Meet Newbies to the Columbus Fashion Scene

We are lucky enough to have 3 designers joining the Alternative Fashion Mob’s Finale (April 26th at Strongwater in Franklinton) that have moved to our fair city in the last year.  We are thankful that they found out about the AFM and have chosen to get more involved in this promote local event… more designers to be featured soon!

Celeste Malvar-Stewart: Malvar=Stewart

Celeste and her buddy Metric

Celeste Malvar-Stewart, MALVAR = STEWART, is a relative newbie to the Columbus Fashion scene but is a seasoned designer that rocks fiber, textiles and so much more!!!  She first got involved with AFM last year during Independents’ Day and has since conducted a felting workshop at the AFM’s Black Friday event. This world traveler is originally from the Philippines and  has lived and studied in London and Spain, San Fran, Seattle, Michigan and New York before settling in German Village with her hubby.  Her designs are organic, sustainable and inspired by nature, flight line marshallers (The guys with batons waving them around to park planes on the RAMP)…yes, that’s her dream job!!! LOL! and just about anything in her surroundings like blueprints, piano rolls and more!  I got to see the beginnings of one of her designs for the AFW finale and it is to die for!!!  And, NO, I will not divulge what it is or looks like so don’t waste your breath


What is your favorite thing in your closet? My favorite thing in my closet is an old Burberry smock that I bought when I first went to London in the 80’s.  It was when Burberry didn’t have the same image as it does today; not as popular back then.

 What is your ‘go to’ accessory?: A MALVAR = STEWART one-of-a-kind scarf, of course!


What’s your fashion nightmare?  skirts that are too short and too tight

 What current trend do you love?  I love the fact that more and more designers/artists are considering sustainable practices within their creative processes.

 What trend do you wish would go away forever?  sweats with big name logos

 ** For a more in depth interview with Celeste, check out this blog’s past posts!

 Contact for readers:


 Horacio Nieto: Arlo Menswear

 Hey, you DO know that AFM is not just about women’s wear and woman designers, don’t you?  Well if you didn’t, it’s high time that you learned that it is also about cutting edge men’s fashions and up and coming male designers.  And we are pretty lucky to have some amazingly talented men on board this year.

We are pleased to announce that one of the menswear designers is Horacio Nieto, named by Michigan Avenue Magazine in 2012 as one of Chicago’s “Top 12 Noteworthy Men” in the fashion industry. Nieto started Arlo Menswear in 2007 as a small line that made custom jackets for private clientele.  Since that time, his line has expanded to include shirts, pants, vests and will soon feature underwear and handbags.

All photos courtesy of Dean Paul

Originally from South Texas,he was always  that ‘arts and crafts’ kinda kid, loving to sketch and think outside the box. In middle school, he began watching fashion programs on TV and began designing.  By high school, the design bug was pretty much entrenched in his psyche so he jumped on the fashion band wagon and has never looked back!  A Chicago design school was his next destination. After graduating in 2004, he worked for 10 years at a number of companies such as  1154 Lill Handbags, Ultimate Bride and Soulder (they make guitar straps for many bands across America like Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, and many more) learning in depth about the fashion industry. This diversity in background is what he believes sets him apart from other designers and assisted him in developing his own line. While working full time for others, he took the ultimate leap and started his own clothing lines, working on them part-time.  

His design aesthetic is very tailored and detailed yet wearable. He loves fabric with texture, detail and color.  He always keeps his customers in mind, wanting to provide them with fashion pieces they’ll want to wear on a daily basis.

He describes the man he designs for as:

” a man that wants to express his personality and emotions with his clothing. We have a range of men that purchase the clothing, such as the man that wants the more minimalistic pieces, to the man that is really fashion forward and wants to stand out. We always want to keep our customer in mind yet still stay true to the brand.”

 Inspiration for his designs comes from just about everything : a leaf on the street, fine art, music, food, culture… our surroundings should be used in the creative process.  He also states that making mistakes while creating in inevitable but should be not be viewed as a negative but rather as a means to improve skills and, therefore, the end product.

