Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
Fashion Loves Columbus!
Jennifer Sadler and Sydney Cologie

During the past couple of decades, Columbus has been quietly transforming into a fashion powerhouse.  Home to some of the largest and most creative clothing retailers in the country, the capital city is recognized as one of the top fashion centers in the United States.  Clothing retail giants such as the multi-billion dollar empire, L Brands, whose lines include Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Henri Bendel and La Senza; Abercrombie & Fitch; DSW; Lane Bryant and The Limited all have their headquarters here.  And according to economic data compiled by the research firm EMSI, Columbus has more than 500 working fashion designers, putting it third in the per-capita rankings, right up there with New York and Los Angeles.

With fashion recruits who’ve been scouted from around the globe and aspiring clothing designers who hone their craft at the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD), talent can be found around every corner in Columbus.

In 2010, CCAD was recognized as having one of the top fashion design programs in the world by, a fashion-industry news outlet.  Many talented graduates from CCAD end up working for big retailers based here, and fortunately, this creative class of young entrepreneurs ends up sticking around.  Many designers wrap up careers at these big brands to open their own businesses here.

It’s no surprise that fashion has become increasingly intertwined with our city’s arts and culture scene.  In 2010, we made Forbes’ Top 25 Best Shopping Cities in the U.S.  From high-end luxury stores like Tiffany’s and Kate Spade at Easton Town Center (also home to many of our big retailers’ flagship stores), to neighborhoods like the Short North Arts District lined with eclectic, trendy, independent clothing and jewelry boutiques, Columbus offers a unique shopping experience.

We’re also a city that loves a great fashion show.  From the spectacular CMH Fashion Week (CMHFW) and CCAD’s annual Senior Fashion Show, to the fantasy costumes of HighBall Halloween and affordable couture featured during Alternative Fashion Week to edgier shows like Drauma and Trauma, Columbus is bursting at the seams with new styles, designs and ideas.

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Connie Richards & Olivia Midnight: Kids Interview Bands Artist Profile
Liz Bourgeois Headshot textile enthusiast, Broadway costume designer, founder of Team Chipmunk
Liz Bourgeois

By Jennifer Sadler

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with thousands of users per month. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with some of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community.

This month’s profile features Liz Bourgeois, founder of  Team Chipmunk.  Bourgeois is a textile enthusiast, Broadway costume designer, history lover and a mother of two.  Before founding Team Chipmunk in 2009, she lived in New York  and Los Angeles , and earned a MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. 

“Columbus is the most welcoming and supportive community of creative I’ve lived in, and I’ve been in a few.  There is an amazing energy here, creativity and innovation percolates in all corners. Columbus, right now, has limitless potential, growth, and possibility for many of us. It is a city on the rise, with many years of positive progress ahead, and a smart creative and eclectic population with a vision for the future.”

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Sneak Peek

Evolution Theatre Company Presents BARE: A Pop Opera

Evolution Theatre Company consistently brings new and exciting productions to Columbus audiences. This September they will present the area premier of BARE: A Pop Opera with book imagesCA8T771Jby Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere, music by Damon Intrabartolo and lyrics by Jon Hartmere.

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Columbus College of Art & Design Hosts Internationally Renowned Artists

Internationally renowned sculptor Diana Al-Hadid is headlining Columbus College of Art & Design’s new exhibitions with a self-titled solo show running through October 11. Born in Syria and raised in Ohio, Al-Hadid makes haunting works that convey a world turned upside down.

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Columbus Invitational Arts Competition Presents Visual & Performing Arts Showcases

Begun in 2012 as part of the 200 Columbus Bicentennial Celebration, the Columbus Invitational Arts Competition (CIAC) has rapidly established a reputation for recognizing and promoting organizations that combine artistic excellence with exceptional community involvement.

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GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.