It’s the season of fashion week. And trust me when I tell you it’s a season—the name is misleading and anyone in the industry can tell you it’s one of the most chaotic and exciting times of the year. And while you’re most likely glued to your monitor (or seat if you were lucky enough to score one) to see your favorite designer showcase their brand new pieces on a star studded catwalk in New York, London, Paris or Milan, local designers are gearing up to show their introductory collection in your city too. So if you’re busy trying to see what else Hedi Slimane is going to do with Saint Laurent this season, then you’re missing out on amazing up and coming artists and your local fashion scene. Besides, there was a time when Marc Jacobs wasn’t Marc Jacobs and there may just be the next big designer hiding somewhere in the ranks.
Phoenix Fashion Week October 2014
In the heart of the Southwest is Phoenix Fashion Week, which has been gaining recognition since it’s humble beginnings in 2005. Now sponsored by local companies and national names like Tony & Guy and Mercedes-Benz, it’s in its nineth year offering nine established designers, 14 emerging designers and over five accessory designers that include everything from ready-to-wear to swim. Not only a spotlight on local fashion, Phoenix Fashion Week also works with their local breast cancer charities and starts the week with a “Fashionably Pink” Celebrity Fashion Show, before auctioning off pieces for the charity.
Houston Fashion Week October 2014
Spending the week focusing on not only fashion, but beauty, Houston Fashion week plays host to designers from all over the world. Wanting to bring together people on a global scale, this local event invites designers, bloggers, fashion editors and vendors from international locations to meet, mingle and interact cross-culturally. Built around networking and fashion, this week is geared toward exposure and building relationships in every avenue of the business. While most designers here come from the Southwest and South American area, their global goal is to play host to professionals from every continent.
Pittsburgh Fashion Week September 22-28
Just a baby in the world of fashion, this fashion week is on its fifth year and doing surprisingly well for itself. Focusing on being a high-fashion runway event as opposed to a more community-centered launching pad for local artists, Pittsburgh is really stepping up to the plate. “Complete with VIP seating, credentialed media access, and upscale promotional and after-parties,” this fashion week is hoping to compete with some of the major cities. While still small as far as local events go, they have been growing rapidly and have a better grasp on social media then some of their counterparts. They've built a pretty interactive website as well as a decent presence on Twitter.
Boston Fashion Week October 5-11
Celebrating their local culture and iconic east coast style, Boston Fashion Week is truly about the community. Starting in 1995 it was made as a way to launch local designers and give them some visibility in an otherwise difficult industry. Engaging the community in a very passionate and integral way, there is even a “Boston Fashion Trail”: a collection of local businesses that include shops, restaurants, hotels, etc. that will hold special events, offer exclusive discounts, stay open for special “fashion week hours” or give packages to celebrate the local event. Even if you’re not selected to show, the design committee allows any local talent that can hold their own event to do so and they’ll list it on the website. Basically if you’re a Bostonian, you had better be participating.
NOLA Fashion Week October 2014
New Orleans is already a cultural hubbub of eclectic cultures, music and food, so why wouldn’t that also include fashion and beauty? Focused on improving the community and teaching those just starting off in fashion how to thrive in the industry, this fashion week is about knowledge and growth. With workshops geared toward designers, models and beauty professionals, NOLA FW plays host to “industry experts from brands including Vera Wang, L’Oréal Professionnel, Anthropologie, J. Crew, Tommy Hilfiger, and Goorin Bros,” that are there to educate local talent. Offering city wide events including a retail day, this fashion week is a huge deal and has even partnered with popular names like Saks Fifth Avenue, Aveda and Ketel One Vodka.
Fashion Week San Diego September 29-October 5
Californians may not have the same fashion prowess that New Yorkers may have, but we do have a laid back sense of style that people try to mimic the world over (not to mention better beaches). Created in 2008 it was meant to be a launching pad for emerging designers and models in the southern California area. Offering contests for top models and designers, winners are awarded money to launch their label, meetings with online buyers and business strategy meetings with top executives. Focused on helping new talent, this fashion week is also intended to highlight the whole city as a cultural community of artists, designers and fashion lovers.