Best American Fashion Weeks for Emerging Designers (part 2)

Fashion weeks are happening across the globe. If this year’s events haven’t already commenced then the final steps are being set in motion.  Turning to America you have traditional fashion weeks like NYFW, Miami Fashion Week and many more that captivate fashion lovers.  Presenting your collection at any of these events is the dream and goal for many designers. It means that you have made it after all your hard work not only to yourself, but also to the fashion world.

Let’s have a look at some of my top picks for fashion week events in the U.S. that actually support emerging fashion designers. In my previous post I highlighted Fashion Week San Diego and DC Fashion Week. I am moving  further up  the East Coast to Brooklyn.  I had the chance to talk with Colleen Armstrong, Media Director of Fashion Week Brooklyn.

FW Brooklyn: When asked about their origin

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week Brooklyn©

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week Brooklyn©

“Our event, formerly called Brooklyn Fashion Weekend, and now known as Fashion Week Brooklyn, launched on May 10, 2006. The event was created to support and launch emerging designers, while showcasing Brooklyn as a creative borough and ultimately as a fashion destination. Our next Fall/Winter 2015/2016 collection show begins April 16-19, 2015.”

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week Brooklyn ©

Claire Consigny SS 2015 Highlight-002 Photo courtesy of Fashion Week Brooklyn ©

FW Brooklyn: Greatest challenge facing emerging designers and brands

“Many of our emerging designers are based abroad. One of the main challenges they face is finding a platform to showcase their work to press and media, so that they can gain a public following and pique the interest of buyers and potential investors.”

FW Brooklyn: Success of a designer that was launched on your platform

“There are several designers that have launched with our platform. One designer that comes to mind is Laurel Dewitt. She designs Laurel Luxe custom metal couture pieces for artists and celebrities including Will.I.Am and Lady Gaga.”

You can find more about Fashion Week Brooklyn at their website . They are also can be found via social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.

Lastly, I went down to my own region of the country the South. Erin Bradley is Director of Business Development of Fashion X and Editor of Fashion X Austin.

Fashion X Austin: When asked about their origin

Photo courtesy of Fashion X Austin ©

Photo courtesy of Fashion X Austin ©

“Fashion X founder/CEO Matt Swinney introduced Austin Fashion Week in 2009 and it has been recognized as one of the top fashion events in the South. Over the course of the past five years, Austin Fashion Week has provided a platform for independent designers to show their work to the general public, consumers, buyers and media.”

Fashion X Austin: Greatest challenge facing emerging designers and brands

“When launching a label, it is often difficult for emerging designers to act as the creative, managing design and production, while also having to build a cohesive brand with marketing and sales. Limited resources may not only mean limited dollars but also a small team or in some cases a team of one. Budget is constantly a concern and the cost of showing at a major fashion week like New York Fashion Week or attending national markets and tradeshows is often out of reach. This makes it extremely difficult for emerging designers to connect with retail buyers, which means most of these designers sell directly to the end consumer through their websites. ”


Fashion X Austin: Success of a designer that was launched on your platform

Mysterious NPN photo courtesy of Fashion X Austin ©

Mysterious NPN
photo courtesy of Fashion X Austin ©

“It has been a joy to watch Austin-based designer Isabella Rose Taylor flourish over the past few years. She presented her very first runway show at just 12 years old during Austin Fashion Week in 2013. We put her brand front and center with local and regional media and helped build her early consumer base. Since then, she earned a Rising Star Award at the Austin Fashion Awards, headlined Fashion X Dallas and showed at New York Fashion Week this past September. Her Fall 2014 collection was picked up by Nordstrom and She was recently named as Dreamer on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future by the National Retail Federation and included in Latina Magazine’s 30 Under 30.”

You can find Fashion X Austin at their website, and on the following social media websites: Facebook (FashionXAustin), Twitter,(fashionxaustin) & Instagram (fashionxaustin).


There you have it. Here a just some of the American Fashion Weeks that you should check it out especially if you are an emerging designer. With any chance you found some fashion weeks to add to your lists while finding some helpful information in the process.

This article was written by our guest blogger Tamarah Brown. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.

The Best American Fashion Weeks for Emerging Designers (part1)

We are all familiar with New York, Paris, London, Berlin as cities hosting the most influential fashion week events featuring the biggest names in fashion . But how about the emerging fashion designers?  Are there fashion weeks that cater to and are beneficial to them?   The answers to those questions is yes.   I contacted four distinct fashion weeks in the US who are actually accomplishing those very things.  Each representative I spoke to informed me of ways they are making sure emerging designers not only receive exposure, but also provide a platform and support.

I will start with the West Coast and Fashion Week San Diego. Samantha DeWarf is the Assistant Director of Fashion Week San Diego. We discussed more about FWSD and how it is doing its part when it comes to emerging designers.   Here is a portion of what she had to say.

