The Fashion Season

The events you cant miss, the designers to watch and the special guests you wont believeall at Saint Louis Fashion Week this month.

 

Saint Louis Fashion Week is poised and ready for takeoff, capturing the momentum of seasons past and launching forward as one of the top regional fashion week events in the country. An elite roster of designers and special guests (Yigal Azrouël, Tess Giberson, Jonathan Simkhai and Harper’s Bazaar Editor-at-Large Derek Blasberg, to name a few)—paired with the premieres of the Midwest Fashion Conference, BUTIK curated marketplace and Saint Louis Fashion Fund’s Emerging Designer Competition, presented by Brown Shoe Company—have spearheaded the event series’ national acclaim. New York Fashion Week creator Fern Mallis also returns to STLFW this year, bringing with her a cast of fashion pros who promise to take this season of Saint Louis Fashion Week to new heights—and we can hardly wait.

Building Connections

Since its inception, STLFW has raised the fashion bar in St. Louis, providing priceless designer-to-industry connections, cultivating relationships and launching careers, in addition to showcasing an impressive roster of local and national talent. The launch of the Saint Louis Fashion Fund, a new organization with a mission of cultivating emerging design talent, will help further STLFW’s mission of supporting designers and promoting industry education. The Fund is collaborating on this year’s Emerging Designer Competition on Oct. 15 and will feature the largest award to date: $15,000, presented by Brown Shoe Company, to assist in the development of the winner’s design career. The competition will feature six high-level designers (Remi Canarie, Harbison, Daniella Kallmeyer, Jessie Liu, Collina Strada and Wai Ming) and a panel of jurors curated by Mallis: Refinery29 Editor-in-Chief Christene Barberich, top fashion financier and Hilldun Corp. CO-CEO Gary Wassner, renowned fashion designer and former CFDA President Stan Herman, Saks Fifth Avenue Senior Fashion Director Colleen Sherin and designer Tess Giberson. The elite group of fashion professionals will offer contestants invaluable connections the second their collections hit the runway.

The Fund will hold its inaugural gala two days later at Union Station, where board members will join fashion and business professionals, as well as civic leaders, to help raise money for its capstone project, a fashion incubator that would provide resources for designers to launch their careers in St. Louis. In addition to the incubator, the gala will honor the growth and development of the city’s budding fashion scene by celebrating St. Louis natives Blasberg and supermodel Karlie Kloss, the event’s honorees.

For the first time in its history, STLFW will introduce the Midwest Fashion Conference, a one-day event hosted at Washington University featuring panel discussions, speakers and breakout sessions with leading industry professionals. The conference will provide guests a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with iconic industry professionals and influencers, including Blasberg, Wassner and Mallis. From panel discussions and keynote speakers to sessions with leading industry experts, both fashion enthusiasts and professionals are encouraged to attend. Customized topic areas will include the business of fashion, styling and storytelling, marketing and production. In addition to the conference, there will also be a lively discussion and fashion presentation held at Neiman Marcus on Oct. 9 featuring designers Jonathan Simkhai, Lisa Freede and Frank & Eileen creative director Audrey McLoghlin.

A Local Touch

St. Louis Union Station’s newly renovated Grand Hall will serve as a scenic backdrop to the events, bringing a local flair—and a rich history—to the series. Union Station’s Midway, once a bustling train stop for travelers from all over the country, has transformed into an architectural wonder— the perfect canvas for the New York-style runway shows that will feature top designer talent, including Saks Fifth Avenue top-seller Yigal Azrouël and others.

Upstairs, the fabulous Grand Hall, the most recent of the restoration projects, will house the exclusive STLFW after-parties that will take place post-show, following events on Oct. 15 and 16. Guests will climb the grand staircase to find Harbison at STLFW Spring 2014 the transformed space prepped for celebration. Both after-parties will feature drink specials, photo opportunities and exciting entertainment acts—including designer and DJ Timo Weiland, Big Brother Thunder & the Master Blasters and London Calling—in addition to celebrity hosts and special guests.

STLFW will offer the BUTIK marketplace featuring a curated selection of wares from clothing to accessories. Curated by both the STLFW team and BUTIK co-chair and Fashion Fund board member Dorte Probstein, the new retail addition presents a fresh take on the fashion week market concept that has popped up in other cities across the nation. Handmade jewelry, knitted accessories, wardrobe staples and accent pieces will be up for grabs during the pre-show cocktail hours, as well as during the Midwest Fashion Conference. The new venture not only highlights St. Louis’ vast array of talented designers but brings the concept of nurturing the professionals on our local fashion scene and connecting them with national designers and industry contacts full circle.

For more information on the designers of STLFW and the full schedule of events, visit stlfw.com.

 

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Derek Blasberg

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Harbison at STLFW Spring 2014

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Jonathan Simkhai

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Harbison at STLFW Spring 2014

 

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