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TBFW2017 Recap!

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on October 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

This year, Tampa Bay Fashion Week entered the double-digits. We are 10-years-old people and if you didn’t catch us last week, we’ll catch you up on what you missed.

For those who don’t know, Fashion Week is a precious time where fashion week vets reconnect, newcomers network and we party in between. We’d love to say everything went off without a hitch because we’re just great but that would be fibbing.

We started the morning off with a prayer.

Why?

Well, because we’re a grateful bunch that believes in the power of the Almighty, but also because Hurricane Irma pushed our show two weeks back and we didn’t want any more problems.

As designers, models, volunteers, hair and makeup artists filed through and we ran into more hiccups, we sent God a couple more.

Backstage was a chaotic montage of hair, makeup and fittings. Models were practicing their runway poses and snapping photos for Instagram. Designers and retail brands were doing last minute fittings. The FWTB team members were shouting at each other over our walkie-talkies. In our defense, the music was on, guests had arrived and we couldn’t hear squat!

We were showing nine designers and retail brands in one night.

On one hand, we were in awe of ourselves because we started out showcasing local designers only. Then we grew to include national, then international designers. Now we were showcasing designers who’ve grown with us (shout out Elizabeth Carson Racker) and global brands (Banana Republic)!

On the other hand…did I mention we were showing nine designers and brands in one night? Not the most we’ve ever shown in one showing, but it has been awhile. And for some additional perspective, last year we showed five per day.

Understandably, more prayers entered the atmosphere.

Then the magic happened!

Take a peek at the smiling faces below.

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Go to our Facebook page, Fashion Week Tampa Bay to see the lovely garments that graced the runway. Pandora kicked off our show followed by Lilly Pulitzer, Fabletics by TechStyle, Sopho by Alexandra Bougadis and Ohlendorf, atelier by Wendy Ohlendorf. After a brief intermission, out walked Banana Republic, Dolce Couture by Melissa Dolce, Free People and Elizabeth Carson Racker.

When you have a moment, please be sure to show some love to our 2017 Trendsetter sponsor and runway show venue host, International Plaza and Bay Street, as well as all of our other sponsors who have made this year’s event possible. We also hope you’ll consider supporting this year’s beneficiary, My FairyGodfathers Foundation, whose mission is to inspire happiness, strength, and confidence in girls and women who have faced adversity, through the magical experience of beauty.

Thank you for celebrating 10 years of fashion with us and coming along our #fashionisastory journey! Until next year loves!

Ciao!

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An Interview With Elizabeth Carson Racker ~ #FashionIsAStory

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 6, 2017 at 4:21 am

Elizabeth Carson Racker

You’ll recognize Elizabeth Carson Racker from the Tampa Bay Fashion Week runways. A crowd favorite over the years, Elizabeth’s keen sense of style and dynamic personality sparkles on stage. In this interview, you’ll get to learn her story…

What inspires you daily?
My daily inspiration is pushing my business.

Original creation by Elizabeth Carson Racker Design

How did you pursue your career field?
At the age of 12 I attended my first Ebony fashion fair runway show. Having a chance to see all these amazing black women and men walk the runway wearing the most lavish garments changed my life. Leaving the show I wanted to be a model, designer, fashion producer; I wanted to do it all; so I did. Throughout middle school and high school I coordinated, produced, and modeled for many fashion shows. To my friends, I was their personal stylist and my closet was their closet. I was always pushing the boundaries of fashion “good and bad.” The pursuit of my career field started with Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD allowed me to spread my wings and truly find where in the Fashion Industry I belonged. After graduating, I traveled with Ebony Fashion Fair as their featured Designer and Wardrobe Assistant.

How do you or your organization help the Tampa Community?
I believe in giving to my community, each year I donate my time and garments to non-profit and for-profit events within the Tampa Bay area.

If you won a “Best Of” award, in what category would you win?
Best Designer Show (Garments, Music, leave you wanting more)

A well-dressed person will always…
…wear the proper under garments, as the foundation is most important.

Elizabeth Carson Racker Design at New York Fashion Week

Describe your signature style in one sentence.
My signature style is bold, unique and simplistic.

