Posts Tagged ‘Tampa Bay’

2013 TBFW Designer Runway Show Recap – Part 2

In Designers, Events, Fashion on October 4, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Lolodaisy by Lorena – Lorena Knezevic

Lorena describes her style as “modern romance” and her spring/summer 2014 collection stayed true to her description! Her dresses managed to find a harmonious balance between modern cuts and romantic vibes.


The crowd could not get enough of the gorgeous pleated dress Lorena sent down the runway, which could easily be taken from a day time to a date-night look!

Audrey “Pat” McGhee

One of the hottest trends right now is women in menswear. It’s also one of the hardest fashion trends to pull off without losing a sense of femininity in the outfit. Well, Audrey “Pat” Mcghee proved to us that she knows just how to incorporate menswear into a woman’s wardrobe, without sacrificing any of that feminine beauty!


Audrey “Pat” McGhee put a fabulous twist on a classic white button-down by cropping the front, and provided the perfect pops of color with a bright green clutch and adorable hair bow. And Pat’s silver tailored tuxedo? A night out on the town in that outfit will surely make a bold statement and demand that all eyes are on you!



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!

TBFW Instagram

Anne Phillips Photography - Rhonda Shear - Runway8026 copy copy

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!


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!


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.


Get to Know Sandra Hagen – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Today marks the first day of Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013 and we’re kicking off at International Plaza and Bay Street! Be sure to click here to view the day’s schedule of events!

While we’re celebrating the launch of Fashion Week, we’d also like to take a moment to introduce you to Sandra Hagen, a Colombian born designer, and one of the first designers ever featured in Tampa Bay Fashion Week! Sandra graduated in Fashion Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa and went on to intern at LUCA LUCA before designing her own line. She finds the perfect balance of feminine and vintage in her designs and ensures that each piece is perfectly crafted. Family is extremely important to Sandra, who makes sure to find a balance between her career as a designer and her family.

  1. What does fashion mean to you? After my family, fashion is my life and my passion. I live and breathe fashion every day. It is what I do.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s Fashion scene? I hope to bring beautiful, wearable, comfortable designs that the women of Tampa Bay can see themselves wearing. Wearing my pieces not only for very special occasions, but for everyday life.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? What matters to me most is making sure that my customers get something that is well-made and with a great fit.
  4. What makes your line unique? Details and fit are what makes my line unique.
  5. You have experienced living in many different cultures. How have these cultures had an influence on your designs? Living in different cultures has opened the doors for me to see how the women in different cultures dress. It has enhanced my skills and opened the world of possibilities as far as working with details, colors, textures, and shapes.


Calling All Tampa Bay Fashion Lovers!

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 13, 2013 at 2:44 am


Want to win “Tweet Seats” to Tampa Bay Fashion Week’s Designer Runway Shows?

Then share photos of what Tampa Bay style means to you on Twitter and Instagram. Upload your best fashion look or favorite city landmark – be creative!

Here’s how to enter the contest:

  1. Upload a photo to Instagram and/or Twitter
  2. Tag @TBFashionWeek, and
  3. Use hashtags #TBFW AND #TampaBayStyle

The contest runs between 9/13/13 12:00 AM ET and 9/18/13 11:59 PM ET. Winner(s) will be announced on 9/19/13 on Tampa Bay Fashion Week’s social media channels. #TBFW Tweets Seats are a reserved special section of the audience encouraged to live-tweet throughout the show.

So… get out there and show us what Tampa Bay style means to you! We’ll see you all next week!

Get to Know Rhonda Shear – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

Rhonda Shear first made her mark as a beauty queen and Hollywood actress, before venturing into the fashion world as an intimate apparel designer. Her line, Rhonda Shear Intimates, focuses on embracing a woman’s curves and teaching women to accentuate what they have. She listens carefully to her customer’s needs and caters to women from sizes XS to 3X. Rhonda has been featured in Tampa Bay Fashion Week for several years, on HSN, and was even named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012.

This year at Tampa Bay Fashion Week 2013, Rhonda will launch her exclusive collaboration designs with Crystal Hefner and Kato Kaelin!


