MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - In recent decades, the Twin Cities have blossomed into a destination for art and culture.
Now, the fashion scene is having its own awakening.
At the center are two brothers based in Minneapolis, who hope the industry will mimic Minnesota's open mind.
Thom and Tim Navarro have shared a lot over the years. The twins, originally from Rochester, have watched Minneapolis fashion change and grow.
“When we were kids we drew a lot and we drew a lot of clothing,” Thom said.
Their mom taught them how to sew by hand when they were in elementary school. Now they're roommates, business and studio partners for their fashion brand “TIM+THOM.”
“Everything we do, we try to effect change in our community and really garner and create representation for people like us,” Thom said.
Born seven minutes apart but overnight, Thom and Tim have different birthdays. It has given each of them individuality while also celebrating what they share.
“We've established ourselves as figures in the community, and our obligation to the community is to provide opportunities and make it a lot easier than what it was for us,” Tim said.
One of those opportunities started five years ago when they developed a fashion show called "Black Hearts Ball." The goal was to give Minnesota designers of all backgrounds a platform to show their work.
“We kind of made it so it was a safe space for others,” Tim said.
“Bring a seat to the table and in some cases, build our own table,” Thom said.
Thom and Tim created "Black Hearts Ball” to show off the inclusive spirit of Minnesota fashion.
“Feel like you are a part of something that isn't just an event--it's culture," Tim said. "You're receiving this opportunity to see the designers as human beings and as accessible people, and then you're seeing their work as an art."
This year the ball will host its largest and most colorful cast of designers and models. The audience has been asked to wear black and white.
“That way the designers and the looks on the runway can be the focal point, and be the live art in motion,” Tim said.
As a part of their Fifth Annual Black Hearts Ball, Thom and Tim are also presenting some of their own collection.
“This collection was inspired to be for anybody," Tim said. "A lot of our clientele is queer or non-binary."
“We tried to approach a lot of our designs with a gender neutral mentality,” Thom added.
After an appearance on Project Runway and a recent trip to New York to present their collection during Fashion Week, the brothers believe in Minnesota fashion.
“We are in a world of our own and we really have the potential to be a large fashion hub,” Thom said. “Our aesthetics, our designers are so eclectic and because of the weather and the conditioning we have, they come at clothing and apparel in a completely different way.”
The Fifth Annual Black Hearts Ball is at Aria Minneapolis on Friday, April 27th.
Click here for tickets and to learn more.