Gary designer Arela Kharis fuses nineties with the millennial age

Gary designer Arela Kharis fuses nineties with the millennial age

July 27, 2018


Arela Kharis was only in 7th grade when she first began sketching clothing designs from her home in Gary. At the time, her favorite male rapper had launched a male clothing line. Even at such a young age, Kharis noticed that he didn’t make anything to represent his female fans, and she was ambitious enough to use this as motivation to make her own clothing line.

For years, Kharis filled sketchbooks with her designs and finally brought them to life in 2010, when she learned how to sew from her aunt. “After that I just ran with it,” she says. She was chosen as a student fashion designer for Midwest Fashion Week in 2011, and in 2017 and 2018 she was one of the primary designers for the MWFW Indianapolis shows.

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Arela Kharis was only in 7th grade when she first began sketching clothing designs from her home in Gary. At the time, her favorite male rapper had launched a male clothing line. Even at such a young age, Kharis noticed that he didn’t make anything to represent his female fans, and she was ambitious enough to use this as motivation to make her own clothing line.

For years, Kharis filled sketchbooks with her designs and finally brought them to life in 2010, when she learned how to sew from her aunt. “After that I just ran with it,” she says. She was chosen as a student fashion designer for Midwest Fashion Week in 2011, and in 2017 and 2018 she was one of the primary designers for the MWFW Indianapolis shows.

When a customer approaches Kharis about purchasing one of her designs, which she describes as “nineties mixed with millennial”—she gets their measurements and customizes the outfit according to the woman’s shape and size. “I try not to do that one size—small or medium,” she says. “I try to fit their body type. Every woman is shaped differently.”

arelakharis.com
Clothing: Arela Kharis / Gary
Hair: Brittney MacNeill / Hebron
Makeup: Morgan Hecht / Valparaiso
Location: 27 Entertainment / Valparaiso
Model: Tatum / Indianapolis

Midwest Fashion Week was founded by designer Berny Martin for the purpose of bringing Midwest fashion to the world. Every year, MWFW puts on runway shows in Chicago, Indianapolis, New York and Paris, featuring up-and-coming designers. “We give exposure to talent, hidden treasures who are good at what they do but just don’t have the opportunity to expand,” Martin says.

Martin saw a gap in the fashion market, which on American soil tended to come primarily from the two coasts. “The fashion world needs the Midwest to tell stories of what constitutes as beautiful,” he says. “I’m interested in how we can express the ideal fashion of the Midwestern woman.”

In addition to the runway shows, MWFW provides resources for services like fashion consulting, event production, fashion seminars and talent sourcing. The next runway shows are happening in Indianapolis on October 5 and in Chicago October 13.

midwestfashionweek.com

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK The Culture hoodie, $50 AK lace overalls, $60
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK The Culture hoodie, $50 AK lace overalls, $60

Midwest Fashion Week was founded by designer Berny Martin for the purpose of bringing Midwest fashion to the world. Every year, MWFW puts on runway shows in Chicago, Indianapolis, New York and Paris, featuring up-and-coming designers. “We give exposure to talent, hidden treasures who are good at what they do but just don’t have the opportunity to expand,” Martin says.

Martin saw a gap in the fashion market, which on American soil tended to come primarily from the two coasts. “The fashion world needs the Midwest to tell stories of what constitutes as beautiful,” he says. “I’m interested in how we can express the ideal fashion of the Midwestern woman.”

In addition to the runway shows, MWFW provides resources for services like fashion consulting, event production, fashion seminars and talent sourcing. The next runway shows are happening in Indianapolis on October 5 and in Chicago October 13.

midwestfashionweek.com

Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Biker leather vest, $50 Black biker skirt, $70
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Biker leather vest, $50 Black biker skirt, $70
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Biker leather vest, $50 Black biker skirt, $70
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
Biker leather vest, $50 Black biker skirt, $70
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK velvet crop top, $30 AK velvet high-waist pants, $50
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK velvet crop top, $30 AK velvet high-waist pants, $50
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK velvet crop top, $30 AK velvet high-waist pants, $50
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK velvet crop top, $30 AK velvet high-waist pants, $50
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK leather high-slit dress, $80
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK leather high-slit dress, $80
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK leather high-slit dress, $80
Photo Credit: Brad M. Wolf
AK leather high-slit dress, $80