Get to Know Rachana Suri – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 10, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Rachana Suri is the founder and designer of, a luxury fashion line that prides itself in following only the highest ethical fashion principles. Rachana is an ex-ad exec who has stressed the importance of ethics in consumerism. She believes that our spending habits have a much larger impact on the world around us than we realize, and encourages socially responsible spending. Rachana has worked hard to put the spotlight on the issue of human/labor trafficking and even dedicates a portion of Accessuri’s profits to ending human/labor trafficking. She founded to prove that designing socially responsible clothing does not mean sacrificing style and luxury.

  1. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion to me is more about how I feel about myself. That means how an outfit can bring out my personality, or remind me of places I have visited. I do not like brand names just for the name; I do enjoy anything that is well-made, timeless, and fashionable. My favorite pieces are from traveling around Europe; I have pieces that are still so hot 10 years later.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? A sense of strength amongst women. I would love for women to buy/spend their money on supporting other women, our local communities, etc. It used to be that this type of ethical fashion may not be so fashionable. I want to show that we can use organic fabrics, fair labor, support local communities, and raise awareness for human trafficking all the while looking glamorous, sexy, and fashionable.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? I really like pieces that one feels comfortable in, accents their assets, all the while being a piece that you enjoy wearing and come back to often.
  4. What makes your line unique? My line is about being a “rockanrolla” and about being glamorous, while doing good. I use a lot of mixed materials to create unique outlines that accentuate the female figure. The designs are simple so they can easily be manufactured locally.
  5. You are active in creating awareness in ending human/labor trafficking, and a portion of each purchase from your line goes towards preventing this. How do you hope to continue making a difference with this cause? I want to continue to create awareness about human/labor trafficking. How we spend our money directly correlates to the world we want to create. You can spend your money with companies whose sole purpose profits at the exploitation of others, or you can spend money with companies who are trying to replenish the world. I would like to see a paradigm shift in people’s minds as to how much power their money has. The only way to show your voice in this modern time is how you spend your money. It’s your only true vote, use it wisely.


Get to Know Dolly Donshey – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Dolly Donshey of Monstruosité had dreams of fashion designing and finally got to chase that dream when she studied under Jan Wutkowski, a master milliner. She was able to display the skills she learned under Wutkowski when she released her first collection, “Lola.” Dolly’s second collection, “Cycles,” was featured in last year’s Tampa Fay Fashion Week. Known for her remarkable creativity and theatric runway shows, Dolly has been featured in magazines such as Style-Ology, as well as notable Tampa Bay radio and news shows. Dolly has also designed her own luxury t-shirt line, corsetry line and RTW clothing line.

  1. What does Fashion mean to you? Ever since I was little, I have always had this burning desire that I was meant to do something creative and to be something great. I’ve always had the motto, “Try everything and see what sticks.” I’ve done everything from dancing and singing, theater, photography, film and even roller derby (which lasted about a second). My list of past experiences is a long one but the fashion business is the only thing that has ever truly made sense to me. This isn’t just a business for me and my team, it’s a way of life. We spend every minute of every day working toward this crazy dream of mine because it is undoubtedly worth it in the end. I have never wanted anything so badly. Fashion isn’t just clothes for me; it is the perfect outlet for all of my thoughts, feelings, desires and twisted dreams.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? Professionalism. I have seen a sad trend of “hobby” designers and it really gives the rest of the serious designers in this area a bad name. There is so much more that goes into a brand than making a collection twice a year and people need to know that. I love this town and no matter where I end up, I want people to respect this area and hold it to a higher regard. We will never be the fashion capital of the world but that doesn’t mean we aren’t just as fabulous!
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? The brand, the story, being consistent and above all else, our clients. We work our a**** off all year to bring you two entertaining and unique 15-minute shows in September and February. We want you all to love what we do just as much as we do!
  4. What makes your line unique? Anyone can design clothes, but not everyone can tell a story with their clothing. What makes Monstruosité special is the attention to detail we have with not only the designs, but with the entire concept, fabric, music, etc. Our special clients and customers aren’t just buying a piece of clothing; they are buying an idea and an emotion. They radiate confidence and sexiness and we just LOVE that!
  5. You are one of our returning designers. What are you looking forward to most about this year’s show and what do you love most about your new collection? This is our third year with Tampa Bay Fashion Week. We are so thankful to the TBFW team for taking a chance on my brand three years ago, and giving us the opportunity to learn and grow. Anyone who has followed my brand knows just how much of an evolution this endeavor has been. Starting as a hat label, and now full clothing, has been the best ride and we just love that we were able to take this ride with TBFW. Starting in this business so young (19) I am most looking forward to the fact that I have grown up and I can finally approach a show like this in a calm and collected manner. I have finally figured out what works and I am looking forward to the relaxing atmosphere that backstage will bring this year. We haven’t lost the dramatic elements to our show that fashion fans have come to know and love, but we have channeled it into other areas, allowing for the clothes to do all the talking this year. This year’s Spring/Summer collection is called, “The Struggle” and although the concept is gruesome and disturbing (like always ;]), I have translated the inspiration into a very refined, wearable and fun line for women.