  FWSD: When asked about their origin

“Fashion Week San Diego ® was founded by Director, Allison Andrews. In 2007 she created Fashion Week San Diego to highlight and showcase emerging designers from around the world. ”

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week San Diego ©

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week San Diego ©

FWSD: Greatest challenge facing emerging designers and brands

When asked about the challenges that emerging designers potentially may face Samantha states they may not have the proper resources or funding to take their brand to the next level (whatever that may mean to them – to the emerging designers).

“This is where FWSD comes into play. We want to assist them in growing their brand, and giving them the network and knowledge to do so. ”

           FWSD: Success of a designer that was launched on your platform

Photo courtesy of Fashion Week San Diego©

Dos Caras Swimwear Photo courtesy of Fashion Week San Diego©

“FWSD couldn’t be more proud of our many designer success stories, but if we had to pick one, it would probably be Yuwei Designs. Yuwei launched her first ever jewelry line at FWSD 2013, and then immediately following the FWSD 13 Runway Shows, she was picked up by Fred Segal Santa Monica and The Golden Door (Oprah’s favorite salon.) Now she has been featured in countless magazines, and is really making her dreams a reality. Jessica Faulkner is also another top condenser and has been featured in People Magazine and many other top national publications.”

To find out more about Fashion Week San Diego and stay up-to- date you can find them at their website. You can also find them on Facebook at FashionWeekSD,Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

Switching over to the East Coast I spoke with Ean Williams, Executive Director of DC Fashion Week. When asked to discuss this topic he had this to say:

            DCFW: When asked about their origin

 “A partnership of independent fashion designers, producers and models, DCFASHIONWEEK was created to increase economic development in the area of fashion design, clothing merchandising and modeling, and to enhance the visibility of the nation’s capital as a center of international fashion. District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams issued September 3, 2004, an official proclamation from his Policy and Current Events office, proclaiming September 10-19, 2004, to be “DCFASHIONWEEK” in the District of Columbia.”

DCFW: Greatest challenge facing emerging designers and brands

“Emerging designers biggest challengers are budgets, establishing a brick and mortar business and attracting visitors to online retail store.  Fortunately ecommerce companies such as Luevo can assist emerging designers secure a more attainable path to a lucrative direct to consumer retail channel. Online sales are at an all time high for most consumer goods, so establishing an online business is a lifeline for new brands.”

Photo courtesy of DC Fashion Week ©

Photo courtesy of DC Fashion Week ©


  DCFW: Success of a designer that was launched on your platform

Photo courtesy of DC Fashion Week ©

Photo courtesy of DC Fashion Week ©

“A group of designers met at DC Fashion Week and established DC’s first designer showroom. Another talent was featured at fashion week and opened its first retail location at the National Harbour.  Other designers have used this platform to convert their part time hobby to a full-time career position.”

You can find out more about DC Fashion Week at their website , Twitter Facebook.

These were just two of my top picks for American Fashion Weeks that support and launch emerging designers. Stay tuned, and later in the week I will unveil my other 2 choices!

This article was written by our guest blogger Tamarah. You can follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.

New Year-New Designers

Here we are at the start of a new year. This is the time of year when people will attempt to keep their resolutions.  One resolution that always seems to appear is changing your look.  Now I am not going to focus on changing your whole appearance, but rather how to add new things to your wardrobe.  I narrowed it down to a few emerging designers that not only can help make this happen, but are also the ones to watch this year.

I visited several websites before I found a set of emerging designers that caught my attention on StartUp Fashion.    What sets them apart from all of the others are their products and overall brand that are truly unique.   It wasn’t only their unique style that drew me in, rather the influential message behind their brand.  You will definitely want to make sure to keep an eye on them this year.

The first emerging designer I want to highlight will help fashionistas who are looking for truly distinctive handbags, backpacks or wallets to add to their 2015 wardrobe.  Chiyome is the brand for you.  Since launching the brand in November 2011, Creative Director & CEO Anne Lynett Moss incorporates solid artistic roots into her designs courtesy of her maternal Japanese ancestry. The brand is also committed to source materials from minority-owned located preserve of leather work in NYC.  If you are looking for a minimalist,yet chic high-quality leather handbags, backpacks and etc. then you should check out Chiyome. You can find CHIYOME at their website, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest .


The next emerging designer is perfect for those looking to stock up on beachwear and are concerned with animal protection at the same time.  Created in July 2013, Misha Mendicino Designs offers beautiful, yet effortless designs that will be perfect for your beach days in 2015.  Mendicino was also crowned the Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week 2014.   On the philanthropic side, they are dedicated to the protection of elephants.  Not only do they have a Signature Elephant Logo Print , but they also partnered with David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.  In addition, Misha Mendicino Designs donates 5% of all sales generated to secure a future for elephants.   To find out more about Misha Mendicino Designs check out their website.

