Archive for the ‘Designers’ Category

Retail Brands on the Runway: Ready to Go!

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends on September 8, 2016 at 9:13 am

The Tampa Bay Fashion Week runway has always had a variety of designer brands showcase over the years ~ from emerging local and regional designers to established designers that launch their latest collections.

For the first time this year, we’re excited to have the retail brands at International Plaza and Bay Street on the #TBFW2016 runway!

Check out the brands that will be showing at Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2016.


Athleta has been outfitting women athletes and health and fitness enthusiasts with the ultimate performance apparel and gear since 1998. Everything they create has been performance and quality-tested. Created to inspire an active lifestyle, motivate others, Athleta will show us how to workout in style.

banana republic

Banana Republic offers versatile, contemporary classics that can take you from the office to date night. A lifestyle brand for the modern man and woman, we are excited to see their designs that will endure through time.

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Free People is for the carefree woman who immerses herself in the creative environment that allows her to be who she truly is. A woman’s lifestyle apparel and accessories boutique, Free People is for free expression and we can’t wait to hear what their new collection has to say.

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Lilly Pulitzer’s first shift dress was created to hide the juice stains incurred from running a juice stand in Palm Beach, Florida. The same customers, who loved her juice, fell in love with her bright, printed dresses, which led to the Lilly Pulitzer resort apparel and accessories. Homegrown and home taught, Lilly Pulitzer is sure to make a splash and color the runway.

neiman-marcus.pngNeiman Marcus has solidified themselves in American pop culture and will be showing at Tampa Bay Fashion Week. Offering an assortment of apparel, accessories, jewelry, beauty and decorative home products, Neiman Marcus is for the affluent customer. Hosting a plethora of brands, including: St. John, Salvatore Ferragamo, Manolo Blahnik, Kate Spade, Dolce & Gabana, Zegna, David Yurman, Jean Paul Gaultier, Escada, Bobbi Brown, Armani and Baccarat.pandora.png

Pandora is a handcrafted, affordable, luxury jewelry brand. Known for its unique threaded bead system, Pandora’s bracelets allow for wearers to add different charms making each unique. Offering bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, Pandora will light up the runway.

If these brands got you excited as they do us, then you know don’t want to miss out on this! Check out the Tampa Bay Fashion Week schedule here, so to peep the dates and RSVP your spot.

See you there!



Why Should I Attend Tampa Bay Fashion Week?

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 1, 2016 at 2:38 am

FWTBTampa Bay Fashion Week (which we also refer to as: Fashion Week Tampa Bay, cause we like to switch it up sometimes!) is a week-long event where people from all over the Southeast region come to Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater,  to be submerged in style, beauty, aesthetic, and art via fashion. (Some years our event has attracted people from all over the country like Miami and Portland, OR; or the world – last year we had a designer from Cuba!)

The team behind Tampa Bay Fashion Week, including designers, brands, sponsors, models, volunteers, and more, all work with one another to put together a great show and week of events, and positively impact both the fashion and Tampa Bay communities.

It’s important for those who are interested in the industry to learn how to operate in the fashion space and take advantage of opportunities like Fashion Week. Patrons can network with designers and purchase one-of-a-kind creations; and aspiring fashion designers, buyers, stylists and business professionals, as well as students, can connect with Tampa Bay’s movers and shakers. Those already active in the industry can exchange tips with one another and collaborate.

And let’s face, we all we want to be inspired! No, we are not all going to run to the sewing machine after attending Tampa Bay Fashion Week (due to lack of a sewing machine and those necessary sewing skills), but we will be able to take and combine ideas on the runway with what’s in our closets to create high fashion attire out of our own wardrobes. We may also purchase pieces from the runway to add to our wardrobe. Plus, we’ll see attendees in their best gear, too! Basically street style x1000 because there are so many different looks contained in one space, purely for our enjoyment and shopping pleasure!

Many of our designers have e-stores, which make it convenient to (literally) buy an outfit off the runway. Or, if you aren’t able to catch the name of the designer that caught your eye, take a quick pic. With the use of fashion app, MeSpoke, attendees can use that picture to ID clothing they like and find out where they can purchase the item.

One of the best benefits of all in attending is the community impact. Each year we select non-profit organizations as beneficiaries and this year we’ve partnered with PACE Pinellas for a supplies/toiletries drive on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 and Dress for Success Tampa Bay, where we’ll host a Purse Drive, on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.

