Interviews / Phoenix Fashion Week / August 6, 2013

Ones to Watch — Phoenix Fashion Week 2013

Another year of Phoenix Fashion Week is underway, with a whole new set of emerging designers competing for the Designer of the Year title. And we couldn’t be more excited. (Remember how fun it was last year when Bri Seeley took home the title? See the story here)

Bri Seely Phoenix Fashion Week 2012

Bri Seely wins Emerging Designer of the Year 2012

We particularly love this aspect of Phoenix Fashion Week because new designers are not only given a platform to showcase their collections to hundreds of people, but are also taught how to run a successful business. Director Brian Hill and his team of fashion ambassadors put the designers through a rigorous series of classes where they learn everything from how to reach out to media (which is probably why we are lucky enough to get such fab interviews!) to putting together look books and managing social media. The Phoenix Fashion Week team is preparing the designers for the real world of fashion so that once they step off the runway at the end of Phoenix Fashion Week, they can continue growing their brand in the Arizona market and beyond.

We chatted with some of this year’s emerging designers to find out more about their collections and how they feel about Phoenix Fashion Week so far. Enjoy!

Zac Macdonald with Medium Apparel – Interview by Katrina Jarrett

Medium Apparel Party Hard Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Medium Apparel is a men’s fashion brand based out of Phoenix. Designer, Zac Macdonald had a pretty cool start to his career in fashion. Read more about how the brand began and what the Phoenix Fashion Week journey has been like for Zac so far.

How did you first get started in fashion?

In early 2011, I was a graphic design student at Collins College. Jay-Z’s clothing line Rocawear was holding a contest called ‘Next’ which was suppose to showcase the next up and coming people in the particular field they won. There were 7 categories: musician, model, fashion designer, fashion stylist, community activist, athlete and visual artist. I entered for visual artist and a few months later I was called by Rocawear telling me I had been chosen. They asked if I could fly to New York 2 weeks later for a photo shoot. The photos were to be used in a marketing campaign.

Once I got to New York I toured the Rocawear Headquarters, met the creative team, met Jay-Z, basically I got the superstar treatment and I fell in love with the fashion industry. I had worked retail for several years but I had never really thought of starting my own line until that trip. I came home from New York and started working on t-shirt designs. After about 6 months of working on designs, my 2 brother-in-law’s came to me with the idea of taking my designs and starting our own brand. I already had the name so we hit the ground running and in June of 2012 we launched the brand.

Medium Apparel Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Why did you decide to apply to Phoenix Fashion Week? 

I am from Phoenix so I have seen how Phoenix Fashion Week has grown to be an important part of the Phoenix Culture. I have also seen how Phoenix Fashion Week has helped brands really achieve success. Look at brands like Bri Seeley, J Haus and Shawl Dawls; those brands were once standing right where I am standing now, and now those brands are making their dreams a reality. That is why I chose Phoenix Fashion Week, to make my dreams become a reality!

Medium Apparel Blazers Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

What do you think will be the hardest part of the PHXFW journey?

I think the hardest part will be overcoming the stereotype of being a streetwear brand. Most people see streetwear brands and expect 12 t-shirts to walk down the runway. T-shirts are great, we started our brand on t-shirts but our goal is to be seen as a clothing line. This October you will see our first steps towards stepping out of the shadow of “just a t-shirt company”. We are putting some of our first men’s cut and sew down the runway at Phoenix Fashion Week and I can’t think of a better place to debut them.

If you could collaborate with another brand who would it be and why? 

I would love to be able and collaborate with Krew. I think my brands style is similar to theirs. They have top notch designs and they make quality cut and sew. I think it would be a natural fit to work together someday….Krew if you are reading this, shoot me an email haha!

Medium Apparel Money Never Sleeps Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

To see more from Medium Apparel, visit their website: mediumapparel.com

Rachel Wagner with Doux Belle – Interview by Lindsay Viker

Doux Belle Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Doux Belle is taking women back to their feminine roots with her Vintage Elegance Collection. Rachel Wagner wants women to be able to embody old Hollywood glamour in their modern everyday lives. Rachel owns Chateau Doux Belle boutique in Scottsdale, where she sells vintage home décor and eclectic French mementos, all redesigned by Wagner herself. Read more about how Rachel Wagner transitioned into her career in fashion and where she would like to take her collection and boutique in the future.

Doux Belle Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

How did you first get started in the world of fashion?