Misha Mendicino Designs phoenix-design-week

If are looking for traditional sophistication with a touch of contemporary design to add your look in 2015, then Ryu Ryu is the emerging label you’ve been seeking.  Ryu Ryu consists of clean lines, a soft color palette, and is extremely luxurious when it comes to the designs.  The designs ranging from tops to their signature designs are sure to satisfy the taste of the sophisticated woman. One of my favorites from the line has to be the Strappy Racerback Dress  which can be dressed up or down.   Outside their designs Ryu Ryu also likes to give back.  A portion of their sales are used to feed children in North Korea.  To find more about Ryu Ryu  visit their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

RYU RYU Strappy Racerback Dress

I am confident that these emerging designers will help you add hot items to your attire this season for a whole new look. I have a feeling we will be hearing from each of these brands and designers in 2015, so keep an eye out for them!

This article was written by Tamarah. Follow her on Twitter at @TZB86

Are you looking for a new writing opportunity? Perhaps you have style tips that you would like to share with the world? We value new fashion trends and are always looking for talented guest bloggers. If you’re a blogger or writer, this is the place for you to get noticed. Can you see yourself as a part of our blogging team? Apply here!

Branding and Communications for Emerging Designers (Part 1)

Are you a designer with a great collection? Perfect. Now you just need to sell it by using branding and communications; you need to let others know of your amazing designs! This is a three part series aimed at giving emerging designers the top branding and communications tips they need for their businesses.

In order to understand how to brand a collection let’s start with the basics of communications and branding.

Communication refers to the reception and/or broadcasting of information, news, ideas, feelings, etc. This happens by speaking, writing or any other mediums. This communication drives the connection of people or places and meaning.

Strategic communication is coordinating the things you do and say in support of your objectives. More formally, I define strategic communication as coordinated actions, messages, images, and other forms of signaling or engagement intended to inform, influence, or persuade selected audiences (…)”
-Christopher Paul, Strategic Communication: Origins, Concepts, and Current Debates

Branding is creating a unique name and image for a product or range of products in the consumers’ mind. Branding focuses on influencing the perception of customers as an image or impression is built in the mind of customers. The idea of branding came up when the product itself was not enough in the midst of many competitors. Branding gave more options for the customers to choose from: the brand was an added value to the product. Customers could recognize their set of values through the brand.

“ Brand is the image people have of your company or product. It’s who people think you are. Or quoting Ze Frank, it’s the “emotional aftertaste” that comes after an experience (even a second-hand one) with a product, service or company.  (Also, it’s the mark left after a red-hot iron is applied to a steer’s hindquarters.)”
-Ann Handley , Author with C.C. Chapman of Content Rules

The Millward Brown Pyramid is an extremely simple visual of what builds a brand and customer loyalty.

millward brown

The next important step is creating a Presence – customers have to notice your brand. Consider how your products can be sold and where: will your products be located online? In a brick and mortar store? Do you want to concentrate on your local market or reach other countries? If you will reach an international market, are you ready to ship products overseas? Deciding on your target market will help this process and improve communication as well. By simply deciding on location, you can assess the selling platforms that will best be accessible. An example is having your target be an international market. The easiest method would be to contact the appropriate websites that have reach many consumers. In contrast, brick and mortar distributors may be better for local markets.

After you succeed choosing how to create your presence, the next step is to think of the type of customer and their needs. This is your Relevance.
What type of customer will be interested in your products? What type of customers are you interested in? And most importantly, how much is your target customer willing to spend? Because the customer has so much influence over the price, you must consider your market when determining price points that are relevant to them. Factors to consider are: customer’s age, shopping patterns, revenue, and interests. In order to build a strong brand relevant to your target, you have to understand your customer.

Finally, how do you compare with other brands? This depends on your brand’s Performance. Performance adds value among other competitors. Understanding what already exists in the fashion industry is vital to the growth of your brand. What are some strengths/weaknesses of other brands? Where do you fit in? Asking these questions and taking what you’ve learnt about your brand will allow you to stand out. Being unique is not hard to do once you find what is unique to your brand.

A factor in addition to your brand’s performance is the Advantage it has. There will be many comparisons to be made based on the quality and pricing of your products, but what makes your brand truly stand out? This can be done in many ways through your engagement with customers and the customer service you provide. Whatever can contribute to the brand’s essence and values to help the customer relate to it is valuable.

After your customer has identified with your brand and products, you’ve Bonded with them. Hopefully ,the customer will become a loyal follower and continue to support your brand.

As you can see, communication and brand building takes a lot of work, but the most important part is understanding the customer and who you’re designing for. With the foundation, the next steps will be easier to build upon.

Stay tuned for practical steps to branding (Part 2/3)!


This article was written by Alexandra. Follow her on Twitter @Stylindublin

Are you looking for a new writing opportunity? Perhaps you have style tips that you would like to share with the world? We value new fashion trends and are always looking for talented guest bloggers. If you’re a blogger or writer, this is the place for you to get noticed. Can you see yourself as a part of our blogging team? Apply here!