The Fashion Scene Next Door: Who are the Designers in Your City?

Indianapolis fashion designers

How do you discover new brands? If you're not in New York, LA, or another major city you might think your city doesn't have a fashion scene. I know when I started sharing the inaugural Indiana Fashion Week event with my Facebook friends I got some comments with this sentiment.

"Indiana has a Fashion Week?!" etc.

For a variety of reasons, many designers choose not to move to a big market and to instead make an impact where they are. After spending some time getting acquainted with the local fashion community in Indianapolis, I've met many designers who deserve more attention.

Here are a few designers with whom I had the privilege of being on the first Fashion Designer Panel at Newfield's Museum.


Bond Girl No. 9 (Misty Dodson)

"I would describe Bond Girl No. 9 as 'dramatic and gracefully chic.' My main goal is to give the wearer feelings of power, beauty, and grace so that when she wears my designs she feels powerful, beautiful and sexy. I want her to feel that she can take on the world!"

Misty says her inspiration is the style, beauty, and on and off-screen work of Cate Blanchett, an actress, and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.

"Cate is a woman who isn't afraid to be herself."

Her designs have even been featured in Seventeen Magazine.


Witty by Codi (Codi Banks)

Cody describes her brand as "Royal, Modern, & Witty.”

Her main inspiration comes from style icons like Tracer Ellis Ross and Sarah Jessica Parker.

“Their chic and quirky styles constantly keep me inspired."

All of her beautiful outfits are made with eye-catching fabrics and colors with dramatic features.

"Why would you want to look like everyone else?" Cody asked the audience rhetorically.

emily gartner designs

Emily Gartner Designs

Quite possibly the Queen of Cool, Emily Gartner creates her wares with history and art in mind.

"Art + History = Fashion" is her designing mantra. And this is apparent. Her process involves catching inspiration from Indiana locations, such as historic stained glass windows, creating art based on this inspiration, then transposing it to various fashion items like rain boots, umbrellas, and totes.

Every piece has an interesting story that people in her community can relate to.

"I am inspired by people from our past who are so important for our present lives and I love historic landmarks as well. I like to put a modern twist on our past through fashion."

tokyo twiggy

Tokyo Twiggy (Jen Felts)

Jen Felts, the creator of Tokyo Twiggy describes her brand as "individualistic, spunky and cultural." When she was just 14, she moved to Japan where she discovered there were no rules when it came to Harajuku street fashion. 

"I loved how expressive it was and I wanted to do my own line."

It's also worth mention that Jen Felts won the Emerging Designer Contest during the inaugural Indiana Fashion Week in 2019.

angela mariah handbags

Angela Mariah Handbags

My brand was also on the panel but you can learn more by clicking here.

There are probably local designers to discover in your city too. There's something very satisfying about purchasing a piece from someone you know who made it just down the street. There's a fashion scene almost everywhere if you look for it.


-Tara, Founder/Designer: Angela Mariah

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