I created the store from my inspiration and travels to the South of France. I have an eye for beauty and love to make everything beautiful, I am not sure if that is a blessing or curse. I am very sensitive to my surroundings.

I started designing clothes when I was little. I actually would sew my own clothes and wear them to school! I’ll never forget it, I made a velvet skirt and a vest. I would love to go to school just so I could dress up in costumes or as different characters! Everyday was a different theme.  My whole family thought I would get into fashion but I ended up becoming an actress. I went to school in New York, and then pursed my acting career in LA for over twenty years. Then I moved to Scottsdale to start over for my son, so he could have a better lifestyle… I didn’t want him growing up in the “LA Scene”. I then managed a modeling agency, Elizabeth Savage, for three years. So, I seem to stay close to my roots. Living here and starting a collection brings me back home.

Doux Belle Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Chateau Doux Belle

What’s your ultimate dream for your brand?

My goal is to be similar to Anthropology, but my brand is a little different with antiques and fine art, along with my own brand of clothing line and beauty product line, LeDoux. I think I have a strong foundation for success. Eventually, I’d love to have a multiple stores all around the world.

What celebrity would you like to see in your clothes?

Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta Jones, Jessica Chastian, Lucy Lu, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway and Jessica Biel…. Just to name a few!

Doux Belle Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging DesignerDoux Belle Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Why should a woman choose your clothing brand?

I feel women should wear my brand because it makes them feel like a woman again. In a world where woman are wearing so many hats, like moms and business owners, we tend to forget who we are and what elegant creatures we really are. Women are so beautiful. My dresses make you feel sweet and sophisticated, yet bring out the modern women we are today.

To see more from Doux Belle, visit their website: DouxBelle.com

Trang Nguyen – Interview by Megan Amiri

Trang Nguyen Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of David Kilper

Trang Nguyen is a contemporary women’s wear collection based in St. Louis. Her fashions are more directed as an everyday look for women with a focus on staying true to classic silhouettes. Trang’s incredible design vision and attention to detail are what make her line unique, and a top competitor in this year’s Emerging Designer Competition.

Who’s your style inspiration?

I have two different style inspirations. Calvin Klein, I love that he uses simple classic cuts, yet still has uniqueness to his clothing line. Vera Wang because she focuses on the femininity of a woman.

What’s your favorite part so far about the competition and the PHXFW classes?

The competition is a great way for me to interact with other talented designers from 12 different cities and to witness their struggles to success as I compete is an awesome feeling.  The PHXFW classes are so helpful to each and every designer that I believe every part of it is my favorite. I learn new techniques and aspects of managing your own company during every class.

Trang Nguyen Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Nichoalds

Who do you think is your biggest competition for the Designer of the Year title? Why?

Every designer in the competition has a unique style and take on their fashion line that make them capable of getting the title as the Emerging Designer of 2013.  This is why I think all 12 designers are a competition to me because we are all so different in our own way.  Also the reason why we are all selected to compete against each other for Emerging Designer of 2013!

Trang Nyugen Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Alex Vanderheyden

To see more from Trang Nguyen, visit their website: TrangN.com

Michelle Hébert – Interview by Natalie Davis

Michellle Hebert Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Joy Wong

Michelle Hébert lives and breathes fashion and is at PHXFW ready to show her handcrafted designs on the runway.  Design has always been a part of her life, and with the support of her parents she has been able to indefinitely chase her dreams.  Hébert dismisses all doubt about the fierceness of the industry and can’t wait to one day see her designs grace celeb names like Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, Kiera Knightly, and even funny girl Amy Pohler.

Use 5 words to describe your brand.

Ethereal. Elegant. Romantic. Conceptual. Captivating.

Michelle Hebert Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Mario Barberio and Heather DePriest

What inspires your designs?

It’s not easy to pinpoint exactly what inspires my work for often thoughts just flash into my head and sketch them out. However I do often find that if I see a beautiful texture or shape in nature such as in foliage or animals it stirs something in my head. Visually I love: waves, bones, animals, hair, fur, flowers, veins, muscles (anatomically, not weight-lifter buff guy muscles), clouds, feathers, eyes, and hands. These things are so beautiful to me and sometimes without my intention they find their way into my work.

Michellle Hebert Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Norm Lao

What do you hope to gain from being a part of PHXFW? 

The main thing I wish to gain from Phoenix Fashion Week is a business mindset. I think I have the design part down for the most part, but I need to figure out the best way for me to market my brand and turn this freelance job into a career.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are now?

