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: Misha Mendicino Designs’ Misha Mendicino
Misha Mendicino Designs are saving elephants, one outfit at a time. Misha Mendicino creates resort wear for women of the world. Inspired through her travels around the world, her designs are simple and sophisticated with nature-inspired colors, yet comfortable enough to wear in extreme weather.
Her first spring/summer collection for the resort wear illustrated natural beauty through organically, chic styles in maritime blues, sunset oranges and vibrant prints. She is changing the fashion game through making her resort wear not only wearable during vacation, but mainstream, high fashion pieces that can be worn all year long.
Although Mendicino is taking a different approach to when it comes to her newly gained limelight. She is using the spotlight to bring awareness toward the global issue of elephant conservation through partnering with David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a non-profit organization based out of Kenya, Africa. She is committed to protecting wildlife through her charitable donations to the organization that will in return provide conservation, protection and preservation to elephants who have fallen victims to poaching and deforestation.
Misha Mendicino Designs are carried throughout select boutiques within the Southwest. They can also be found online by visiting mishamendicinodesigns.com.
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