Milwaukee has become home to many talented fashion designers. With
a cohesive community, this city once famed for its brewing is becoming
a Midwestern cultural mecca.
To raise funds for two cultural gems, the Milwaukee Art Museum and
the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the fourth annual RunUp to the
Runway will showcase local designers Delanie Seamon and Amanda Ergen.
These women are trailblazing different paths, but are champions of the
same cause — to create an appreciation and awareness of the art of
The Creative Classicist
The veteran of the group and a native of Milwaukee, Delanie Seamon
attended Mount Mary College. Assessing her career options, she knew
that the corporate world was not for her, so upon graduating, she
opened her own successful boutique in Whitefish Bay.
To be truthful, Seamon was not even sure if she could make a career
in fashion. She learned to sew at a young age from her mother and
grandmother and always considered it a hobby. While studying at
UW-Milwaukee to become a speech pathologist and with one year left to
graduate, she transferred to Mount Mary for the fashion design
Currently working out of a shop in Milwaukee’s Fifth Ward, Seamon
specializes in custom wedding gowns, bridesmaid and cocktail dresses.
She proclaims, "Fashion is art; when you wear a dress, it is like
wearing a piece of art on your body." Her style emulates old
Hollywood with classic, clean lines and a 1940s glam.
"The hardest thing about designing is making people think
creatively and outside of the box," Seamon explains. To aid in
the process, she has created a build-your-own-dress concept consisting
of mix and match tops and bottoms to help brides visualize a more
Her biggest challenge yet has been making her business profitable
and getting her name out while trying to maintain an exclusive feel.
Find her designs under the label Delanie Couture at Miss Ruby on Water
Street or at www.delaniecouture.com.
The Sexy Sophisticate
Amanda Ergen approaches fashion as an architect, constructing
designs around her subjects and perfecting her skills along the way.
"I am much more interested in figuring out how things work with
hands-on construction — that is what I am passionate about,"
A native Milwaukeean, she attended the fashion design program at
the UW-Madison, which allowed her to spend her last year of study at
the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. Ergen worked at the
Children’s Apparel Network focusing on technical design for a few
years, but found there are too many designers and competition in New
Though she is adamant about creating a full-time career in fashion
in Milwaukee, Ergen recognizes it might be a slow process. She hopes
to build up her line at home and make an impact on Milwaukee’s
fashion scene before traveling with her designs.
Ergen calls herself a naturally inspired person, fascinated with
the human form and constructions that accentuate a woman’s body. She
finds no need to sketch her designs — she follows the flow of the
fabric and uses draping techniques.
Specializing in knit dresses and leather clutches, Ergen is on a
mission to flatter the female curves, because a body is not meant to
hang a dress — a dress is meant to accentuate a body. She strives to
produce casual but bold designs with fun details that comfortably
transition from day to night. She describes her simple silhouettes as
"flirty, feminine, sexy and classy without being one of two
extremes — racy or frilly."
She produces mostly custom-made pieces, and many of Ergen’s sales
come from word of mouth. Her label is called Mink; she sells her goods
at Ess Elle Style Studio on Milwaukee’s East Side or at