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: State Forty Eight’s Michael Spangenberg and Stephen Polando
Arizonan pride runs deep in State Forty Eight’s founders Michael Spangenberg and Nick and Stephen Polando. This apparel company is about spreading the word of the Grand Canyon State! Arizona-made and founded, this line changes the way you can show your pride for Arizona through street wear that merges passion for the 48th State with forward-thinking designs and quality fabrics.
The designers aim to provide a quality and comfortable clothing line that allows men and woman to express the same passion they have for Arizona in a fashionable way. Growing up in the Valley of the Sun, the three always looked for a way to voice their pride that came with calling Arizona home. In recent years, they witnessed a shared passion for their state and the idea for their clothing line was born with the motto, “Arizona passion meets Arizona fashion.”
These three best friends want people to be able to support their state in a unique way. Their vision for the company is to incorporate sports, landmarks and a variety of color as a way to wear state pride. The line offers an apparel collection in the color combinations of professional and collegiate sports teams; the founders and sports enthusiasts have become dedicated to creating a reliable yet fashionable product for their followers. After attending the 2013 Phoenix Fashion Week event, and seeing the potential growth and foundation the fashion week platform could offer their brand the Grand Canyon State natives decided to apply for 2014 Emerging Designer Challenge. Phoenix Fashion Week is the perfect launch pad for State Forty Eight to announce its arrival on the fashion scene. Despite the love for Arizona, the team recognizes the importance of expanding both locally and nationally in order to sustain a long-term profitable business.
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