Midwest Fashion Week is dedicated to empowering the creative efforts of the clothing design community through events that connect people to take positive action for the common good while discovering new ways to express individuality through fashion.
Since it began, MFW has been committed to building a lasting relationship with the community. While we love fashion, it is our belief that empowerment and inspiration are vital to the development of strong communities. By partnering with not-for-profit organizations each year, the MFW invites people of all walks of life to find out how they can help. Over the years, the MFW has worked with organizations including, United Way, Ambassador for Children, American Autism Society of Indiana, and CARA Charities which promotes community projects that benefit children's safety and well-being. The MFW has always been an event that empowers and strengthens communities, and the tradition continues .
MFW’s producer, Berny Martin is passionate about giving back; whether it’s through one-on-one support of emerging designers or by helping non-profits like Dress for Success of Indianapolis – MFW is about more than fashion. Using a combination of inspiration and experience new designers find a strong and supportive community from which to learn and grow that all starts with their involvement in the MFW. Friendly competitions among young designers and students support the development of real-world skills that lead to success in the fashion industry. Whether the beneficiary is a model, designer, photographer, or stylist – mentoring opportunities allow concepts to become reality. The lasting impact of how the MFW connects and empowers artists, designers, and the community is captured in three words that drive the mission of the Midwest Fashion Week, LLC
In 2006, Berny Martin founded the Midwest Fashion Week, to create a solid foundation from which new and established fashion designers, photographers, models, and stylists could build their lines. Berny knew many people believed the best talent was only to be found in major metropolitan cities; he also knew many people were mistaken. Born in Haiti , Berny’s father was very supportive and often encouraged him to create his own business. Little did he or Berny know that while he was completing a Computer Engineering degree at Purdue University, a one-time opportunity to create an entire collection for a fashion show would be the spark that later developed into the Midwest Fashion Week, and launched his Catou clothing line.
With the MFW Berny’s vision is to invite the world to discover a city full of talented fashion industry professionals, a city that just happens to be in the Midwest . Like diamonds in the rough he sets out twice a year to help artists and designers shine! Today the MFW attracts attention and interest from around the globe. With emerging talent shaping the future of fashion and established marquees furthering their passion and creativity, there is no better fashion event in the Midwest than the MFW. What makes the MFW so special is Berny’s unique commitment to both sides of the fashion industry – from the creative process to the business imperatives that makes a successful line possible. Inspired by his grandparent’s charity and giving, Berny is focused on education for young designers to discover how to take their creative energy and turn it into creative success. Through the MFW Berny is able to serve the community; using fashion as a vehicle for job creation, industry innovation, community outreach and cause awareness.