Tag Archives: brian hill


Valley model Christa Sandstrom could ‘go global,’ experts say

Christa-Sandstrom-swimwear-003“I have a good feeling Christa Sandstrom is that Arizona fresh face that will actually go global,” Brian Hill, executive director of Phoenix Fashion Week, said about the emerging model who is a Gilbert native.

Featured in major publications such as Mainsteam Magazine, Glamour Magazine Italy and Runway Magazine, Christa Sandstrom is being recognized as “on the rise,” and is quickly becoming one of the most famous models in Arizona, according to Sean Normoyle, publisher of Mainstream Magazine.

In addition to being featured in major editorial spreads of various magazines, Sandstrom has also worked with globally renowned designers such as GUESS by Merciano, Ted Baker London, Gemma Gucci, the late Oscar de la Renta, MAC Cosmetics, and many others.

Sandstrom has worked in various campaigns and participated in several fashion weeks that have taken place across the nation. Sandstrom currently models under the Ford/Robert Black Agency in Scottsdale and has recently campaigned for the Talking Stick Resort for release pool parties in Phoenix.

“Christa has always had a passion for our industry since she was a young teen model we started representing. We are so proud of her success and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. The sky is the limit for Christa,” said Sheree Hartwell of the Ford/Robert Black Agency.

Sandstrom admits she has always had an interest in a modeling career, stating that “it had always been a dream of [her’s], and it didn’t help that [she] was always taller than average.” Sandstrom began her modeling expedition when her mother enrolled her in a modeling school at the age of twelve. She was discovered as a model, however, during an international competition by the International Model and Talent Association in New York City, New York.

Sandstrom states that while modeling has always been a dream of her’s, she considered and still considers a different career path in the future. She has considered careers such as veterinary science because of her love for animals, but now has an interest in becoming a broadcast journalist.

For now, however, Sandstrom is fully committed to her modeling career, stating that she is focused on “getting to the next level as a model.” Sandstrom has an intensive diet and fitness regime she commits to in order to feel and look her best. “I do an hour of cardio every day with high intensity,” she said. “I eat a lot of superfoods and a lot of veggies. I also love to do yoga.”

Although Sandstrom can be seen on the runway sporting a Cinderella blue minidress with lace detailing by Ted Baker London or a plaid pantsuit by Daniel Esquivel on the runway, she admits that her personal style mostly consists of blacks and greys. “It’s a bit edgy but still well-put together,” Sandstrom explained. She admitted that she loves to pair her neutral outfits with a pop of color on her feet with colored flats or heels.

Sandstrom has been praised by photographers and stylists since she began her modeling career.  “It is amazing that someone that beautiful is so humble and friendly. It makes her so easy to work with and I feel honored to have had the opportunity,” David Apeji, a photographer from Pixyst Premium Imaging LLC, said about Sandstrom. Jackie Marin, a fashion stylist, stated that Sandstrom “knows how to bring high fashion” and is “one of her favorite models in Arizona.”

Sandstrom says that she loves her career because of its “competitive nature” and that it has always “pushed [her] to become [her] best.”

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011

Phoenix Fashion Week returns for spring show

“Spring into Style” this season with Phoenix Fashion Week’s sixth annual downtown Phoenix fashion runway show at 6 p.m. this Saturday, March 21. Featuring Arizona stylists Vanessa Gonzales, Nuvia Magdahi, Tim Boado, Jenesis Laforcarde, Audree Lopez and Jackie Marin, this event will be hosted at the Arizona Center on the crossroads of Van Buren and 3rd streets.

Guests will be able to participate in “Taste of Arizona Center” and enjoy samples from the local restaurants while shopping stylish local pop-up shops before viewing the interactive fashion show at 8 p.m. in the lush and beautiful courtyard of the Downtown Phoenix venue.

The fashion show will showcase the latest spring trends to the sounds of the internationally renowned DJ Q and feature hair and makeup styles by Salon Estique. Ranging in styles from floral to boho to bold and denim, the show will showcase the fashion fads of some of Arizona’s best stylists. With six different designers bringing you six different fashion do’s this spring season, there’s a little bit of something for everyone on Saturday’s show.