Initially when I was younger I had to combat just a bit of doubt from others. As an artist and designer I have been warned of the difficulty in achieving success. But I have always been stubborn and adverse to listening to opinions that oppose my goals. I did have the fortune of having parents who even if they were concerned, supported my decisions. I really have to thank them for always supplying me with art supplies as a kid, helping me with gas when my income was too low to get to a client or photo shoot, and cheering me on.

Michellle Hebert  Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Gil Cope

Another limiting obstacle would be working solo with little funding for my brand. At the moment most of my work is a result of my own personal investment or the investment of collaborators. But it’s only enough to allow me to make single pieces. I need to get the point I can pay others for help and have my wearable items produced and sold thus allowing my brand to fund itself and allowing more time for creativity and less time sobbing over my sewing machine (just kidding… well mostly haha)

And the last big obstacle I’ve faced would be facing myself. Although I have always pushed myself and believed in my abilities and goals, I am my biggest critic. I am rarely 100% happy or satisfied with my work and always feel I could have done better. To others this sounds somewhat sad or absurd, but I take that negativity and channel it into future work by pushing myself more and more. If my negative thoughts preventing me from designing or continuing forward THEN I’d have a problem.

Michellle Hebert Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Alex Stoddard

To see more from Michelle Hébert, visit their website: MichelleHebert.com

Efua Mensah –Brown  with Proverbs by Efua –Interview by Natalie Davis

Proverbs by Efua Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Proverbs by Efua launched just this year with their first collection “Like the Desert Missed the Rain” and is not planning on stopping just yet.  Efua Mensah-Brown has a bigger picture in mind with her brand, and can’t wait to use her business background to achieve her goals.  The homework assigned at the bi-weekly designer meetings is helping her expand her brand in ways she hasn’t before.  This new collection is full of looks that radiate a “chic minimalism” that she describes as her design taste coming through her pieces.

What do you think will be the hardest part of the PHXFW journey?

There are several moving and evolving pieces and several dates and deadlines. The hardest part of the journey is finding a way to makes these all flow smoothly and come together on time. I’m currently in Dubai, so having to make sure that these work together in my absence, is incredibly challenging. However, I always say that the greater the challenge, the greater the reward and so I consider myself blessed.

What’s your ultimate dream for your brand?

The ultimate dream for my brand is that it will represent exceptional quality for a cause. My hope is that people will proudly wear my clothes and be excited that they are indeed making a difference. I want people to know that this is not just a high quality fashion statement (no pun intended), but the heart behind this is truly to end human trafficking in the 21st century.

Proverbs by Efua Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

What do you want fashion gurus to know about your brand?

Human trafficking is estimated to be a $32 billion problem, with 27 million people caught in it. This is more slaves than at any other point in history. For a while, I’ve wanted to make a big difference in the world and so I decided I was going to use my personal passion as a means to drive something significantly beyond me. There was a big problem and it collided paths with me and my big dream to help solve big problems. This is how Proverbs By Efua was born.

At Proverbs By Efua our goal is not only to raise funds which are necessary, but we also actively try to educate people on human trafficking and how they too can be a part of something beyond themselves. Fashion is so part of our everyday and we are giving people that every day way in which they wouldn’t have to step out of their comfort zones to help fight a huge problem.

In my opinion, I think it’s awesome to be able to buy a high quality outfit, look great on the outside, but be standing, representing and supporting something so worthwhile, so beyond you, so beautiful on the inside. This is what our brand stands for and this is what I hope the world sees.

Proverbs by Efua Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging DesignerTo see more from Proverbs by Efua, visit their website: ProverbsByEfua.com

Herbert Williamson with Herbert Victoria – Interview by Katrina Jarrett

Herbert Victoria Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Herbert Victoria combines Herbert’s passion for traveling and different cultures, along with the love and support he gets from his mother, Victoria, for whom the brand is named. Even though Herbert is brand new to the world of fashion, his determination and raw talent have landed him a spot in the Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer Competition. See what he has to say about his journey so far, and what advice he would give to anyone who wants to follow in his footsteps.

What’s your favorite part so far about the competition and the PHXFW classes?

My favorite part about the competition and classes is the knowledge and ambition build you get from it. You find yourself forcefully working hard because you want to shine among your fellow designers and with the classes you get the education needed to do so.

One thing that makes it special, however, is the relationship from the competition. Of course I would love to win, but there are no egos, we’re here to help each other no matter who wins, because again, what’s most important is the education and business tools you get from it…not who has the best designs. And I love that! Why? Because, with these classes, I finally understand with fashion at an industry level, the business and idea is gravely more important than how nice your design looks. The aesthetics just enhances the business of course.

