by Suzanne Huntzinger | photos from Paris fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week

Midwesterners may be more laid back and casual than those who live in high fashion cities from New York to LA to Paris and Milan, but we have a sense of style all our own. Plans for Midwest Fashion Week 2022 are in the works, returning to an in-person show after a long hiatus. The show, which showcases quintessential Midwestern style, has been virtual for the past two years due to the recent pandemic.

Berny Martin, Founder of Midwest Fashion Week, and other local fashion industry leaders have decided to start making plans for a Fall show after an uncertain start to the year. While no official date or location has been announced, Martin and his team are ready to move forward with a show that will focus on all that Midwest Fashion Week has accomplished since its humble beginnings in 2006.

The past 16 years have been a journey starting with a simple compilation of available clothing lines versus a focus on specific designers. But each year, the show integrated more lines from specific designers. “Once the people in Indy became intrigued, the rest of the industry wanted to know who was involved and it grew in popularity,” Martin says.

While Midwest Fashion Week doesn’t bring the high numbers that New York does, Martin has always made it to be a show that highlights a broad range of pieces including wedding wear, casual wear, career wear and children’s wear. “In New York, it’s not uncommon to see women wearing headpieces, or afghans, and very daring pieces” Martin says, “But here the culture is more relaxed, and the fashions are more conservative, comfortable and functional. We want to articulate who we are on the runway.”


Martin’s vision for the event is to show the world Midwestern culture through fashion. “It’s our opportunity to express our culture on a global scale,” he says. “New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other international arenas have a more flashy, glamorous style. But the conservative Midwest has a more casual vibe. Our show features the functional but classy designs that define who we are and it’s time to stake our claim in the industry.”

While the Midwest’s style has always been more comfortable and functional, the global pandemic has added another layer to the designs that will be featured in the 2022 Midwest Fashion Week. “So many people are working from home, and they wear more active wear or loungewear,” Martin says, “This is our chance to influence the global market with the style the Midwest already defined.”

The show will do much more than just capture the trends of the Midwest. It will prove that the Midwest is also very diverse. “There is a stereotype that the Midwest has no diversity. Proving our own diversity and fashion has always been one of our challenges. But in the Midwest, Minneapolis has United States’ largest Somalian population, and Indianapolis has a large Asian population,” Martin says, “We have to connect the bridges to celebrate diversity.”

Martin has been an ambassador for that diversity starting with the models. He explains, “Our models come from very diverse backgrounds. Some are Muslim, Hindu, or Asian, and they see the differences within each other as they express themselves and their culture. They take that and pass it along on the runway.” Additionally, he has worked closely with the International Marketplace Coalition to give local designers of diverse backgrounds a much needed platform to showcase their designs.

This fall, Berny and his team will work to showcase the diversity of cultures and trendsetting styles that exist in the Midwest. Visit to stay up to date and find details for attending the Fall 2022 show.