My Soapbox: Duru Armagan, organizer, Rise of the Cool Kids

You may know Duru Armagan as the owner of OTR's Sloane Boutique. This month, she styles RIse of the Cool Kids (ROCK), a projection fashion show and performance that highlights streetwear and Cincinnati's growing fashion scene. She shares the details with Soapbox's Robin Donovan.

How did you start this event?
Originally, Rise Of The Cool Kids (ROCK) was created to be part of Cincinnati Fashion Week (CFW) this past October. The event was fully supported, but we decided to push it back to produce a projection Fashion Show, taking it to the next level. CFW is still partnering with us for the event.

How did you come up with the idea for the event?
Streetwear and street style are becoming such a form of self-expression in our city. Being the owner of a boutique, I am seeing this more and more. People are really showing off their personal styles.

Because most fashion events in the city highlight only high-end or formal looks, we wanted to put something together that highlights everyday wear while incorporating local boutiques and designers.

ROCK represents the rise of the cool kids in Cincinnati. More than ever before we are seeing people staying in the city — opening businesses, starting clothing lines, opening furniture shops, restaurants, salons — the energy is higher than ever. We wanted to celebrate this while doing something different. We wanted to think outside of the box and not just put on your typical live runway show.

What resources here did you take advantage of and how did they help?
ROCK is a collaborative effort with boutiques, salons and designers from, in and around Cincinnati, including Sloane Boutique, FLOW, Instrument, Ohio Vintage Goods and Design, Ohio Against The World, Corporate, Misfit Genius, Original Thought RequiredParlour Salon, Style Edit and BrideFace. The Brush Factory, Thank You Kindly Finery, Legit Vintage, LocaL imprint and We All Need Vintage will also be joining as vendors. All businesses are owned and operated by young entrepreneurs.

What inspires you?
The resurgence of downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine and the personal style explosion that comes along with it.

What will happen during ROCK?
ROCK is Cincinnati's first ever 'projected' fashion show. It's not a live show; we recorded the video shoot at Lightborne about a month ago. Marsha Ashley and Brock Maitland of Style Edit styled the shoot with me. Parlour Salon styled hair and BrideFace did makeup. We combined looks from local boutiques to highlight 'streetwear' trends.

DJs (Deep and Sincere) will be spinning all night and we will have live performances by Gold Shoes, Archer's Paradox and The Natives, as well as pop-up boutique shops, a photo booth and art installations. All proceeds will benefit the Lower Price Hill Community School.

ROCK happens at the Bertke Electric Warehouse at 7 p.m. on Dec. 15 in Northside. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Interview by Robin Donovan

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