Courtesy photos: Designs entered in the 2019 Nail the Runway fashion show included, from left, Dr. Dan Duct Tape, modeled by Jacob Kappernman; Industrial Warrior, modeled by Hayley Olson; and Fantalaxy, modeled by Luke Bielfeldt and designed by Susanne Bielfeldt and Barbara Ann Hawley, and won Best Use of Design Element (spikes, screws and nails).

Nail the Runway, Brookings’ premier fashion show, will take place in March, and there is still room for designers who want to flex creative muscle, according to organizers.

The event is set for March 27 and models will strut the runway, but the audience will be watching online due to COVID-19, said Randy Grimsley, resource development director, and Jana Krogmann, director of affiliate operations of Brookings Area Habitat for Humanity.

They kept the 2020 theme of keys because it’s so important.

“Home is key,” Krogmann said.

Having a stable home is the key to a better life, including stronger financial health and greater educational attainment, she said. 

There will be no meal served this year, but there will be a silent auction. Items and services for the auction can be donated by businesses and individuals, Grimsley said. Contact Habitat at 697-2540 to donate.

Those who are interested in modeling should contact Habitat and let them know.

Designers needed

Habitat is still figuring out all the changes they’ll have to make, but one thing that’s the same is the need for designers who have lots of creativity. 

This is not your typical fashion show with cotton, silk and crinoline. Designers are required to use construction materials and one of the rules is at least 50 percent of the visible design has to be made out of construction materials. Designers can use those materials in any way their imagination can dream.

Other rules and the entry form are available on Habitat’s website or by calling the office at 697-2540. The office is closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Theme is keys

The 2021 theme is keys, so that’s an element that must be incorporated into the outfit’s design, Krogmann noted.

When Habitat canceled the 2020 shindig, some designers had already started work on their outfits using the key theme.

“Since there were some who had already started the creation process, we didn’t want to change (the theme) and lose that theme because no one got a chance to show off what they had already started,” Grimsley said.

About half of the designers who signed up for the 2020 event have committed to the 2021 event, Krogmann said. 

Those who signed up for the 2020 event will not have to pay a fee to be part of the 2021 event, but they do have to contact Habitat if they are still interested in participating. 

“We’re still looking for a few more designers, if possible,” Krogmann said.


Deadline to submit sketches is Jan. 16, to help them in the planning stage, Grimsley said, but there is room for flexibility since they are not requiring pre-approval as they have in the past. 

“The sooner, the better, obviously,” he said.

Participants may present sketches whatever way they like, whether it’s drawn, painted, or designed on computer, but make it detailed. The sketches must be turned into an actual outfit that will be worn by a model. Designers can use their own model, and Habitat is taking volunteers for those who want to model an outfit.

Sketches may be e-mailed to Habitat or snail-mailed to P.O. Box 412; Brookings, SD 57006. Call Habitat’s Re-Store at 697-5900 to drop off sketches at the Re-Store, located at 917 Highway 14 Bypass in Brookings. The Re-Store is open to the public; check days and times. 

Silent auction

There will be a silent online auction, and Habitat is looking for items or services donated by businesses or individuals, they said.

“Give us a call because you may have an item you want to donate or an experience, like a hotel stay or a vacation or basketball tickets or something like that; that would be great to help us raise funds,” Grimsley said.

Also, since this event is the only fundraiser for Habitat, and there will be no admission fee to get into Nail the Runway this year, donations are welcome, Krogmann said. That can be done online, or by mailing a check to Habitat at P.O. Box 412; Brookings, SD 57006. Donations can be dropped by the Re-Store, too.

Five categories

Awards will be given in five categories: Most Wearable, Best Use of Element of Design – Keys, Most Innovative Use of Construction Materials, Best in Show, and People’s Choice.

Winners in 2019 were:

• Best in Show and People’s Choice – “Outer Space Dragonfly” designed by Susanne Bielfeldt and Barbara Ann Hawley, modeled by Samantha Pouard with the assistance of Josiah Niles

•Best use of Construction Materials – “Industrial Garden” designed by Ashley Ivica, modeled by Brianna Doran 

• Most Wearable Award – “Flora” designed by Carol Doolittle, modeled by Angie Thompson

• Best Use of Design Element – Michael Jackson Fantalaxy, designed by Susanne Bielfeldt and Barbara Ann Hawley, modeled by Luke Bielfeldt.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at

COURTESY OF: The Brookings Register

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