Fashion Takes Center Stage at Wonderball 2020


Wonderball co-chairs Celeste Malvar-Stewart and Kevin Terry Smith

Bring in the new decade in style by putting on your finest black and white attire and celebrating Columbus’ fashionable side at Wonderball! On January 25, the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) will host the 6th annual celebration of Central Ohio’s arts community, featuring live local musicians and DJs, performance artists, interactive exhibits, local food and drinks and unexpected experiences throughout the evening. This year, the theme for the event is fashion.

Fashion-forward Columbus

With the third-highest concentration of fashion designers in the country, only trailing New York and Los Angeles, Columbus is a fashion capital. The Ohio State University offers a strong Fashion and Retail Studies program focusing on merchandising or product development, and Columbus College of Art and Design’s (CCAD) revered fashion design program, known as one of the best in the country, features an annual spring fashion show that draws an international audience.

This talent helps support the success of major national retailers that call Columbus home, including Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Eloquii and more. It’s also thanks to these designers that the Short North Arts District refers to more than just works on canvas, as the neighborhood has a huge roster of clothing and accessories boutiques that would make any city proud and it’s home to the nation’s most fashionable costume party – HighBall Halloween.

Plus, our own Easton, called “The Rodeo Drive of the Midwest” by USA Today– was a revolutionary creation in the retail world. Concepted by Les Wexner, the approach looks at malls through a lifestyle lens and, while continuing to expand to this day, serves as the blueprint for the modern shopping center.

Two of this year’s hosts – Columbus-based designer Celeste Malvar-Stewart and her business partner Kevin Terry Smith – are making a splash in the fashion community with their line Olly Awake. Olly Awake is forging a new sector in the fashion industry by creating what they have coined ‘Gender Equal’ clothing. Gender neutral apparel is on the rise, and since 2017 this startup has made its stamp with intentionally designed pieces that are built from the ground up to be free from traditionally held standards for gendered fashion.

Kevin Terry Smith, Wonderball Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Olly Awake, a gender equal, Columbus-based clothing line.

Why Wonderball?

Not only is Wonderball a one-of-a-kind opportunity to engage with the museum and members of Columbus’ creative class, but it also supports a variety of CMA programs that enrich our local community through arts. These programs include:

Wonder School: A collaboration between Columbus State Community College, Columbus Museum of Art and The Childhood League Center for children ages 3 to 5 that seeks to foster purposeful play, encourage critical inquiry and create a collaborative community approach to education for both children and educators.

Sparking Imagination: Made possible through partnerships with the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Ohio and AWARE (Alzheimer’s Women’s Association to Reach and Engage), the monthly Sparking Imaginations tour is designed to inspire laughter and imagination for people living with dementia and their caregivers by providing a fun, expressive outlet and forum for dialogue.

Teen Open Studio: A free after-school program held on Thursdays and Fridays at CMA in an area that incorporates lab space, technology resources and art supplies to allow teens flexibility to work on homework, experiment with the arts or just hang out with friends.

Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate Central Ohio’s thriving arts community and support continuing enrichment programming at the Columbus Museum of Art. Tickets are on sale now – don’t miss your chance to get them at a discount!

Public Early Bird Tickets: $100 from 12/7-1/12
General Admission: $125 from 1/13-1/24
At the Door: $135 – 1/25/20

Find out more and purchase tickets here.

– Lexi Sweet is public relations manager at Experience Columbus and a four-year member of the Wonderball marketing committee. Sweet is a graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.