And none of this would be possible without our fantastic sponsors! International Plaza and Bay Street is our 2016 Trendsetter Sponsor and also host to our main runway shows on Friday, Sept. 23 and Saturday, Sept. 24. Additional sponsors this year include: J Thor Productions, Sanford Brown IADT School of Design, New Identities, White Book Agency, tbt*, Sprinkles, 83 Degrees, Tampa Downtown Partnership, The Hideaway, Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine, Elli Quark, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Fashion United, Glazer Children’s Museum, Fashion Week Web, Working Women of Tampa Bay, and Vertical Tampa Bay.

Peep our schedule of events here and we look forward to seeing you at Tampa Bay Fashion Week!



Can We Get A Drumroll, Please?

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on August 25, 2016 at 4:48 am

And a couple of French horns!

Allow us to introduce you to the designers who will be claiming the runway and spotlight at Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2016!

ECR designs

Elizabeth Carson Racker Designs

Elizabeth Carson Racker, Tampa Bay Fashion Week alum, designs for the modern everyday woman. Her colorful, patterned designs reflect the multitude of influences that color her life everyday. Recognized by tastemakers such as Andre Leon Talley and David Rodriguez, we’re looking forward to seeing her at this year’s show.


Floridita by Charlotte Marin

Floridita by Charlotte Marin, a Latin American swimwear, resort wear and accessory line was made to bring out your inner mermaid. Designs consist of bright patterns, custom embellishments and intricate embroidery to make wearers of Floridita feel unique. Each piece helps support and empowers single, working mothers who have been victims of violence and war. We’re excited to have this brand, that is making a difference, in the fashion week spotlight.


Madame Adassa by Marsha Vacirca

Marsha Vacirca’s Madame Adassa line was created to evoke the natural sensuality and confidence every woman possesses. Her pieces are deeply connected to her culture and her country of origin. It will be awesome to see what passionate expression of creativity, Madame Adassa brings to the stage at this year’s show.


Allison Bailey

Ally B. Swim by Allison Bailey, is a swimwear line that individually constructs and hand makes every suit for order. They combine elements of upscale lingerie with vintage inspiration. Able to withstand any watersport any fashion-forward woman enjoys, we are ready for what Ally B. Swim has to offer for every shape and size.



Tracy Negoshian

Tracy Negoshian is a trendy multi-line, multi-season clothing label. During her time as a luxury sales and wardrobe consultant, Tracy realized you didn’t have to break the bank to look and feel good.  Geared towards the fashion-conscious, budget-friendly woman, we can’t wait to see her philosophy in action on the runway.



A select few students will be showcasing their skills on the runway again this year in  Sanford Brown-IADT School of Design’s Student Showcase. This is definitely a must-see as we’ve been impressed by the design talent we’ve seen over the years, and this year won’t be any different! This year we’ll see designs from: Smyrne Charles, Joshua Duck, Lakesha Johnson, and Rachel Ternival who will combine classroom instruction with creativity for the runway.

Elizabeth Carson Racker, Floridita by Charlotte Marin and Sanford Brown-IADT School of Design will be showing Friday, Sept. 23, 2016.

Ally B. Swim and Madame Adassa by Marsha Vacirca will be showing Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.

You won’t want to miss it! Grab your tickets or RSVP for standing room here.

Until next time!






Let’s Talk International, Baby!

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on August 18, 2016 at 10:03 am

logo-shareInternational Plaza and Bay Street is a staple in the Tampa Bay community. Conveniently located near Tampa International Airport, International Plaza and Bay Street in the go-to destination for specialty shopping, fantastic fashion, accessories, and more, and we’re thrilled to have them as our Trendsetter Sponsor again this year!

International Plaza and Bay Street knows the importance of keeping up-to-date on the latest trends and introducing new designers and brands to customers and the community. They were home to our trunk show/fashion presentations last year in Tampa Bay Fashion Week‘s pop-up shop, PURE Haus (pop-up retail experience),  which allowed local designers to sell and showcase their clothing while interacting with customers.

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It was an invaluable and unique experience for participating designers and everyone involved. (Thanks to all of you who came out!)

This year, International Plaza and Bay Street is our host venue again, but this time for two days of runway shows! Local designers will be on the runway showing their spring/summer 2017 collections, as well as some of International Plaza’s retailers. Select retailers will also debut their spring 2017 collections!

Along with all of the fashion everywhere at International Plaza, there are also many businesses in the surrounding area, and its restaurants cater to everyone from the working professional to professional socialite. It isn’t uncommon to catch the stylistically-inclined dining and catching up on the latest.

