish that cup of confidence by providing an experience that makes you feel like the garment is a bonus. As cliché as it sounds, the truth will always remain, when you look good you feel good and it shows."
IG: @thelexuriecollection Website: lexurie.com
Samantha Crossland, Fashion Designer – Samantha Rei
Samantha R. Crossland began her fashion design career with her label Blasphemina’s Closet, one of the first Lolita clothing lines in the US, in 2000. After closing Blasphemina’s Closet in September of 2013, she started anew with her new eponymous label Samantha Rei. Samantha Rei embodies the sweetness, femininity, and attention to detail that has come to be expected from the designer.
Samantha Rei draws her inspiration from such illustrators as Chris Riddell, Brom, Tony DiTerlizzi, Brett Helquist, and Mihara Mitsukazu, as well as stories like Alice in Wonderland and Snow White. Her hero Alexander McQueen, along with designers Vivienne Westwood, Hirooka Naoto, John Galliano, and Anna Sui, have all influenced her style. In 1998, Samantha began attending the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minnesota, choosing to hone her skills as an illustrator and painter so she could pursue comic book art. After graduating in 1999, she spent some time at the College of Visual Arts (CoVA) in Saint Paul to major in illustration, before continuing her education at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College for Apparel Technologies. She’s been featured in Huffington Post, Shojo Beat, the American Gothic and Lolita Bible, Gothic Beauty, Glamour UK, and Vogue UK. Samantha was named one of City Pages' 2014 “Artists of the Year” and Best of the Twin Cities 2016 “Best Fashion Show,” and as well as 2016 and 2017 Reader’s Choice “Best Local Fashion Designer.” In 2015, she authored and illustrated a how-to book on subculture fashion design called Steampunk and Cosplay Fashion Design and Illustration. Samantha was a contestant on season 16 of Lifetime’s Project Runway in 2017, the final season to appear on the station.
IG: @samanthareiofficial Website: samantharei.com
Susan Leppke, Chief Operating Officer (COO) – Fashion Week MN
Susan Leppke is the Chief Operating Officer of Fashion Week Minnesota, and is a strategic business leader who drives transformational change in a variety of industries. She has worked with corporations, governments, trade associations, national committees, and across varied industries from health care to technology to drive innovation and create long-term partnerships. During the day, Susan serves as a Senior Director for AABB, where she is responsible for advancing advocacy and driving public policy initiatives on improving patient access to transfusion medicine and biotherapies. Susan is also a speaker and facilitator in many different forums and presents on a wide range of topics including health equity, business development, and personal branding. She is passionate about advocating for patients and individuals, and applies her tactical and strategic problem-solving skills to improve people's lives. In her free time, she enjoys offering her talents by serving on boards in the Twin Cities, running, dancing, and listening to opera.
Ryan J. Moller, Costume Designer
Ryan is a Minnesota native, growing up in Anoka. He holds a BA from Rockford University, and an MFA from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Following graduation, he moved to New York City, where he began a career as a dresser on various Broadway shows including Hamilton, Mean Girls, Miss Saigon, American Psycho, Rock of Ages, and Memphis. He has worked freelance as a designer for regional theaters all over the world on shows such as: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast (Tuacahn Center for the Arts); Kinky Boots, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Treasure Island (Fulton Theatre); Rock of Ages (Norwegian Cruise Line); The Tempest (National Theatre of Bermuda); and La Donna Del Lago (Metropolitan Opera). He was a guest artist at UNC Greensboro, designing Shakespeare in Love for the school in 2019. Following Beauty and the Beast at The Ordway, Ryan will design productions of The Play That Goes Wrong, The Wiz, Titanic, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in early 2023. He has been a proud member of the costume designers union since 2013.
IG: @RjMoller Website: RyanMollerDesigns.com
Marcus Styles, Stylist and Brand Creator – VZNCY
Marcus Styles is a stylist and brand creator in Minneapolis. In 2020 he co-founded his branding agency, VZNCY, which is dedicated to helping small businesses stand out through bespoke branding. Now, he is launching his own stylist business helping everyday people with capsule collections and curating their closets.
IG: @vzncy Website: vzncy.com Website: marcusstyles.com