Herbert Victoria Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

What do you think will be the hardest part of the PHXFW journey?

The hardest part for me, I already know because I’ve been concerned about it in the beginning… it’s the sourcing and manufacturing. Honestly, I was one of the designers picked up designing out of my home. And I’m not saying that to express that I’m extra talented, but it’s the truth! I’ve never dealt with manufacturing and mass production of any sort. I was at the stage of buying my fabrics & trip at retail and making them at home. Moving into mass production is a whole other field and now I’m at a challenge of having to find the fabrics I used with my actual designs, to duplicate for production. I hope in the end I’ll accomplish with the big event coming closer.

Herbert Victoria Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

Best advice I can give aspiring designers, or just anyone in general is what my old professor back in college once told me…”Whatever you want in life you’re going to eventually get it, because that’s what you want. For some it may take a simple idea, for most it can take ages…but if you keep that want  inside you and it’s realistic, you’ll achieve it! If you live your life and realize that you haven’t got what you wanted…somewhere or somehow in your life-time you stop wanting it…” (Dr. Kidd)

Therefore, a formula I created with my wants was… “The want creates determination, determination builds ambition, ambition builds innovation, innovation builds intellect, and intellect will get you where you want to go!”

To see more from Herbert Victoria, visit their website: HerbertVictoria.com

Clary Jeffery and Sam Mascaro  with Loin Cloth Los Angeles - Interview by Megan Amiri

Loin Cloth LA Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Loin Cloth Los Angeles was started by 2 guys, looking to start their own venture. They never could have imagined they’d end up with a fashion brand, competing in such a large scale competition, but here they are. Learn more about the challenges these boys faced to get where they are today and how they hope to grow from participating in Phoenix Fashion Week.

How did you first get started in fashion?

While in college, we were always coming up with ideas for starting our own business. When the idea of starting a brand came up, we were really hesitant because we didn’t have fashion backgrounds. After doing some research, we learned that a few prominent brands started without any experience and managed to make it by hustlin’ and learning as they went which ultimately inspired us to jump into the fashion industry.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are now?

For starters, the idea of the brand came about with a – $143 account balance so getting started without any financial backing was a big obstacle for us. Also, since we didn’t have fashion backgrounds, we had to learn everything from branding and sourcing to graphic design through trial and error and let’s just say there were a ton of errors. We also didn’t know anyone in the industry to point us in the right direction.

Loin Cloth LA Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Why did you decide to apply to Phoenix Fashion Week?

We chose Phoenix Fashion Week because we felt that it was the perfect opportunity for us at this point in our brands development.  We have come a long way since we originally started and we feel that we have a great product and brand message.  However, we still need to improve on developing a concise way to connect to our customer.  We feel that the Emerging Designer Program will do just that and in turn, help take us to the next level.

On top of that it is a rare opportunity to be able to work along side so many other talented up and coming designers while being put on such a large platform.  For us, it was a very easy decision to apply to be apart of such an amazing and beneficial program.

Loin Cloth LA Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

To see more from Loin Cloth Los Angeles, visit their website: LoinClothLA.com

Stephanie Gentry with Thunderlily – Interview by Lindsay Viker

Stephanie Gentry Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Design. Technology. Education.

Those are the pillars behind the Stephanie Gentry by ThunderLily collection. This New York City brand is definitely one of kind, not only for the sculptural shapes and durable fabrics, but also because of the unique way they are designed. Check out what Stephanie had to say about the background of the brand and what the Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer competition has been like for her so far.

Stephanie Gentry Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Use 5 words to describe your brand.

Retro. Modern. Urban. Chic. Free

What’s your favorite part so far about the competition and the PHXFW classes?

I love love love that while they are tough they are also positive and encouraging at the same time. I also love the designer meetings and watching as everyone develops their brand.

What do you want fashion gurus to know about your brand?

It’s something new. My collection is the first to be designed entirely in virtual space, using Thunderlily’s technology from Columbia University. It’s all locally made using manufacturers in NYC!

Stephanie Gentry Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

How do you think Arizona will respond to your NYC aesthetic on the Phoenix Fashion Week runway?

I think Arizona will respond positively to my collection at Phoenix Fashion Week. The collection itself stands out in the designs, but as a whole it’s again something different and I think people will appreciate its unique aspects to the designs and the brand. I know its already getting interest! I was voted best design at the launch event on the 14th!

