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.

Kismet's Delora Fuglem designs “ultrachic fashion for the fearless woman.”
Kismet’s Delora Fuglem designs “ultrachic fashion for the fearless woman.”

MEET: Kismit’s Delora Fuglem

Kismit ignites women to find their destiny and become fashion risk takers. Delora Fuglem designs “ultrachic fashion for the fearless woman.” Her modern and edgy pieces are inspired by the concepts of light and dark combined the usual and unusual.

Dark hues, military greens with studs, neutrals and faux leather best describe Kismit’s spring collection. Fuglem first found her inspiration to pursue fashion during her youth. Self-expression and acceptance is what drives her to create a brand that displays simplicity along with attention to detail.

Fuglem aims to motivate women to reveal their fashion identity and become “fearless” through her clothing.

Kismit clothing can by found by visiting

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