By Natalie Luci
Miami University graduate Kyle Denman made his design debut at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with his stunning collection entitled "mul·ti·po·lar—ex·ist·ence."
UP was able to talk with Denman about his experience at NYFW, where he gets his inspiration and how he uses his passion to make a difference in the community around him.
Denman had always loved sketching, design, and fashion, but presenting at New York Fashion Week on a SoHo rooftop in Manhattan was a dream he never thought would come true.
Denman was studying political science at Miami University when one day, while he was sketching, a stranger walked up to him and said "You need to be an artist."
"I only ever got her first name, and I only met her that one day, but that moment stuck with me," Denman said. "Thinking, ‘Oh, I do need to become an artist.’" That was when Denman made the decision to pursue his love of fashion.
Denman’s NYFW collection was inspired by the idea of soulmates. He explained how sometimes you find these people in the places you would least expect. Denman said a soulmate is not always romantic. They can be a friend, a family member or even a stranger you meet at the airport once and never see again; there simply needs to be a connection that draws you together.
"One of my very close friends with whom I’ve had a very strong friendship connection, but also maybe in a way a little romantic as well [helped inspire this collection]," Denman said. "Each outfit actually had a different emotion attached to it ranging from detachment, to anxiety, to the vibrational frequencies that people have on your life. Really, it was inspired by my own journey meeting different people."
After his time at Miami, Denman studied at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles where he was named valedictorian and top fashion design student, despite having no prior sewing or design experience.
"Design in particular is the perfect combination of art and also this idea of social engagement. It has a position in culture and society and history, that it can be incredibly impactful."
Denman now teaches fashion classes at New Village Girls Academy, a school that supports young women who have suffered from abuse, sex trafficking, homelessness or other injustices. Denman absolutely loves what he's doing, as he gets to combine both policy and fashion, which he says is "incredibly rewarding."
Denman went on to tell a story about a young girl in his class who was homeless, bouncing from school to school and struggling with a very toxic situation when he first started at the New Village Girls Academy. He said when she first came to class, she had about five shirts and a pair of jeans. Now, she comes to school every single day wearing a new outfit she made herself. Denman said this opportunity and working with these girls allows him to make a difference while doing something he loves and is passionate about.
Denman just finished working with the New York City Ballet, an experience he says he was so honored to be a part of. His devotion to hard work, love of life and selflessness towards the community around him enables us to never forget how incredible of a role art can play in our society.
Fun Fashion Facts
Favorite fashion show?
A: Project Runway
If you could shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Biggest Role Model?
A: My students; or Sabrina Bryan from the Cheetah Girls
One place you hope to live one day?
A: Seoul, South Korea