What piece of clothing do you wear every day or what item in your closet can you not live without?
I have a ring that I wear every day and no it’s not a wedding ring… lol! My ring is silver moon shaped which has ivory, yellow and red amber stones. It’s a master piece and everything to me.

Do you have a favorite designer and/or what celebrity is your style icon?
My favorite designer is Donna Karen. Most recently Queen Latifah is my celebrity icon.

What’s your favorite fashion trend?
My favorite fashion trend is when something old/dated is made relevant and current to a younger generation. Like right now the blouse/leotards are everywhere now.

Speed Round
Less or More? More
Favorite Color? Purple
Favorite Store? Nordstrom
Best spot to relax in Tampa? Beach with my Dog “Miss Demi”
Skinny Jeans or Bell Bottoms? Skinny Jeans
Heels or Flats? Heels
Tie-Dye ~ hot or not? It can be hot
Dress, Skirt or Pants? Dress
Hand Bag, Big tote, Cross Body or Tiny Clutch? Big Clutch

Following Elizabeth on Instagram: @ecrdesigns and Facebook

 

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TBFW 2016 Event Highlights & Recap

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Trends, Updates on September 29, 2016 at 2:47 pm

First things first, we want to thank everyone who joined us during Tampa Bay Fashion Week! We drank wine, ate sweets, saw some beautiful clothes and truly partied into the sunset.

If you couldn’t make it, do not feel left out because we’re going to fill you in on all the deets. For those of you who did, let’s bask in that week again together.

Fashion Week Tampa Bay 2016 officially launched Wednesday, Sept. 21, with the Sip & Shop Soiree.

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There were some fantastic accessories brands and a few designers from this year’s show selling exclusives at The Hideaway ~Downtown Tampa. We shopped and sipped the night away and woke up just in time to attend Fashion Photos & Prosecco the following day, Thurs, Sept. 22.

Located at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, fashion photos illuminated the room as we enjoyed lovely red velvet Sprinkles cupcakes with Prosecco and listened to a presentation with Leslie Joy Ickowitz, VERTICAL Tampa Bay’s founder and editor-in-chief.

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We also saw the Jerry Uelsmann: Undiscovered Self photo exhibition, whose use of negatives captured the eye. The exhibit is still there so if you get a chance, check it out!

We spent the night at NOVA 535 for the Swanky Soirée. It was a beautiful night, filled with food and drinks to benefit Brookwood Florida.

Our first fashion show was Friday, Sept. 23 and showed in this order:

· Pandora opened the show and reminded us of the infinite ways we can wear jewelry. They literally lit up the runway.

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· Lilly Pulitzer was colorful and flirty. Their new line was full of pinks, blues, and cream colors and everything was Florida-sun ready. Definitely a brand to explore!

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· Free People is for the free-spirited and unique. They made beautiful use of earth tones and gave many of us ideas of what to wear (and who to wear) this season.

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· Floridita is for the mermaid in you. These intricately designed swimsuits caught everyone’s attention, along with the custom-made accessories. Beautifully-made designs, they definitely made a statement!

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· Sanford Brown –IADT School of Design Student Showcase featured students Smyrne Charles, Joshua Duck, Lakesha Johnson and Rachel Ternival who all proved the talent brewing in Tampa Bay can not go unnoticed. Each student had their own niche, making it an eye-catching showcase.

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· Elizabeth Carson Racker closed Friday night’s show with a fashionable, socio-political statement. Every article of clothing represented a facet of America’s population and assigned labels. With Beyonce and Kendrick Lamar playing in the background, there was no way you could miss this stylish call for unity.

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The following day, Saturday, Sept. 24, we showed:

· Ally B. Swim whose hand-made, vintage swimwear are made for you to be one with the water, in style. The lace, mesh and pattern combinations are bold and appropriate for every shape and size.

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· Athleta provides stylish active wear for the high-performance woman. Their ensembles can be worn in and out of the gym, perfect for the active, on-the-go woman. Truly athletic wear for she!

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· Madame Adassa by Marsha Vacirca was very sensual and feminine. Each garment was intricately designed and made to stand out. Created to exude the confidence every woman possesses, these dresses brought Madame Adassa’s passion to life.