This special runway show serves as one of several preview events produced by Phoenix Fashion Week in anticipation of the fall event scheduled to take place October 1 – 4, 2015 at Talking Stick Resort, which serves as the leading fashion industry event in Arizona.

The show on Saturday will be followed by an after party hosted inside 1130 The Restaurant, a casual-yet-elegant local hotspot for foodies of the Phoenix area where you will be able to  snack on appetizers and wine or go big and bold with 1130’s steaks.

The fashion show is estimated to last about an hour.

“Our team is excited to again offer a unique and popular fashion event to the heart of downtown Phoenix. Last year, it was a sold out event and with these very talented (6) stylists, we anticipate it being a hard ticket to get this year,” said Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week.

Tickets are available to the public for this event and can be purchased online at http://springintostyle2015.eventbrite.com/ for $40 for Style Seats and $125 for VIP Front Row. All tickets include access to official “Taste of Arizona Center” and the After Party.

Phoenix Fashion Week, Emerging Designers

Emerging Designers Compete For Phoenix Fashion Week's "Designer of the Year 2012"

Phoenix Fashion Week’s emerging designers were announced at the Emerging Designer Experiment, all of whom will have the opportunity to launch their brand at the 8th annual Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-6, 2012

In shelter of the Founder’s Room in the Musical Instruments Museum’s sleek, architecturally modern structure, Phoenix Fashion Week hosted its annual event, Emerging Designer Experiment, sponsored by Balluun.com, Focal Point Salon and Zappos.com.

The event, created by Phoenix Fashion Week’s (PHXFW) executive director, Brian Hill, showcased a select group of up-and-coming designers ― all of which were discovered during PHXFW’s seven-city domestic tour, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Flagstaff and Tucson, Ariz.

These designers will not only have the opportunity to launch their brand at the eighth annual Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-6, 2012, but also compete for a $10,000 prize package of goods and services to help further launch their brand.

Past winners Joanna de’Shay of Black Russian Label (2009) and Jeanne Hankerson of SJ Couture (2010) were special guest speakers, offering encouraging words and insight into their own ups and downs of their respective fashion journey.

Fashion lovers in attendance were able to vote for the best brand in each of in the following categories: “Best Design,” Coolest Brand Message,” “I Would Buy Them Tonight,” and “Most Likely To Succeed.” The official results will be posted up on the Phoenix Fashion Week website within the next few days, which you can check out here: phoenixfashionweek.com

Emerging designers competing for “Designer of the Year 2012”:

Bri Seeley

Phoenix Fashion WeekBri Seeley Designs

“Quality, classic fashion. Contemporary and unique garments created with great care and attention.” – Bri Seeley Designs

Seeley discovered her niche for fashion at a young age. While obtaining her master’s diploma in fashion design from Accademia Italiana in Florence, Italy, she developed a love for historic fashion and draws upon this for inspiration. Seeley’s creations are described as intriguing, wearable, sassy and versatile.

Phoenix Fashion WeekKhanh Nguyen

ENVY by Khanh

“Make them feel it.” – ENVY by Khanh

Equipped with a bachelor of fine arts from the Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts at Arizona State University, and a love for fashion, drawing and sketching, Nguyen plans to showcase his unique style through his fashion line. Simplicity, elegance and asymmetry define the brand.

Phoenix Fashion WeekEYE Thread

eyethread.com (website coming soon)


Premium Denim Inspired by American Roots

JHause is an authentic brand that represents strength and durability. The brand’s main focus is on its denim line and denim couture.

Phoenix Fashion WeekLiving Dreams


“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Living Dreams

Living Dreams is all about inspiring people to chase after their dream ― and make dreams reality. The brand is notorious for its novelty t-shirts with positive quotes/messages, funny sayings, cool photos and palm trees.

Phoenix Fashion WeekOfra Aricha

Ofra Style

Ofra’s brand is all about contemporary clothes that promote a woman’s sense of style and self. Originally from Israel, Aricha studied fashion and has degrees in art and photography. Her experience in the industry is as extensive as 20 years.

Phoenix Fashion WeekPaulie Gibbson

Paulie Gibson Design

“Bottom line, be who you are and love every minute of it!” – Paulie Gibbson

After completing his degree in design/product development from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, Gibbson spent time studying design, art and the history of costume in Paris, France. He has acquired 12 years experience working in the fashion industry. Gibbson’s inspiration for his brand is a contradiction between masculine and feminine.

