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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

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!

Jessica

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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!

~Jessica

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

~Jessica

 

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Stylish Socks: Always in Season

In Fashion, Trends, Updates on August 11, 2016 at 1:38 am

If you’re in sunny Florida like us, your freshly pedicured toes are still making an appearance in sandals, open-toe shoes, and flip flops right now. Just around the corner is the fall season though, and while you can keep your pedi on point, your feet will need some coverage. Enter: socks.

Socks have been a necessity in one’s closet since the beginning of mankind. Depending on which part of the world you live, socks were used to absorb sweat or to insulate the foot and decrease frostbites. They were a mostly hidden commodity, but…Not. Any. More.

Socks have been trending for a while now and we are loving the attention they’re getting! Why? Because anyone from the working professional to a young child can stylistically wear socks that are appropriate for the everyday hustle and bustle (or running around the playground).

Ankle and calf-length socks are great for formal settings.

Worn correctly, they can bring high fashion to the workplace.

Ankle and calf-length socks pair well with casual wear also, bringing an urban, eccentric feel to even the most mundane of outfits.

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Image by FashionHe

Over-the-knee (which includes thigh-high) socks are some of our favorites because they are the most versatile. They keep you warm in the winter months and look darn good while doing so. They can be paired with almost every look.

Mini dresses or skirts and OTK’s? Lovely, classy and ready to go.

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Image to Nancy Qian

Oversized sweaters and OTK’s? Comfortable, stylish and season-friendly.

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Image by Dawn Cassizzi

Shorts and OTK’s. Pajamas and OTK’s. Athletic wear and OTK’s. We can go on and on, we love them and their versatility.

If you like the scrunchy sock look, you can get OTK’s and adjust them to your satisfaction.

Being fans of creativity and originality, we at Fashion Week Tampa Bay are digging this trend and want to know whether you do, too! Comment and let us know what you think.

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Three Tips to Find a Job in Fashion

In Fashion, Updates on August 5, 2016 at 1:27 am
Image courtesy of UnSplash

Image courtesy of UnSplash

Working in fashion is a dream of many. It seems glamourous, sparkly, creative and innovative, which it truly is. But it’s much more than that. Hard work, indepth industry knowledge and experiences are crucial to succeed. Here are three tips to find and get a job in fashion:

Demonstrate your experiences and know-how
Every career path starts somewhere. Fashion designers visit a fashion school to learn all about fabrics and design, buyers often study business or enroll for a course related to fashion management. However, having attended an educational institution isn’t a guarantee for glory and a successful professional life. Most companies require hands-on experiences through internships, volunteering, etc. Therefore, gaining
experiences and highlighting them in your job application is king!

This is especially important for those who are looking for a career change within the industry or across industries. A successful event manager might also be able to organize catwalk shows. In order to convince your potential employer about exactly that, another thing is especially important:

Be informed about the industry
Whatever career path in the fashion industry you are following. Make sure to know what’s going on. Reading the latest fashion news to be informed about recent developments is crucial. This should be more than knowing who was sitting front row and what the Kardashians wore. FashionUnited combines crucial industry information on just one platform, which is pretty handy. If you opt for ultimate convenience, a newsletter will deliver the essential knowledge directly to your email account.

Check out niche job boards & maintain your network
Various websites list various job offers. Unfortunately many of those websites are general career pages with positions in different fields outside the fashion world. To simplify your job search and to minimize frustration, look for platforms that focus on careers in fashion. You will be able to find more vacancies that are relevant for your search.

Another important source for job opportunities is your personal network. Make sure to connect with former colleagues, students and companies on business platforms such as Linkedin. Job opportunities might cross your way!

This post is a guest contribution from Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2016 media partner:

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FashionUnited is the international platform for fashion professionals. Globally active, the website reaches more than 1.5 million industry professionals per month. The philosophy of FashionUnited is to make the

industry “ more fun and efficient” by combining essential industry information on just one platform.

Street Style in Tampa Bay

In Events, Fashion, Trends on July 15, 2016 at 2:51 am

In this week’s blog post we are taking it back to the streets! We saw and met some beautiful women this week effortlessly slaying in this Florida heat and we have just got to introduce them to you!

Jessica, a member of University of South Florida faculty, caught up with Fashion Week Tampa Bay just outside of the USF libraryJessica 1

Her skirt came courtesy of, online retailer, Venus.com and her lovely nude colored flats are from DSW. She was are unsure where her top came from due to how long she has had it, but she thinks it may be courtesy of Kohl’s.