Going to International Plaza and Bay Street is always a fun experience! Grab a cone at Häagen-Daazs while you stroll around. Take your kids (or nieces, nephews, little brothers/sisters, etc.) to the play area for children. Eat at the food court or one of their dine-in restaurants. International Plaza has partnered with Tampa Bay Times so you can read the newspaper while you’re on the go. And last but not least…shop!

Whatever you do, just make sure to have fun! We can’t wait to see you there in September!







Lovely Swimsuits for Every Occasion

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends on July 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Hello, fashion lovers!

The summer heat is upon us and we hope that you’re getting to spend some time at the pool, beach, or lake parties, or any event or activity involving water that will help keep you cool!

Which brings us to swimsuits! And we want to help you pick the best swimsuit for any and every occasion.

One of the most important things to look for when choosing a bathing suit is selecting one that compliments our shape. Since we all come in different shapes and sizes, that makes finding swimwear a little difficult sometimes.

We’ve selected two suits that will look good on ALL of us.

High waist bikinis look good on most bodies, no matter the size or shape. For those of us who are sporting a pooch or want to hide our tummies, this suit is perfect.


Image by Rafia T

It also brings attention to women’s natural curves and has an added air of femininity not found in other styles.

Since high waist bikinis are two pieces, you can mix and match separates as much as you like, which gives way to personal expression.

Adina Vocui?

Image by AdinaVoicu

Then there’s the favorite one piece option. There are so many different types of one pieces, you can pick one based on your style and taste. Want to be a little sexy and show skin? Wear a monokini. Want to make sure your stomach is covered but look a little coy? Wear a suit that has one shoulder or that is ribbed.

Whether you are a modest individual or a person who likes daring, flirtatious styles, there is something that was made with you in mind.

Both high-waisted bikinis and one-piece swimsuits are designed to be equally modest and alluring so they can be comfortable worn at family events, water parks or huge summer bashes. The possibilities are truly endless and we hope you enjoy and explore them to the fullest before this summer is over.

Until next time ~ ciao!





4th Of July Fashion

In Designers, Trends, Updates on June 30, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Hello, Everyone!


Image by Jill111

From Tampa Bay Fashion Week to you ~ happy 4th of July!

We’ll be celebrating the Land of the Free with a day filled with fireworks, barbeques, picnics and patriotism. The traditional colors for 4th of July are red, white and blue but you can display national pride in whatever color you choose. So don’t be afraid to be bold!

Functionality and comfort are super important to our team as we’re running around and getting ready for the week, plus throwing in some 4th of July fun. We’re hear to encourage our readers to look sharp and dress smart.


Image by Brantley Davidson

Overalls are super U.S. American – wouldn’t you say? And these can be worn any way on Independence Day. A swimsuit or a crop top could be worn underneath. No matter the top, you will have a full outfit that can be worn day or night anywhere you like.


Image by Fashionby He

If you know there will be a lot of hustle and bustle going on in your day, throw on some shorts! Denim for those of us going for the all-American look, crochet or polyester patterned shorts for those of us who want to be different.


Image by Maman Neni’s Wardrobe

Pair them with a slightly oversized t-shirt or a button-down shirt to create a casual, modern look. This particular look is completed with classic converse sneakers.


Image by EJT1977

Stripes are slimming, look good in any color and are a staple of the USA. Whether a striped maxi skirt, dress or romper, stripes can take an outfit up a notch.


Image by Sara Yeomans

Due to the Florida heat, go for loose and light over stuffy and tight. Cotton and linen fabrics are best for hot weather.

In summation ~ keep stylin’, eat, drink, be merry, and have a fun 4th of July!


Image by Loladear



Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2015

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm

FullSizeRender (10)Tampa Bay Fashion Week just wrapped up our 8th annual event (Sept. 16-19, 2015)! This year came with a new designer-centric format – instead of a runway show, we held trunk shows as well as fashion presentations. Our designer trunk shows were held at what we called PURE Haus (PURE = Pop Up Retail Experience).

PURE Haus was held at International Plaza and Bay Street and allowed people to meet with the designers and shop their collections. Our pop-up shop was open the duration of the mall hours (10am-9pm), and at designated times during our week, fashion lovers and the public enjoyed a presentation of the designers collections on display.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16 and Thursday, Sept. 17, the following fashion designers showed:

Accessuri by Rachana Suri: A focus on eco-organic fashion with a purpose of giving women a choice to purchase earth-sustaining products. Rachana also uses her clothing line to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking and how to stop the epidemic. Rachana shares her mission on ABC Action News here.


