The seventh annual Phoenix Fashion Week (PHXFW) is just around the corner and with increasingly large stilettos to fill. Last year, the event topped its previous attendance record with more than 6,000 fashionistas flocking to Scottsdale, Ariz., to see fledging brands and established designers’ fall collections. Phoenix Fashion Week, which also hosts seminars with industry experts and year-round events and charitable partnerships, plans to, once again, bridge the gap between fashion, education and humanity — qualities embodied by this year’s crop of emerging designers, announced June 13.
The Emerging Designer of the Year is an annual contest for which PHXFW reps scour 10 major cities in the U.S. for promising designers to show during fashion week. They also are signed up for a four-month “boot camp,” at the end of which one of the 14 competitors will win $10,000. The boot camp includes homework assignments that push a better grasp of what it takes to turn a brand into a business. (Last year’s winner, Dolcessa, was featured in the 2014 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and picked up by a national retailer.)
This year, seven of the contestants are based in Arizona — a first for the program. A few weeks into the boot camp, Scottsdale Living invited the Arizona designers to spend an afternoon wandering through the Phoenix Art Museum. Each designer told us their story in front of a painting or art installation that spoke to his or her brand. Take a look and tell us if you think they might be the next “Designer of the Year.”
Phoenix Fashion Week is October 1 to 4 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.
MEET: Hues of Ego’s Natasha Duran-Lynch
Rising local designer Natasha Duran-Lynch’s background in architecture is instantly recognizable in her Scottsdale-based clothing line Hues of Ego.
For Duran-Lynch, Hues of Ego was created to give women the power to transform and become a more enlightened, bolder and wilder version of themselves. Duran-Lynch uses her understanding of lines and curves to develop pieces that complement, accentuate and bring out the personality of women wearing them. The clothing is designed to become an extension of the woman. She says the structure of the clothing is meant to bring out a woman’s alter ego when she wears them.
Coco Chanel, Elie Saab, Zac Posen, and Stephane Rolland are her fashion influences. The architectural inspirations that contribute to her methodology in design development and provided a foundation for her fashion include Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier.
After attending Collins College Fashion Design & Merchandising program, Duran-Lynch first gained Phoenix Fashion Week’s attention as winner of the 2011 T-shirt design scholarship award and as one of the top four finalists in last year’s Little Black Dress Challenge.
Duran-Lynch’s pieces depict a simple and sexy style; the collection is light and airy, which is perfect for Arizona’s climate. Duran-Lynch strives to develop a brand women look to for fashion staples. Her vision for the line is to create a brand that is designed either to stand in its own or be a component of a larger collection. Hues of Ego is developing itself to become a brand women can depend on for a look that is more sophisticated and bold, she says.
2014 PHXFW emerging designers:
Atiz – Seattle, WA
Misha Mendicino Designs – Phoenix, AZ
Blackberry Maverick – Colorado Springs, CO
Charmosa Swimwear – San Francisco, CA
RAYAN – Los Angeles, CA
Hues of Ego – Phoenix, AZ
Adoire by Saba – Phoenix, AZ
Jacqueline Nicole – St. Louis, MO
Schuylark Design – New York City, NY
Kismit – Phoenix, AZ
State Forty Eight – Phoenix
Lillienne Lang – Phoenix, AZ
Woman’s Touch Apparel – Phoenix, AZ