Limitless Fashion Show comes to MSU
Caitlyn Vogel-Medalen never dreamed the Limitless Fashion Show would need a venue like Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.
But the event Vogel-Medalen and friend Kyley Lauf planned and founded while still in high school to empower people with disabilities, foster friendships and support shopping local has grown exponentially through the years.
The 2023 Limitless Fashion Show, which has doubled to more than 100 participants and volunteers, will utilize Minot State’s Ann Nicole Nelson Hall on April 8. Doors open at 3:40 p.m., with the show starting at 4 p.m.
“This all goes back to fifth grade when I met an individual with Down syndrome and, at first, just watched from afar, before deciding to say hi, and it changed my life,” said Vogel-Medalen, Limitless Fashion Show co-founder and executive director. “We became best friends. I was modeling at the time and thought this could be something fun that a lot of girls my age would want to do.
“I’m an advocate, but I can’t just tell someone inclusion is a good thing and they will automatically believe it. Kyley and I were juniors in high school and were really young and didn’t have any experience, but we partnered with the Dreamcatchers for the first one. We really thought it would be a one-year event, but so many people came and donated through a free-will donation that we decided to make it an annual event.”
The evolution of the Limitless Fashion Show isn’t just the venue or size and scope. The 2023 event will be the first year to have male models along with female. The total number of models has grown to more than 50 this year.
“It started out as just a women’s event, but we wanted to make sure this event was something everyone could be a part of,” Vogel-Medalen said. “We have models from 2-years-old to 68-years-old, so not just the teenage population. We have models from Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo coming as well. We love to see that.”
Vogel-Medalen is also proud of the community support she and the board of the Limitless Fashion Show have received over the years. Through sponsors of the event, it continues to be free of charge for admission and free for both the models and the local boutique owners.
“There are no tickets, everyone is welcome to come, and the boutiques do not have to pay for advertising,” she said. “We don’t make the participants pay anything either, and each model gets a free shirt as a keepsake.”
The space in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall will accommodate a much larger audience. It also offers planners of the event the opportunity to evolve the show. The models will enter in groups of eight to 10 with breaks for talent, sponsor highlights and to meet the Limitless Fashion Show board.
“We are putting a lot more into production this year,” Vogel-Medalen said.
Ann Nicole Nelson Hall isn’t the show’s only tie to Minot State. Vogel-Medalen is a 2022 graduate of MSU with a degree in nursing, and one of the original inspirations for the show goes back to something a professor at MSU said.
“Initially, so many people told us no when we started to work on this idea. We were too young and didn’t have enough experience,” she said. “But a professor told me, ‘If you are doing something with a good heart, you cannot fail.’ With that, we kept going.”
The Limitless Fashion Show board has deep ties to MSU as well with nearly all either currently in school or a graduate. The team consists of Kyley Lauf, co-founder and executive director; Berkley Lundeen, executive director in training; Averi Bradley, model director; Carter Vogel, male model and volunteer director; Lauren Anderson, volunteer director; Payton Bland, behind-the-scenes director; Kelli Sem, behind-the-scene director; Drew Feist, boutique coordinator; Chauncee Knittel, boutique coordinator; and Hannah Peterson, boutique coordinator. Anderson, Bland, and Sem are all MSU graduates; Bradley, Vogel, Feist, Knittel, and Peterson are all current students; and Lundeen is planning on attending MSU next year.
“I’ve always wanted to do something with Minot State. I’m a proud alum,” Vogel-Medalen said. “It’s amazing to see how many MSU people we have working with us, nearly everyone. I’m excited to see this event come to Ann Nicole Nelson Hall.”