Accessuri by Rachana Suri


Allison Elizabeth Design by Allison Bailey: This is Allison Bailey’s first time showing in Tampa Bay Fashion Week, and she showed her latest swimwear collection at this year’s event, highlighting high-waisted styles, lace and more and boldly highlighting women’s confidence!


Allison Elizabeth Designs by Allison Bailey


CAITE by Karyn Seo: After 30 years in the industry Karyn believed that by launching her own company she would be able to be the best mother when her daughter was born while maintaining a strong and healthy career in the fashion industry. Karyn showcased a contemporary clothing collection with unique embroidery designed for all women.


Caite by Karyn Seo


Jessica Martinez: A recent graduate from Sanford Brown IADT School of Design, Jessica brought her one-of-a-kind designs, all made by hand. She is excited about her future in the fashion industry and we’re excited to see where the future takes her!


Jessica Martinez


Rhonda Shear Couture: Always a showstopper, Rhonda featured her couture dress collection this year, as well as her lounge wear and intimate apparel. The goal for her designs are to embrace the female body and all of it’s curves while remaining comfortable!


Rhonda Shear Couture


On Friday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 19, we had:

Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf: From Portland, OR, Wendy brought her modern and romantic one-of-a-kind dresses to our stage. Wendy’s love of creativity and travel are very apparent in her designs, as each piece represented a work of art.

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Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf


Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf


Cerulean Blu by Desiree Noisette: Desiree brought us her colorful resort wear collection based out of St. Petersburg, FL, with soft fabrics and artistic designs. The variety of lengths, styles and colors, make Cerulean Blu’s collection easy transitional pieces to wear any time of the day.

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Cerulean Blu by Desiree Noisette

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Cerulean Blu by Desiree Noisette

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Cerulean Blu by Desiree Noisette


Be-Bops Custom Swimwear by Priscilla Kidder: Priscilla is committed to providing custom swimwear that helps women feel more confident in what they wear. Her goal is to help all women feel beautiful and comfortable while wearing swimwear that flatters in her vintage style, quality collection.

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Be-Bops Custom Swimwear by Priscilla Kidder


Oscar de la Portilla Escandon: Traveling all the way from Cuba, Oscar brought garments that are all hand-painted and vibrant in color. He mixed art, stones and metals into his unique and inspiring Spring 2016 collection.


Oscar de la Portilla Escandon


Elizabeth Racker Designs: Ready-to-wear apparel that is fashion-forward, Elizabeth brings high-quality garments that are perfect for any occasion. Always staying up on the latest fashion trends, Elizabeth makes sure that what you will be wearing is eye catching and unique!

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Elizabeth Carson Racker Designs

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Elizabeth Carson Racker Designs


Elizabeth Carson Racker Designs


In addition to all of the spectacular designers we had showing this year, we also enjoyed a special Student Designer Showcase from Sanford Brown IADT School of Design. The students designers included: Francesca Buot, Jessenia Ocasio and Lakesha Johnson.


Sanford Brown IADT School of Design: Francesca Buot, Jessenia Ocasio and Lakesha Johnson

This year’s beneficiary Dress For Success, and we held a purse drive the duration of the PURE Haus event. Thank you to those who donated purses! Dress For Success helps women thrive in their work and life. The mission of Dress for Success Tampa Bay is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women to thrive in work and in life.

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We appreciate all of you who came out to support Tampa Bay Fashion Week! If you have pictures you would like to share, we invite you to use #TBFW #FWTB #TBFASHIONWEEK!

Follow us on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Learn how you can get involved by visiting our website and subscribe to our emails!


~FWTB Stylista Rechael

Bey Day Event 2015

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends on September 4, 2015 at 2:33 pm

IMG_2029On Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 Tampa Bay threw Beyonce a birthday bash with party planning from our friends at The Ritz Ybor! This was the first annual Bey Day event, and the Tampa Bay crowd celebrated Beyonce by showing off their fierce style, and enjoying tribute entertainment and dancing the night away to the best music from the Queen B(ey)! There was also something extra special about this event, as a portion of the proceeds went to Chime for Change which Beyonce. This campaign will help promote education and health to girls and women all over the world.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week was a featured sponsor and we were excited to be a part of this celebratory night! The FWTB team and 2015 featured designers, including: Elizabeth Carson Racker and Marie Crane of Rhonda Shear Enterprises were there to judge the “Freakum Dress” contest. Contestants arrived showing their best Sasha Fierce style! The winner of this contest won a bottle of Jay-Z’s Ace of Spades and also a $100 cash prize. Our winner was not only fabulous but she brought her best Sasha Fierce style – congratulations to Danielle!