Prior  to showing at AFW event, Arlo Menswear will be a featured designer with his  the Fall/Winter 2012 “Men of Mines” line at the Circa Fashion Show on April 4 2014 at Vue Columbus (for more details visit: ).  



Why Columbus and AFM?    A job opportunity and then found Highball, met AFM folks and loved ’em…applied for the AFW finale and aren’t we lucky.

What is your favorite aspect of fashion?  It’s never boring…whatever we hate stays and what we love will be transformed!

What’s your goal for Arlo?   I would like for Arlo Menswear to become a brand that men across the nation will recognize and want to wear.

Considering how innovative and snazzy his clothes are, the fashion-minded man would be crazy not to help him make this dream come true!

 Contact for readers:; Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr: @ArloMenswear

Jennifer Felizardo: Philliped Fashions


Phlipped Fashions, brainchild of designer Jennifer Felizardo, is a clothing line dedicated to the girl in her late 20’s to early 30’s who likes to be fashionable but doesn’t want to look like everyone else. “She is all about being ahead of the trends and looking her best,” says Jennifer. A 2012 graduate of the Art Institute of York, PA, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion and Retail Management, she developed this fashion line 2 years ago. Her love for fashion started when she was a little girl who created doll clothes from mismatched socks. Then at age 14, she was given a sewing machine and she has been sewing ever since!

Born and raised in a little burg outside of West Chester PA (West Grove), Jen moved to Columbus last August when her future brother- and sister-in-law insisted it was huge into fashion. Doubting that to be a reality, she researched and found that we are the THIRD largest fashion city in the US!!!! Holla! At that point, she was convinced that if she wanted to take Phlipped Fashions to the next level, she better “Go West, young… lady!”

While still working on her undergrad degree, she used her passion for revamping gently-used and second-hand clothes into unique, one of a kind styles… and flip, Phlipped Fashions and her design aesthetic were born! Jennifer tells us:

The reason I started Phlipped Fashions stems back to when I was a child. I was the middle child of five. Parents and older sisters came to America from Africa and we didn’t have a whole lot. I got a lot of hand-me-downs which where never in season. So I began to take them apart and make them into things that were in season. I didn’t really think that I could make a career out of that until I spoke with a designer names Michael Tull, based in Lancaster, PA. He said “Fashion is everything. If you buy something like a tee shirt and add some glitter and a pocket, that’s fashion. You’ve created something that no one else has thought of.” That had me thinking of all the things over the years I have reconstructed; realizing that I can make my passion into a career and doing reconstruction doesn’t make me any less of a designer than the person next to me!!! 

Besides that, she likes being her own boss while using recycled materials to produce fashion-forward items as an integral part of her philosophy for life, and doing her part to create a greener America.

 When doing some serious stalking on social media after moving to Columbus, Jen came across the AFM and liked us on Facebook. When we posted a call for designers wishing to participate in AFW 2014, she thought, “It won’t hurt to try! Why not?” and here she is!

What’s Jennifer’s favorite inspiration? Music, she says: 

Put on my favorite song, dance around my house and start cutting fabric! The rest is history! People who indicate that she can’t succeed are also inspirational because she doesn’t like being told that she can’t do something that is not the norm. It pushes her to prove them wrong…Yeah, I can do this, watch me!

Going with her gut is how she creates with what she says is a “cut first, ask questions later” kind of attitude. So far, it looks like this process has worked for her.

Not having a Columbus following because she is the new girl in town weighs on Jennifer a little, but hasn’t stood in her way. She views Alternative Fashion Week as her introduction to the Columbus fashion scene and as something that will help her push her line forward. We’re excited to give her that opportunity and to be featuring her spring line in AFW 2014 ~can’t wait to see her design star rise!

 Jen’s fashions are available for purchase

Contact for readers: 






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