Get to Know Lorena Knezevic – 2013 TBFW Featured Designer

In Designers, Events, Fashion, Updates on September 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

At 17 years old, Lorena Knezevic is the youngest designer at this year’s Tampa Bay Fashion Week. However, don’t let her age fool you! Lorena knew at a very young age that she wanted to be a designer, and has had her collections featured in several fashion events. The VH2 Fashion Show, Latina Pageant Fashions Show, Life’s a Label Fashion Show, and Exclusif Fashion Show are just a few. She has also won national art awards for the past four consecutive years from Young Artists and Writers, and hopes to attend design school in the future.

  1. What does fashion mean to you? To me, fashion is the most direct way to sense the mood of the world. Trends in movies and music, and influences of other cultures all manifest into the clothes that people wear. Like people, fashion can’t remain in one place for long. Every six months, there is a new rhythm, a new beat to run, skip, trot toward, the next big thing. Seeing this communication between global influences and the works of art that people wear is just incredible to me. When seen in that sense, fashion can’t simply mean one thing. Fashion is everything.
  2. What do you hope to bring to Tampa Bay’s fashion scene? Coming from the perspective of a 17 year old designer who was born in Torino, Italy, with a family originally from Croatia, who now lives all over the world, I think I will definitely be able to bring a new perspective to Tampa. I hope to present a line that is influenced by my mixed cultures and past travels, as well as my youth.
  3. What matters to you the most as a designer? My designs focus on the woman who is wearing the garment. In my opinion, fashion is most successful if the woman wearing the dress looks and feels beautiful. The dress should fit her, both in tailoring and in the elegance of the design.
  4. What makes your line unique? I call my style a “modern romance”. The past few years, it seems like many designers have embraced a sort of androgynous tough-girl grunge vibe. Though I respect these designers and the movement, I believe there is strength in femininity. There is a certain boldness in being completely confident being a woman, being beautiful, being soft. No one should mistake femininity for fragility. My line, with its modern romantic style, represents exactly that.
  5. At 17 years old you are our youngest designer this year! How do you manage to juggle life as a high school teen with life as an emerging designer? I could sit here and say that juggling six college credit classes and six fashion shows a year is difficult. I could say that scheduling all my school clubs and casting calls is stressful, which it is, though I never mind doing it! School is one life. Playing the role of the high school teenagers starts at 7 a.m. and ends at 2 p.m., or after I finish my homework. The rest of the time, I am exactly who I want to be—the designer behind Lolodaisy by Lorena. I suppose it helps that I started working my way into the fashion world years ago. Fashion was always part of my life. The past four consecutive years I have won Gold Key National Art Awards from the Scholastic Young Artists and Writers. I started modeling seriously when I was 13 or 14 years old, which allowed me to get a lot of contacts and knowledge into the fashion industry. I even modeled at Tampa Bay Fashion Week the past two years!


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