 

Looking lovely and regal in what she described as an “old outfit”, she proves those ‘old’ pieces of clothing in your closet can become your classic, go-to pieces.

Next meet USF student Liza. When we saw her camouflage jacket and gladiator sandals, we had to stop and chat it up! There is something so alluring when a look is so complete… so we asked her where she got it.

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The shorts were a random buy but if anyone wants to buy a pair like them, there are tons of summer sales going on online, it just takes some searching. Liza’s shirt is from Forever 21 and the jacket was thrifted from the Anarchist Closet. Her sandals are from TJ Maxx and so is her adorable floral backpack.

It is always so much fun going out and interacting with the ladies of Tampa Bay. Be on the lookout because the next person who may end up on here may be you! 🙂

Much love and kisses from the Tampa Bay Fashion Week team, ciao!

2013 TBFW Designer Runway Show Recap – Part 1

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends on October 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

Well, Tampa Bay… we did it! Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013 is a wrap! The 2013 selected designers went out with a bang on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013 with their runway shows. We were so happy to see all of our fellow fashion lovers there! We had an amazing turnout, but in case you were not able to make it we are providing mini-recaps of the shows here.  Read on to see how the show came to life, along with a peek at some of the fantastic looks!

Rhonda Shear

Designer Rhonda Shear had a special treat for attendees this year. Not only did they get to see pieces designed by Rhonda for Rhonda Shear Intimates, she featured collaboration designs by Crystal Hefner and Kato Kaelin!

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From glittering bras to adorable onesies and cozy pajamas, Rhonda’s show had all the intimates!

SW8 – Stephen Ogaga

There was no mistaking which line was Stephen Ogaga’s. His SW8 collection featured plenty of his signature leather pieces, from leather pants to leather skirts, and everything in between!

  

These red leather pants burned up the runway. Another great look was the plaid and leather combo on one of the male models. Ogaga’s SW8 collection was able to effortlessly incorporate leather into everyday looks!

~Stephanie

Get to Know the Student Designers from The Academy’s 2013 Showcase

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 17, 2013 at 12:03 am

Last but not least, you’ll want to know this group of designers for Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013! They are all currently students at the International Academy of Design & Technology and part of the Student Designer Showcase at this year’s show. Allow us to introduce you to these emerging student designers:

Alexandra Lin:

  1. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion allows me to express my love of differences.  People often refer to how much they are similar. “We are so much alike,” is often said when we meet new people. I feel that the adventure in life is the most exhilarating when we celebrate what makes each of us unique and different.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? I hope to bring “fashion experiences” to Tampa Bay. Through the combination of exploring differences, a love for simple historical silhouettes, and the use of textiles with defined texture, color, and drape, and a touch of whimsy or unexpected fun. I hope to create and share new “fashion experiences.”
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? Inspiration matters the most to me as a designer. I see the world full of possible inspiration. It is what wakes me up at 4 am.
  4. What makes your designs unique? My designs are unique because they stem from a large and wonderful family. The basis for all of my designs is the result of the “United Nations” that flows in and out of our house on any given day. Our family may consist of children from India, China, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Italy, France, England, Australia, Spain, Mexico, and the list could keep going. All of these children come into our lives for a variety of reasons; however, it is through each of their differences I was able to build my confidence to return to school at 40 and pursue my love of fashion at IADT.
  5. What are you looking forward to most about your showcase at this year’s TBFW? I look forward to working with my fellow students, meeting new   designers, and adding to our ever-growing United Nations.

Carly Edwards:

  1. What does fashion mean to you? I couldn’t describe what fashion means to me better than the famous words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? I hope to bring my sophisticated, fashion-forward style to Tampa Bay by using luxury, airy, and colorful fabrics that represent Florida’s beautiful ambiance.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? The most important part of being a designer is creating pieces that will make a woman feel invincible to judgment. While wearing my designs, I want the woman to feel confident, chic, and comfortable.
  4. What makes your designs unique? As a designer, I love to embrace the femininity of a woman. My designs emphasize a woman’s figure and romantic attitude, while maintaining a sophisticated and classy appearance.
  5. What are you looking forward to most about your showcase at this year’s TBFW? This year’s Tampa Bay Fashion Week will be the first time displaying my designs on a runway. I am incredibly excited to present my hard work, knowledge, and experience through a small taste of my Spring/Summer 2014 collection.

