To those who follow Dallas fashion, the disappointing history of local events dubbed ‘Fashion Week’ is all too familiar.
In recent memory, we recall the fiasco that was Oscar Fierro’s ‘Dallas High Fashion Week’ in 2009, as well as Mahiri Takai’s ‘Fashion Week Dallas’, which took place early this year. The latter, poorly organized and underfunded, culminated in a finale show described as a train wreck by popular blogger Cynthia Smoot.
It pains this reporter to reiterate such negative assessments, and sleep was lost last night as I wondered how to convey the news I am about to share in a fair and balanced manner. This introduction, however, provides context for the trepidation I feel in approaching any new initiative calling itself a Dallas ‘Fashion Week’.
And before I dive in to the news at hand, I would like to remind our readers of DFW Style Daily’s commitment to supporting both emerging and established local designers. Each week, we bring you galleries and interviews, videos and more, celebrating the amazing talent our city has to offer. Recent features on Ashley Burghardt, Shona Gilbert, Elizabeth Anyaa, and the dozens of designers included in this year’s Pin Show (just to name a few) are a testament to that fact.
Now, on with the story.
Another Dallas-based ‘Fashion Week’ event has come to our attention, and as always, I went straight to the source for the full scoop.
‘Fashion Week DFW’ first beeped on my radar via Facebook. Not much information was to be found on the organization’s page, but subsequent communications with Nausheen Daniel, Creative Director, shed a bit more light on the plan.
Coming in March 2013, ‘Fashion Week DFW’ is headed by Ms. Daniel, as well as Executive Director Cedric Moses, and Director of Finance and Sponsorships Carlos Vielma. A native of Louisiana, real estate developer and entrepreneur Moses recently relocated to Dallas. He is the founder and CEO of DFW Concierge Services. Daniel is a graduate of UNT, as well as a self-taught designer and Pin Show alum. Vielma, an experienced philanthropic fundraiser, is a Director of the Charity Club Foundation, which organizes gaming events for non-profits.
In fact, philanthropy seems to be the greatest component of ‘Fashion Week DFW’, as described by Daniel.
“The goal of the Fashion Week DFW organization is to illustrate how helping the communities through charitable donations and active involvement where we live and work is truly fashionable,” she wrote in an email earlier this week. “In addition, Fashion Week DFW is committed to providing mentoring and educational programs for student designers and business development assistance for emerging designers to cultivate and support the fashion industry throughout the Metroplex.”
An admirable goal, absolutely, though more suited to the title ‘Fashion Philanthropy Week’, perhaps. The main purpose of established major fashion weeks throughout the world, as this reporter understands them, is to present clothing to retail buyers, editors, and tastemakers, as a conduit for sales and branding. But I digress.
Moses, Daniel, and Vielma report they are in “final negotiations” with the Omni Hotel to serve as the venue for their event. Designers committed at this time include Barron & J by James Martinez, Izavel by Isabel Varela, Esque by Leslie Pennel, Tashumbra Women’s Apparel by Lisha Brightman and Nausheen Daniel Design. Additional designers are invited to apply in coming weeks and months, as soon as the application process is enabled.
To be included in the week-long initiative, educational seminars, luncheons, and evening designer features are planned. At this point, no budget has been set.
Finally, a regular series of single-designer runway shows is planned in the months leading up to ‘Fashion Week DFW’. A first outing took place at the Tower Club on May 1st (a benefit for The Society of Women Who Love Shoes), soon to be followed by a second event on June 1st. Location details are still pending.
Needless to say, Daniel, Moses, and Vielma have laid out a very ambitious plan. If all goes smoothly, ‘Fashion Week DFW’ could be a good opportunity for budding local designers. The team does, however, have their work cut out for them.
In closing, perhaps I simply object to the continuing desire to brand these independent events as Dallas ‘Fashion Weeks’. Would these talented young organizers better serve the North Texas fashion community by joining forces with existing and successful local showcases, such as the Pin Show? It seems to me that their goals are aligned with the Pin, and less in keeping with the large-scale professional productions expected of a true Fashion Week.
But that, dear readers, is just my two cents. I wish this trio the best, and I admire their drive and optimism.
My best to you,
Lisa Petty, Editor