Phoenix Fashion WeekSamantha Patterson


“…to make what is traditional malleable by infusing classic rhythm with subtle innovations.” – Samantha Patterson

Upon graduating from FIDM in Los Angeles, Patterson immediately began working on her very own clothing line. Patterson’s brand aims to provide fashion-forward garments with modest silhouettes.

Phoenix Fashion WeekBrooke Alicia

Sew Twisted Designs

Sew Twisted mission statement: To provide the everyday mother, businesswoman, student, homemaker, and indeed every woman, with dramatic and unique apparel for their everyday lives. Sew Twisted has clothes for every possible occasion, as well as an assortment of hats and hair accessories.

Phoenix Fashion WeekShawl Dawls


“Shawl Dawls is versatile fashion for the everyday woman that is Comfortable. Classy. Convertible.” – Shawl Dawls

Shawl Dawls offers a large assortment of fashionable shawls in a variety of colors and patterns, all suited for the modern day, stylish woman. Shawl Dawls’ mission is, “to invite and inspire women of all ages to be creative with their fashion through versatile and modern pieces that exude sophisticated confidence and effortless beauty.”

Phoenix Fashion WeekSuzanne Lay


“Bright colors. Bold looks. Enviable style.” – Suzanne Lay Designs

Based in St. Louis, Lay finds her brand’s inspiration by the power and emotion of music. Lay’s line first launched in 2009 and has been described as chic, effortless, sexy and alluring.

So which designer is YOUR favorite?
Cast your vote in our poll (scroll up, and on the right)!

For more information on becoming a part of PHXFW or any other information regarding the event, visit phoenixfashionweek.com.

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011

Phoenix Fashion Week 2011: Saturday Night Recap

Bravo, Brian Hill; Phoenix Fashion Week 2011 was spectacular this year, making Talking Stick Resort the place to be this past weekend. And Saturday night rounded out the weekend with fabulous head-turning fashion and show-stopping pieces from both local and nationally-acclaimed designers. Even the new face of Prada’s fall 2011 campaign was present, Kelly Mittendorf, who, just one year ago, walked the Phoenix Fashion Week runway.

Saturday night’s runway show spotlighted established designers, including Stop Staring! Clothing, Joy Li, Mariska, Michelle Jonas and Blaque Label. Stop Staring! was a personal favorite of mine. This line is made for women who want to embrace and show off their curves with these 1940’s- and ’50s-inspired vintage dresses. What caught my eye were the stockings, embellished with playful prints and designs.

Joy Li‘s line is inspired by her mantra, “Less is More,” as she revealed in the brief video interview, which aired prior to her runway reveal. Her designs had a modern, edgy vibe, with combat boots paired with silk, lace and furs — fashion that “projects inner strength, beauty and confidence.”

The high-end, contemporary women’s line Mariska, from downtown Los Angeles, really took us back in time with psychedelic prints, as models stomped down the runway to the Cher hit blasting from the speakers.

Michelle Jonas Travelwear was next in line with a premium resort wear line, catering to travelers who want to be comfortable and sexy, emphasizing their silhouettes. And lastly was Blaque Label, which won the Outstanding Brand Award 2011, due to its unique vision, trendy, high-fashion designs, as well as its ability to exhibit constant improvement and consistency. Blaque Label was an audience favorite — and rightfully so considering the collection is worn by celebs, including Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, Kourtney Kardashian and Demi Lovato, to name a few.

And let’s not forget about the emerging designers, including Arizona-based HourGlass Apparel, which, you guessed it, is a clothing line of hourglass apparel; Joli Richard, from Texas, a modern take on old Hollywood glam; Ohio’s Jones Select, a contemporary line for men; and Sylvia Bours from Mexico, for those women looking for something unique.

Thanks for an incredible weekend of fashion, wine and networking, Phoenix Fashion Week team!

Take a look at some of the designs from Phoenix Fashion Week 2011’s Saturday night runway show:

[slickr-flickr tag=”PHXFW” items=”20″ type=”sets” id=”68507495@N04″]

Photos by Cory Bergquist

Check out our Thursday night recap, and click through the photo gallery, too.