DETROIT LAKES — An available suite in Norby Flats became the setting for the inaugural Lakes Chic Street fashion show on May 5, a downtown Detroit Lakes event spearheaded by four retail boutiques.

The shops that banded together last fall to launch the community’s first “Pink Friday” shopping weekend joined forces again to develop Lakes Chic Street, a collaboration that the business owners say embodies community spirit.

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Lindsey Cooksey models beachwear from Lakeshirts Beach Shop.

Contributed / Lakes Chic Street

Barb Zahasky, owner of Mainstream Boutique; Alicia Bowers and Carol Foltz, owners of Beautiful Junque; Taylor Jo (TJ) Roney, owner of JQ Clothing Company; and Tracy Erb, owner of Vintage & Vogue, enlisted the participation of an additional seven downtown stores for the sold-out runway fashion show, bringing the total to 11 boutiques featuring four looks and models each.

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A Vintage & Vogue model walks the runway in a red dress.

Contributed / Lakes Chic Street

Many of the looks centered around “lake life,” with outfits designed to go from a day at the beach to a casual night on the town. From swimwear and flip flops to unique summer dresses and hats, the downtown stores featured fashion spanning all demographics and with a heavy emphasis on enjoying the summer months in style.

The wide array of outfits was intended to show guests the diversity of shopping options available in Detroit Lakes, while also including a brand new business, Drift Clothing Company, which opened its doors in Washington Square Mall last week.

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A Drift Clothing Company model in a two-piece ensemble.

Contributed / Lakes Chic Street

The show was held in a vacant 3,270-square-foot unit in Norby Flats, which is owned and operated by Jim Buus and Lori Ibach of JBC Commercial Real Estate. The two are long-term veterans of the lakes area real estate arena and are active community members.

JBC Commercial, founded in 2019, was the Lakes Chic Street Couture Sponsor and provided the event space, allowing guests to view the final suite in the re-developed Norby’s building that housed the family-owned department store for 118 years before closing in 2018.

Designer-level sponsors of the fashion show included Dynamic Homes and Minnesota Title & Closing Company.

Along with the organizers, the seven additional stores that participated in the show were Glik’s, Drift Clothing Company, Lakeshirts Beach Shop, Maurice’s, Skirting the Rules, Northbound Girl, and Leela and Lavender.

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Kelly Malstrom walks the runway in a summer jumpsuit and jean jacket from Beautiful Junque.

Contributed / Lakes Chic Street

The event brought in 150 guests to view new summer looks modeled by various community residents and business owners. Sapphire Sushi, Hibachi, and American Cuisine provided heavy appetizers and a beer/wine cash bar, while LaBarista served desserts and coffee.

A team of volunteers assisted guests throughout the evening and sound, lighting, staging, and music was provided by Kevin Mitchell of Fundamental Technologies. Local hair and makeup artists, a local photographer and local greenhouse were also integral parts of the show.

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Dawn Duncan, of Yellowbright, Inc, emceed the inaugural Lakes Chic Street fashion show, held Thursday, May 5 at the Norby Flats building in downtown Detroit Lakes.

Contributed / Lakes Chic Street

“This event’s success is testament to DL’s belief in supporting local businesses and also shows eagerness for fashion and shopping opportunities,” said Barb Zahasky, who has owned her store, Mainstream Boutique, since opening in 2014.

She added that the shopping scene in the “small but strong” city continues to build and grow more vibrant with each passing season: “DL is ready for more, and it shows in the number of new businesses that are opening right now. We are thrilled to all come together and show the town what we offer, but also to give people a reason to congregate and have fun,” she said in a news release.

The team behind Lakes Chic Street is already working on future events, including some charitable endeavors.

Alicia Bowers of Beautiful Junque concluded, “We’re excited to keep this momentum going! We are grateful to have this chance to share our love of fashion and Detroit Lakes with those who have continued to support us. We’re anxious to give back.”