Gwenn Everett:

  1. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion is a way for me to express myself. To me fashion is a silent language between myself and the world; therefore, knowing my personality style helps me to remain stylish while being myself.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? My goal is  to not just have people say WOW, but to revive the season with spring all over again.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? As a women’s clothing designer I pride myself on enriching women’s lives through what they wear. My goal is to help women connect with their inner-selves in order to express her inside-out in a simple, yet trendy manner.
  4. What makes your designs unique? Each of my designs is created with an inspiration in mind; this particular collection will reflect the flowing wind in springtime. The silhouettes are a combination of contoured fits and twisting flows at the hemlines. Each garment is a beautiful blend of simple and stylish.
  5. What are you looking forward to most about your showcase at this year’s TBFW? To have my pieces accepted by the audience, as well as gain connections to other designers and potential clients.

 Ivette “Gigi” Guerra:

  1. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion to me is a manifestation of individuality, creativity and innovation.  It’s the primary form of self-expression.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? I want the women of Tampa Bay to look and feel beautiful without losing what makes them unique.  I hope that they find something in my designs that will help them showcase their style and originality.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? As a designer, I want to share my vision by providing women with pieces that identify with their personal style, and that accentuate what makes them who they are.
  4. What makes your designs unique? My designs have a classic-chic flavor that can be worn by women who are in need of an elegant look.  My designs are for women who have a fashion forward sense, enjoy dressing up and wearing only the most luxurious textiles.  I want women to express their femininity with sophistication and grace.
  5. What are you looking forward to most about your showcase at this year’s TBFW? I’m excited to share my designs and love of all things fashion.  It’s an honor and privilege to have been chosen for such an event.  I’m positive that my designs will showcase my desire to make my mark on the fashion industry.

There you have it! All of the designers for Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013! It’s going to be an exciting runway show event. You can simply scroll through the posts if you missed any of the previously featured designers, otherwise, you will see them (and us) the rest of the week and of course, at the runway show this Friday, Sept. 20, 2013!

~Stephanie

Get to Know Stephen Ogaga – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 16, 2013 at 9:55 am

Designer Stephen Ogaga was raised in London, an experience which would later inspire many of the designs in his SW8 line. After moving to the U.S., Stephen graduated in marketing from the University of South Florida, and worked in the marketing field before deciding to follow his passion for fashion and design. His line, SW8, was so named for the postal code of his childhood home in SW London. The line features custom leather street wear and prides itself on the use of high-quality materials and careful attention to detail.

  1. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion to me is an art. It’s a way for people to articulate their inner artistic character. I see people as blank canvases, and how we choose to dress ourselves or others is almost like putting brush stokes to that canvas. Fashion is a lifestyle and, just as in life itself, you should never be afraid to do something different. Push the bar of what society classifies as the norm to levels where they said it shouldn’t be, and then make them accept it.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? I hope to bring something new, fresh, and different. I want people to look at Tampa Bay fashion as not only a city where people wear jeans and t-shirts year around because we have this fabulous weather, but a city that is in sync and moving with the rest of the high fashion world.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? Two words…detail and perfection. When I design my pieces I really stress attention to detail. In fact, it’s part of my inner core values. Every detail that is added to a piece has to have a functionality for why it’s placed at that precise point on the garment. Whether it’s what angle my asymmetric seam lines are, to the scoop of my neckline, each detail is carefully thought out before it’s added to a piece. Next is perfection. Executing my details to perfection to where the end user looks at one of my pieces and says, “Yes, this is complete. There is nothing else that could have been done to this.” Once again that goes back to me seeing fashion as art.
  4. What makes your line unique? My line is unique because I feel like I design timeless pieces that everybody needs in their closet. When I design I don’t think about what’s trending for the moment, but what’s going to be in style forever. I want my pieces to be your go-to item in your closet. Your favorite one. The one that no matter what you buy while shopping, it’ll match with it perfectly. Take the Brixton joggers, for example. They can be dressed down with a pair of sneakers to run errands, or matched with your favorite heels for a night out on the town. Multiple uses, multiple functionally for the garment, multiple looks, I really believe in giving the customer the best value for their money.
  5. Your line, SW8, is centered on leather being the key material. What inspired you to go with leather? Leather is such an intimate material. The feel of it, the high fashion look of it, and even the smell of it is impeccable. I used leather because I felt like certain pieces that were in my closet needed to have been crafted out of leather. It was always me saying to myself “I wish I had these joggers in leather,” or “These waxed jeans would have matched perfectly with a leather t-shirt.” These weren’t articles of clothing that anybody created at the time, so I decided to start designing for myself key pieces that I felt completed a well-rounded wardrobe. I love leather. I love how it looks. I love the way it makes you feel when you are wearing it, but most of all, to create out of it.

~Stephanie

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