Stephanie Gentry Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

To see more from Stephanie Gentry, visit their website: Thunderlily.com/StephanieGentry

Dora Yim with D.P.C. by Dora Yim – Interview by Katrina Jarrett

Dora Yim Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

DPC by Dora Yim is a timeless lifestyle brand that reflects the elegant aesthetic of designer, Dora Yim. She tries to find a balance between luxury and financial attainability. Dora not only wants her pieces to last a season, but a lifetime. Read more about Dora’s brand and why she decided to be a part of Phoenix Fashion Week 2013.

What do you hope to gain from being a part of PHXFW?

Phoenix Fashion Week is a great opportunity to meet directly with boutique owners, customers, bloggers, and several national online retailers.  The opportunity is extraordinary for a small designer to meet with buyers and build a relationship on a local and national level.  I hope to meet with the right buyers and start to build a lasting relationship.

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are now?

I had to overcome my lack of technical training at first.  Since I never attended a fashion school, all my designs were self taught.  I studied all the books, videos and got advice from other designers on how to accomplish the looks I could draw.  After 2 years of trial and error, I feel comfortable making almost anything.

Dora Yim Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

What do you want fashion gurus to know about your brand?

Our main goal is to create a timeless brand.  When I started I wanted to create something that could be worn in the time of Chanel, today, or in the future, and look just as elegant, just as timeless.  I think we are accomplishing that with our newest Spring 2014 collection.

Who are some of your favorite designers?

I think my favorite designer has to be Chanel, the looks she created a generation ago are still relevant today.

Dora Yim Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging DesignerTo see more from DPC by Dora Yim, visit their website: ShopDPC.com

Katya Leoncio with Dolcessa – Interview by Lindsay Viker

Irina Shayk_Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Spain Spread

Irina Shayk in Sports Illustrated wearing Dolcessa Swimwear

We were fortunate enough to interview Katya Leonicio with Dolcessa Swimwear before the Emerging Designers were even announced! This designer has been featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue several time. “Making it in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is like winning gold in the Swimwear Olympics (if there were ever one).  2013 was our 3rd consecutive year being featured in Sports Illustrated, and our most impressive one, with 9 different styles being featured,” Katya told us.

kate-upton-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-dolcessa-swimwear-phoenix-fashion-week

Kate Upton in Sports Illustrated wearing Dolcessa Swimwear

See more of Lindsay’s interview with the super talented swimwear designer in our previous story. Read it here now.

Hannah Davis Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Dolcessa Swimwear Phoenix Fashion Week

Hannah Davis in Sports Illustrated wearing Dolcessa Swimwear

To see more from Dolcessa, visit their website: MyDolcessa.com

Now, who do you think will win the Emerging Designer of the Year title?! Vote below:

This year, Phoenix Fashion Week has also taken the Emerging Designer competition up a notch by including a competition for the Emerging Accessory Designers. Bad Water Brewing has partnered with Phoenix Fashion Week to see which Accessory Designer can create an accessory that reflects their personal aesthetic in conjunction with the Bad Water brand.

We caught up with a couple of the accessory designers to find out more about what sets their brand apart and why they decided to participate in this year’s competition.

Cara Cerutti Holmes with Füchsin Ave – Interview by Lindsay VIker

Fuchsin Ave Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

Photo courtesy of Werner Segarra Photography

Fashion and Functionality. That perfect combination is what sets Füchsin Ave‘s garter purse collection a part from anything we’ve ever seen before. Not to mention, they’re down right sexy. Designer Cara Cerutti Holmes isn’t daunted by the challenge of innovating the accessory market. In fact, her can do attitude is what makes her one of our “Ones to Watch” for this October.

Why did you decide to apply to Phoenix Fashion Week?

Strong partnerships are at the heart of the fashion world, and Phoenix Fashion Week is at the forefront of providing a platform for great networking within the industry. Füchsin Ave prides itself on partnering with local emerging designers, offering design and marketing internships, and hopes to support local charities in the near future.

What better place to meet our newest partners for 2014 than PHXFW? Füchsin Ave is honored to represent PHXFW as a 2013 featured accessory designer / brand; and plans to take full advantage of meeting and greeting the impressive VIP list of media attendees, fellow designers, fashion bloggers, potential buyers, and local fashionistas.

Use 5 words to describe your brand.

Sans-hands freedom. Adventurous exploration.

