The competition has officially begun and I am ridiculously excited to be chosen as one of the finalists for the Phoenix Fashion Week 2016 Emerging Designer of the Year.
The 4-month challenge for the title officially kicked off last night at Livewire in Scottsdale Arizona with the launch event where this year's group of designers hailing from as far afield as Austria, Botswana, South Africa, and yes, me, Isy B. from the Cayman Islands, were introduced to the fashion community in Phoenix for the first time, and quite literally thrown right into the deep end in a night of fun and challenges.
Challenge 1: How you handle yourself in front of the press
The evening began with a press conference where the 9 designer finalists sat in a panel to answer quick-fire questions from the press and blogger community. Questions requiring us all to think on our feet like; what we dreaded most about the competition and where we get the inspiration for our designs. Local Arizona bloggers and seasoned journalists like Kaely Monahan, news anchor for KTAR put us through our paces.
Answering questions. Photo credit: Kaely Monahan KTAR92.3
The whole panel. Photocredit: Phoenix Fashion Week
Challenge 2: How you handle yourself in front of TV Cameras
Local TV stations were present to interview each designer. I interviewed with the bubbly Louanna Faine, a local and national TV journalist from Real Talk with Louanna and Phoenix Fashion Week TV, answering questions about Isy B. I was lucky to get a 5 minute crash course over a glass of bubbles from one of my special guests for the evening, the amazing Angela Keller, TV fashion expert and founder of Mom Style Lab. I was also lucky to have the support of my second special guest for the evening, Arizona style influencer; Britta Higgins, founder of Arizona lifestyle blog By Way of Berlin.
A happy sandwich with Britta Higgins of By way of Berlin and Angela Keller of Mom Style Lab.
Being interviewed by Hannah of Phoenix Fashion Week TV
Challenge 3: The Runway Show and the People's Choice Vote
Each designer had to present their best look from their current collection to give the audience a taste of what is to come over the next few months at Phoenix Fashion Week in October. Our model walked the runway while we watched from stage. I was lucky to have as my model, the gorgeous Maureen Montagne, Miss Arizona USA 2015 and she did the most amazing job presenting the Cayman Water maxi gown to the audience because at the end of the show, the audience was asked to vote on their favorite look, and we watched the audience text votes coming up on screen.
The weekend is set to continue with more challenges designed to help us build our brands including a Q and A with students at the Art Institute, and a top secret challenge that the Phoenix Fashion Week is keeping very close to their chest! I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck!