On Sunday, May 22, 2016, Milano Di Rouge presented its third self-assembled fashion show, The Next Stop. The event took place at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA with a full house of Milano supporters and fashion enthusiasts. Milano Di Rouge took fashion show attendees on a flight around the world making stops in London, Paris, New York City, Tokyo, and then ended the trip in Milan. Milano Di Rouge is a luxury street wear clothing line created by Milan Rouge, a 27-year old designer and entrepreneur. After launching the line back in 2012 with a "5 Cities" shirt (which later became a staple design for the brand), Milan has been able to build up a customer base of celebrities and tastemakers all over the world.
Since the start of her independent career, Milan has transitioned from a blogger to a real game changer in street wear fashion both on and off the runway. She is currently part of the Macy's Fashion Incubator in Philadelphia where she is one of five designers in residence. Milan is also an activist when it comes to bringing awareness to the importance of safe sex with her "Safe Sex Saves Lives" campaign. Efforts of the campaign have accomplished a charity basketball game in Philadelphia; a recent event that successfully brought the community together to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
With Milano Di Rouge, Milan has perfected the art of creating a true lifestyle brand. The unisex line offers everything we would need in order to live a jet-setting lifestyle — from clothing to wear while traveling, to attending a party, to working out, and to just carrying out our day-to-day activities in style. The Next Stop fashion show gave us a first look at the upcoming Milano Di Rouge collection and the entire presentation was like none other.
Milano Di Rouge is a brand that emulates progress. Our motto is, "Making Dreams Reality," and we do so by always sharing a journey through all walks of fashion. I am very excited about this upcoming show, because we will be able to travel through [Milano Di Rouge's] mind and eyes in our take of a culturally inspired fashion expedition.
Arriving at the 2300 Arena, guests were greeted by flight attendants on the Milano Di Rouge red carpet. Interviews between Milan + press representatives then took place on the red carpet as she expressed what she's most looking forward to from the night that was ahead of us. Everyone was then guided into the main event space, preparing to take their seats on the Milano Di Rouge aircraft — flight 426.
The show started off with an introduction from the energetic host. He encouraged everyone to obtain passports, as traveling the world is an invaluable experience, and he gave an overview of what we can expect to see during the presentation. Before the first trip to London, there was a ballet routine by four dancers to "Ultra Lightbeam" by Kanye West.
In London, the first looks went down the runway which resembled an actual runway you'd see at an airport. Dress shirts, distressed sweatshirts, and jerseys with the Milano Di Rouge logo were showcased in this segment, along with some looks featuring flowy metallic bottoms to make a chic statement for the upcoming season.
We were then taken to Paris, where a reenactment of the "Lady Marmalade" music video took place on the runway. Four talented performers did a dance sequence and live cover to the song by Pink, Christina Aguliera, Mya, and Lil Kim, taking us on a nostalgic trip back to the early 2000's. After their performance, the host explained how this group of performers came together as individual talents and they only had a very short time to rehearse for the show. (+ They still did an amazing job!)
In New York, more Milano Di Rouge designs went down the runway getting the crowd excited for their next release. "That red jersey is tough! — I need that," I overheard someone in the crowd say... And then in Tokyo, the last looks were showcased with complementary Tokyo-inspired hair and make-up on the models.
With styling, Milano Di Rouge was able to capture the true essence of each city while also remaining true the vision and luxurious street wear aesthetic of the brand.
The last stop aboard this Milano Di Rouge flight was Milan, where an inside look behind the brand and Milan's lifestyle as a designer and young business owner was given in the form of the video. She explained how Milano Di Rouge started, the origin of the name, and how she has been able to take off with her business by staying focused + never giving up. (You can view this video by downloading the Milano Di Rouge app.) After the Milan video presentation, the models walked down the runway for one last finale and Milan made it to the runway herself in a sequin dress with a glowing smile to match.
During her speech, Milan thanked her team for all of the hard work they put in leading up to the show. Everyone from the stylists, make-up artists, show producers, models, photographers, and volunteers had a hand in making the night a success. Milan's product developer, Armanceyyy, then surprised her by flying in from L.A. to meet her at the end of the runway with a gift. Armanceyyy expressed how she's currently a student at FIDM, and Milan was the first person to support the pursuit of her creative career by hiring her and making her a part of the Milano Di Rouge team. Milan then continued her ending remarks,
The Next Stop collection represents where I'm at in my life right now. I know that once you reach a goal, sometimes you can get content... But you never want to get content. You wanna keep growing, keep dreaming bigger. Never stop dreaming. Never give up. Just keep going. It's always about The Next Stop.
The story behind the Milano Di Rouge brand makes it more than just a clothing line; it's a representation that achieving your goals with hard work and consistency is truly possible. Milano Di Rouge (MDR) also stands for Making Dreams Reality; and that is exactly what Milan continues to do everyday. What was once her dream, is now her reality... But she has no intentions on slowing down anytime soon.
I look forward to seeing what Milano Di Rouge has in store for the future, and I can't wait to rock some pieces from the new collection! Check out the current available merchandise by visiting milanodirouge.com and follow the brand on Instagram @MilanoDiRouge + Milan's personal account @iAmMilanRouge.
For a live visual, check out video coverage of the show and behind the scenes footage from MyNewPhilly.com below!
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.