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· Banana Republic reminded us of the beauty of contemporary classics. Very versatile, these pieces let us endlessly mix and match. Each look captures the modern day woman and man, and reminds us why we love Banana so much.

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· Tracy Negoshian patterned dresses embraces women’s natural curves. The garments fell beautifully on each diverse model on stage. Comfortable enough to be worn anywhere and sophisticated enough to be noticed everywhere, these dresses were made for everyone.

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· Neiman Marcus closed our second and final show of 2016 and they were scorching hot! Every article of clothing was a stand alone piece, yet Neiman’s found a way to put them all together flawlessly. Absolutely stunning and definitely gave us a reason to stop by the store.

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The whole week was absolutely fantastic. And we couldn’t do it without the participation of all you! We thank everyone who came out to support us and everyone who took a part in the 2016 #TBFW event!

Shout out to the designers, brands, models, and hair/make-up who brought beauty to the runway, and all of the volunteers who helped to bring it all together. The sponsors who supported us throughout the whole event, we appreciate all of you and can’t wait to do this whole thing again next year!

Until next time,

~Jessica

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.

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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

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.

Liza

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 5

In Designers, Events, Fashion on October 7, 2013 at 8:06 am

Accessuri – Rachana Suri

Designer Rachana Suri used one word to describe her Accessuri line – “rockanrolla.” Accessuri is all about providing fabulous clothing while also doing good for the community through her commitment to sustainability and anti-human trafficking initiatives.

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Rachana’s collection featured many glamorous and easy-to-wear dresses. The sunset hues on this purple dress would catch anyone’s eye! The collection was full of variety; ranging from effortlessly pretty work-day looks, to sexy date-night looks!

k.hendrix – Kimberly Hendrix

Kimberly Hendrix is no stranger to uniqueness. Her line k.hendrix features raw designs, each made with recycled materials. This year’s collection proved that Kimberly knows exactly how to restore life to those recycled materials and use them to create beautifully unique pieces!

 

This angelic cream dress wowed the crowd, while the black and white design found the perfect blend of delicacy and fierceness. You definitely won’t see dresses like these anywhere else!

~Stephanie

2013 TBFW Designer Runway Show Recap – Part 4

In Designers, Events, Fashion on October 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

Sandra Hagen

There was no shortage of variety in Sandra Hagen‘s gorgeous collection! From fabulous daytime outfits to lovely dresses perfect for special occasions, Sandra brought it all to the runway.

  

Sandra Hagen’s fabulous dresses were a hit with the crowd. Gorgeous prints, luxurious materials and fabulous cuts. These two dresses found the perfect balance of sexiness and class; each are terrific go-to dresses for any upcoming special occasion!

Monstruosité by Dolly Donshey

Dolly Donshey is no stranger to dramatic runway shows and designs. We expected theatrical and edgy designs from Monstruosité, and it was delivered!

Scarlet red, onyx and grey were incorporated into many of Dolly’s designs, giving the collection a wonderfully romantic and mysterious mood. The audience was blown away by the powerful scarlet skirt on this dress! Dolly also paired a few dresses with baseball caps; a fun and unique touch!

Elizabeth Carson Racker

Elizabeth Carson Racker has been a successful evening wear designer for years. This year, she premiered her new line “A New” and proved that she can design fabulous every-day clothing as well as stunning evening gowns!

  

This dazzling red gown would make anyone the center of attention and is ideal for any special occasion! Elizabeth’s new ready-to-wear designs were a hit with the crowd as well, especially this gorgeous pastel shirt and maxi dress combo!

~Stephanie

2013 TBFW Designer Runway Show Recap – Part 3

In Designers, Events, Fashion on October 5, 2013 at 5:03 am

The Academy Student Designer Showcase

The International Academy of Design and Technology showcased designs from four students at this year’s Tampa Bay Fashion Week! Student designers Alexandra Lin, Carly Edwards, Gwenn Everett and Ivette “Gigi” Guerra put their skills to the test and proved that they each have a great eye for design.

     

Bright floral prints, metallics, ruffles and retro maxi dresses were just a few of the fabulous looks from the student collections. Each student’s individual style reflected clearly in their designs. We will be sure to keep an eye on these emerging designers!

~Stephanie

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