Kentucky Derby Museum launches online fashion contest in celebration of Derby 150

Kentucky Derby Museum launches online fashion contest in celebration of Derby 150

Kentucky Derby Museum launches online fashion contest in celebration of Derby 150

Winning submissions will go on display in the Museum's new fashion exhibit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 18, 2023) – Kentucky Derby Museum invites fashion enthusiasts to celebrate the 150th Run for the Roses in style by submitting photographs of their favorite ensembles to the Museum's Derby 150 Fashion Contest.

Iconic, beautiful, eccentric, and fun Derby outfits can be seen every year on America's greatest railbird runway. Through the Museum's online contest, fashionistas are encouraged to submit digital photographs of their best-of-the-best Derby day apparel, hats, and accessories, both old and new.

Submissions will be assessed by a distinguished panel of fashion and racing professionals for the chance to be included in the Museum's upcoming exhibition "See & Be Seen: 150 Years of Derby Fashion," scheduled to open summer 2024.

"One of the joys of the Derby fashion tradition is the surprise of seeing something new, unexpected, humorous, wild, or drop-dead gorgeous each year," said Jessica Whitehead, Kentucky Derby Museum Curator of Collections. "We're so excited to see your submissions, because we know that we'll be recreating that fashion experience with this contest. We can't wait to go through the gems that you share with us, and the stories that go with them!"

The Museum will accept submissions in four different categories:

Ensembles, 1875-2023 – Complete, accessorized ensembles or costumes. Ensembles will only be considered and displayed as a unit.

Individual items of apparel for all genders, 1875-2023 – Suits, dresses, costumes, as well as separates (pants, shirts, skirts, etc.). Entrants are encouraged to only submit individual separates for consideration if they make a compelling visual statement related to the Kentucky Derby. Otherwise, entrants should try to submit separates as an ensemble.

Individual items of headwear for all genders, 1875-2023 – Hats and fascinators.

Individual accessories for all genders, 1875-2023 – Purses, shoes, scarves, belts, and statement jewelry. Accessories, unless submitted as part of an ensemble, must have some sort of unique expression of the Kentucky Derby in their designs.

The secure online contest portal is now open, and submissions are due no later than 11:59 PM EST on December 15, 2023. Judging will occur in mid-January 2024, and contest winners will be announced by the end of the month. The Museum will coordinate with the winners in February and March 2024 to ensure the physical items are transported to the Museum to be displayed.

In addition to the use of the winning items in the fashion exhibit, all submissions – not just winners – may be showcased on the Museum’s website, social media, and other marketing and communications initiatives.

Each participant is allowed to make up to two (2) submissions. Only digital submissions will be considered. The Museum will not accept physical items to be judged as part of this contest.

To review the contest details and submission guidelines or to make a digital submission, please click here:

Media Note: For media inquiries, interview requests, or additional information, please contact Katrina Helmer, Kentucky Derby Museum Director of Communications, at [email protected] or 502-814-3027.

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About Kentucky Derby Museum ( Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(C)(3) non-profit public charity organization in Louisville, Kentucky, has a commitment to ENGAGE, EDUCATE, and EXCITE everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the KENTUCKY DERBY.