Center for Hmong Arts and Talent
995 University Ave W 251 Saint Paul, MN 55104

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is this year’s Fresh Traditions fashion show?

We are excited to announce that Fresh Traditions XIII: Illuminate will be held at the Union Depot in Saint Paul on Saturday, September 28th, 2019. 

How can I be a part of this year's show?

The deadline for featured designers has passed and we are no longer accepting applications for this year. If you are interested in designing next year, there are questions regarding the process towards the bottom of this section. 

Models may only walk for one designer. All of our models have been confirmed for this season. 

We are seeking event staff volunteers (i.e., usher, security, ticketing, etc). Visit our Volunteer page to sign up!

We are seeking sponsors and vendors. Visit our Sponsors page for more info!

What is the theme for Designer's Season XIII collection?

This year, the theme of "Illuminate" was chosen to convey the importance of sharing our experiences and stories as a Hmong American and/or as someone who identifies as diaspora Southeast Asian. This word also comes from the mission of the Center for Hmong Arts & Talent: "CHAT exists to nurture, explore and illuminate the Hmong American experience through artistic expressions"

It was also chosen for its meaning “decorate” to honor our women ancestors who worked hard to illuminate simple black hemp cloth with beautiful intricate batik designs and brightly colored paj ntaub and beadwork. Finally, we wanted to gain new perspectives in combining culture and artistic expression this year by asking Hmong designers: "How will you illuminate the Hmong American experience through fashion design/design process? How does your diaspora experience/culture illuminate your art and your values? What do you wish to illuminate through your designs?" 


Where can I purchase tickets?

Tickets will be available on Eventbrite at 4pm on Saturday, August 24th. 


Where can I park?

The Union Depot has three underground parking lots. The entrance to Lot A is on the northeast corner of Sibley Street and Kellogg Blvd. Lot B has two entrances: the first at the intersection of Kellogg Blvd and Broadway Street and the other on Sibley Street and East 2nd Street. Lot C is on the south side of Kellogg, one block east of Broadway Street. For complete information on rates and maps, visit


What can I expect as an attendee?

All guests will have the chance to visit our sponsors & vendors before the show and enter in the prize drawing. There will be a pre-show that features apparel from Hmong businesses and musical performances by renowned guests. The Fresh Tradition Committee members will be on the lookout for the best dressed guy and gal and invite them for an opportunity to wow the crowd before selecting the winners!


What is the dress code?

Semi-formal, with the select few competing for the ultimate title of 'Best Dressed' of the night!


What’s new at Fresh Tradition's 13th show?

This year is the first time for each of the designers to create a collection for Fresh Traditions. Let's show them tons of love and support as they embark on this exciting journey! We also will have an exclusive door prize. 


Are there any photography guidelines?

You may take pictures and videos, but only photographers with media passes can be present in the media area.

Please do not use selfie-sticks in the runway area where it can block photographers and models. 


Is there an after party?


Will there be alcohol?

Yes, there will be a cash bar. Must be 21+ to purchase and drink any alcoholic beverages.


When are applications open for next season’s designers, and/or how do I get involved?

Fashion show designer applications and more information will be available January 2020. Applicants must be Hmong American, at least 18 years old, and have a basic understanding of apparel construction. 


What do I need in order to apply to be a designer in the FT fashion show?

Applicants must submit a completed Fresh Traditions Designer Application to be considered and undergo an interview process with members of the planning committee. Examples of designer skill, such as photos of work or physical garments, must accompany the application. 


Can I apply to be a designer if I live outside of the Twin Cities?

Yes, anyone who resides in the US is able to apply to be a designer in the Fresh Traditions fashion show if they are able to attend the rehearsal before the show and participate in the photo shoot for the event brochure. Part of our designer application is participating in an interview with the Fresh Traditions' committee, which can be done over video call.


Is there an age limit for designers?

Designers must be at least 18 years old in order to participate in the Fresh Traditions fashion show.


Do I need to have professional design experience?

While no formal design experience is needed to participate in Fresh Traditions, we are looking for designers with the ability to articulate their vision/concept; goals for participation, etc. Fresh Tradition is a program best suited for artists who are: 1) looking for a platform for their art 2) interested in a career in the fashion industry; and 3) artists who already have the technical skills (sewing, constructing, designing, etc.).


What is the commitment for designers?

Designers will be expected to attend an orientation and monthly check-ins. In addition to regularly scheduled monthly check-ins, designers are required to meet for interviews, head shots, photo and video shoots, and hair and makeup consultations that are scheduled throughout the year.


Why should I apply to be a designer?

There are many benefits to being a designer in the Fresh Traditions’ fashion show. We want to invest in our designers and we do that by providing a stipend for each designer to use, video copy of the fashion show, digital professional portraits of their designs, a selection of fabrics available for their use, the opportunity to develop their own apparel line with CHAT, and network with people in the fashion industry.


When are interviews for designers?

As applications come in, planning committee members will be reviewing them to determine which designers advance to the interview rounds. Once designers have been identified as advancing, those designers should be notified and invited to interview.


What is the challenge?

In honor of our cultural history and evolution, we ask that designers contextualize our unique and traditional palette with a contemporary perspective - a Fresh Tradition. They will be required to create a piece that includes the use of all these five fabrics: black velvet, black satin, royal blue satin, neon pink and green chiffon.



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