Here are some fierce and fabulous photos from the Bey Day event!


{The winner of the “Freakum Dress” contest!}


{L-R: Fashion lovers, designer Elizabeth Carson Racker and Marie Crane of Rhonda Shear ~ Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2015 featured designers who were also Bey Day judges for the night!}





It was a fun night celebrating the birthday of Beyonce!

Designer Chat 2015: Cerulean Blu by Desiree Noisette

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends on August 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Desiree-Noisette-small-200x300Desiree Noisette is the founder of Cerulean Blu and her hopes are to bring the tropical vibes to everyday life. This year Desiree will bring paradise through her resort wear line to Fashion Week Tampa Bay!

Here are some interesting facts about Desiree!

Favorite piece of clothing or accessory right now?
My favorite, go-to piece of clothing right now is my mint scalloped-edge tank top.  It’s a sample from my new collection, but I cannot stop wearing it.  It goes with everything, layers like a champ and will be a perfect transition piece into fall/winter.  It’s my new classic tank.

Why did you pursue a career in fashion? If you weren’t a designer, what else would you be doing?
Fashion is actually my second career.  I used to be a construction law attorney at a firm in Tampa.  I got involved in fashion because I believe fashion has the power to help women feel confident and beautiful.  If I were not involved with fashion, I would probably start a new project – I have an entrepreneurial spirit.

What is the inspiration for your upcoming collection?
My upcoming collection is inspired by the woman in search of paradise.  I feel like we have it in St. Pete – in our community, the landscape, the beautiful ocean – and I believe my collection reflects our lifestyle.

Three words to describe your new collection?
Beauty & tropical sophistication.

Favorite place to get coffee or tea?
Banyan Coffee & Tea in St. Pete – they have THE BEST eggs, bacon and mochas.

Favorite place to travel/vacation?
Right now, Puerto Rico is my favorite place to vacation.  It is where my husband proposed and I found out I was pregnant with my little boy, AJ.  We have beautiful memories on that island.

Do you have a secret talent?
I can moonwalk.

The company’s flagship retail boutique is located at 400 Beach Drive, Suite 161 in Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida

~FWTB Stylista Rechael

Designer Chat 2015: Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on August 18, 2015 at 12:13 am

Wendy OhlendorfIt is evident that Wendy Ohlendorf finds her inspiration through travel and art in her one of a kind pieces. Her love for design and history also appear in the workmanship of her apparel designs. Wendy will bring unique, one-of-a-kind, crafted designs to Fashion Week Tampa Bay this year!

Here are some interesting facts from Wendy!

Favorite piece of clothing or accessory right now? I am loving my leather wrap around ankle strap pointed booties.  This summer’s delicate florals and romantic dresses paired with these urban yet feminine booties give just the right edge and show off my personal style.

What is the inspiration for your upcoming collection? The collection began with roots in a marriage of matadors and concubines.  This idea began to manifest itself into the story of the Silk Road and the colors of the spice trade.  An intersection of southern Europe and Asia.

Three words to describe your new collection? Cultural, Vivid, East Meets West

Guilty pleasure TV show? I don’t have cable TV, I rely on Apple TV which offers the new HBO Now.  All seasons of Sex and the City are available to watch on demand…I started at the beginning!!! I love these icons of Fashion, Life and Friendship.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and from who? It was advice from my higher self.  In 2012 I went to Paris.  During my trip I went by the House of Balmain where I saw a dress that I had admired in a magazine on the plane.  The  couture gown that I had seen was right there in the window.  It was at that moment, clear as a bell, that I heard in my own voice that I needed to pursue my passion and fulfill my dreams.  I came home and I have done just that.  Never looking back.  And incredibly grateful for that moment of magical advice from my soul.

Favorite place to get coffee or tea? I live in Portland Oregon, we have coffee shops everywhere!!!! Just down the street from my showroom is a place called Lauretta Jean’s.  They are famous for their homemade pies and biscuits, but also serve Water Avenue Roasters Coffee, my favorite!

One item you will never leave home without? My passport

Favorite place to travel/vacation? Paris France…see the story above and you will know why!!!

Do you have a secret talent? I am a fine artist for many years….I suppose my secret talent lies in my paintings.  I paint large murals that are often backdrops for window displays in my showroom.

Learn more about Magenta by Wendy Ohlendorf at:, and visit her Flagship Boutique on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

~FWTB Stylista Rechael

couchPortland Monthly April 2015


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