Last week was the Emerging Designer & Model Launch Party, which took place at Livewire in Scottsdale. The venue was packed and buzzing with excitement. I arrived onto the scene early, as I often like to do when I know I’ll be photographing.
The evening started with a press conference for the 13 emerging designers who are participating in Phoenix Fashion Week’s Designer Boot Camp. These designers are handpicked by Phoenix Fashion Week. During the boot camp, they learn tips on branding, production, and finding buyers. At PHXFW’s October Fashion Event one these designers will win the Designer of the Year award.
During the press conference each designer had a chance to talk about their influences and the process of building a fashion brand. Natasha from Hues of Ego commented that architecture often influences her designs. Rachel Levine from Arae described her passion for Shibori, a special tie-dying technique that is done by hand. Levine traveled to different parts of the country to learn from the masters of this process, and she is successfully incorporating her passion for this technique into her clothing line.
I particularly appreciated hearing about the challenges they faced and how they overcame those obstacles. Entrepreneurship is, after all, mostly about overcoming challenges as you try to find your right path. Even though all of these designers are talented, their businesses are all growing at different speeds. For example, Laura Tanzer from Laura Tanzer Designs talked about how she is expanding her business one customer at a time. Now, Tanzer is in multiple boutiques and selling out of many of her designs.
After the press conference, guests had a chance to grab drinks and check out the pop up shops which featured PHXFW accessory designers Maccimize, Beltshazzar, and TJ Jewelry Design.
The fashion show was broken into two parts. The first half of the show was about the designers. Each designer showcased one outfit from their collection. Even though I was very focused on taking good photos of the runway, I immediately noticed that each designer had established their own signature. There was definitely no confusion, figuring out who created what. The clothes ranged from everyday workout attire to elegant evening wear.
The second part of the show revealed the top 40 male and female models from the Model of the Year Search event. The winners from this event will also be announced in October.
PHXFW has grown significantly in the last several years. However, their passion for supporting emerging designers and models has not diminished. Listening to Executive Director, Brian Hill, I realized that their success has flourished as a result of working together as a team within this growing fashion community.