Fuschin Ave Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Designer

Photo courtesy of Werner Segarra Photography

What’s your ultimate dream for your brand?

The term “fashion forward” is overused. When faced with the opportunity to be truly ‘original’, only the confident will arise to the challenge. Confidence is sexiness. Sexiness is contagious.

I dream that I walk into the grocery store and see a mom rockin the Füchsin Ave Sturgis garter purse while juggling a screaming toddler and avocados. That I pull up to a stop light next to a biker chick sporting the Milwaukee garter purse and purple hair. I imagine running into a group of ‘fashion forward’ teens at Fashion Square, sipping their Starbucks and reaching for cell phones from their Lexington and Cambridge garter purses. The possibilities are endless when one has the confidence to be different. Confidence in fashion translates to confidence in life. Try it. You’ll surprise yourself.

“People are going to stare. Make it worth their while.” ~ Harry Winston

Fuschin Ave Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

Photo courtesy of Werner Segarra Photography

What do you hope to have accomplished at the end of Phoenix Fashion Week?

I hope the end of Phoenix Fashion Week is only the beginning of many mutually beneficial business relationships.  I’m inspired by the role models and mentors in the fashion industry; those who give back to their communities through philanthropy and service. We are only stronger in numbers. Operating any business is a roller coaster ride, and navigating the waters of building a fashion brand, is no different. Share hardships. Build networks. Stay positive.

Fuschin Ave Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

Check out this behind the scenes video from the Füchsin Ave photo shoot

To see more from Füchsin Ave, visit their website: FuchsinAve.com

Jeantel Torrence with Beautiifash – Interview by Natalie Davis

beautiifash Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

Phoenix Fashion Week enthusiasts should look out for Jeantel Torrence from Beautiifash & Co as she has her eye on the prize of becoming Accessory Designer of the Year.  She not only designs handbags, but also produces them herself.  These pieces are truly for the modern woman, as she finds a way to incorporate iPad holders in several of her designs.  The competition means a great deal to her, as she is working on turning her company into a recognizable brand.

Who’s your ideal customer?

The Beautiifash customer is a woman who uses her handbags as an extension of her unique style, and personality. She looks for a bag that will fit every aspect of her diverse lifestyle, that will command for attention,  but still make a stylish statement. She likes to travel, spending a night out on the town with her friends, attending social events, staying physically active, and enjoying the simple joys of life. She is outgoing, personable, a go getter, easy going, and the woman everyone loves. Her personal style is chic, classy, feminine, fresh, and unique.

Beautiifash Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

What makes your brand unique?

That all my handbags are designed, and manufactured by – me. All my items are 100% custom made. I have set collections that I make, but I also give my customers the option to have their own custom made handbag to fit their personal style when it comes to design, function, fabric, and colors.

What inspires your designs?

I like to create bags that I haven’t been seen before. I like to take inspirations from trending silhouettes, and make them how I would want them. I also like to take inspiration from clothing in there use of style lines, functions, and details. Then there are designs I make that are handbags I would want to have in my own wardrobe.

Beautiifash Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

To see more from Beautiifash, visit their website: Beautiifash.com

 Melis with Melis Accessories – Interview by Megan Amiri

Melis Accessories Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

Melis is an accessory designer from Texas her edgy jewelry allows your inner rock star to come out! We met her last year at the Phoenix Fashion Week (Remember the fabulous story we did featuring her SKINS line? Check it out here)

Why did you decide to apply to Phoenix Fashion Week for a second year?

Phoenix Fashion Week was a great experience last year and the exposure, connections and friends I made were amazing.  I wanted to apply again for I would be able to work with new designers, expose my brand to even more people and add connections!

Melis Accessories Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are now?

There are a lot of “No’s” in this industry and a lot of competition.  I had to persevere through this, as well as through many failures, and stay true to my brand without succumbing to the pressure of TRENDS.

What do you want fashion gurus to know about your brand?

I feel the one thing I want fashion gurus to know about my brand is that one special statement accessory is all you need and just that one piece/accessory can express this without question.

Melis Accessories Phoenix Fashion Week Emerging Accessory Designer

To see more from Melis, visit their website: Melis.com

This is just a snapshot of what you’ll see from the all the emerging designers this year. If you can’t wait to see more, make sure you check out the Shop Garment District event on August 9th (If you can’t make it, we’ll have a recap posted on August 10th).






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Lindsay Viker
Founder & Editor of Couture in the Suburbs. Starbucks Aficionado. Dog lover.






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