The Indie Fashion Market Meant Business at Nolcha Fashion Week: New York
Twice a year New York Fashion Week takes place, giving designers from all around the world a place to display their upcoming collections. On February 13th, Nolcha, one of New York’s leading platforms for independent global fashion designers, held their Fall/Winter event at Pier 59.
Returning for a second consecutive season, the presenting sponsor RUSK, who’s philosophy is “Fashion + Culture + Attitude”- is a professional hair-care brand globally known for both product and approach. The creative drive of Rusk and innovation of Nolcha makes for a perfect partnership and led to another impressive day of runway shows.
Rusk was joined by Official Sponsors: smartwater, CLEAR, RealBeanz, DON Q Rums, FOCO Pure Coconut Water and American Airlines, WeConnectFashion, FashionStock, and ‘WichCraft. Aside from these branded sponsors, Monster Energy, Cavoda Vodka, and Esarsi Shoes, (who provided some of the shoes for the models to wear during the shows), were also in attendance.
The event featured 3 runway shows, and 13 global designers, based out of China, Sweden, The UK, Brazil and across the U.S.
The Michael Fenici show featured NYC’s most notable businessmen, making their catwalk debut to illustrate how Fenici’s bespoke suits are customized to different types & styles of men. Nolcha’s own President, Arthur Mandel, was even seen walking down the runway in the presentation.
A few other celebs arrived clad in clothing by the designers. Dawn Olivieri from House of Lies rocked a bold and beautiful Tess Johnson coat and was sending tweets to Tess about the “sick jacket” the night before the event. Kacie Boguskie, from The Bachelor, sported looks of designers Diana Simaan and Lilly Lorraine.
Earlier in the day, during the The Vanity Project’s 1:30 show, (which featured shoes by Cat Footwear), celebrities walking in that presentation included rock-band “Early Morning Rebel,” Tight-end for the Kansas City Chiefs, Steve Maneri and defensive-back for Atlanta Falcons, Robert McClain.
Some other familiar faces seen throughout Nolcha were Carrie Keagan of VH1, recording artist Masha, the female R&B group Allure, Style Network’s Glam Fairy, Briella Calafiore, Broadway star Krystal Joy Brown, recording artist Guinevere and James Anderson of the Carolina Panthers.
Nolcha attendees left with gift bags filled with trendy products from eatwhatever, Outburst Energy Bites, Rusk, Udderly SMooth® and Kusmi Tea US.
The following day, media and industry members were invited to celebrate the brands who made Nolcha Fashion Week happen at the Fashion Lounge + Media Brunch, held at Yotel. Guests mingled with the independent fashion brands in Yotel’s private club cabins. The afternoon consisted of bites prepared by award winning Chef Richard Sandoval and refreshments from RealBeanz and smartwater. RUSK also presented the event, pampering attendees by styling their hair and makeup, with help from AOFM.
Similar to how the Sundance Film Festival showcases independent films, Nolcha Fashion Week capitalizes on indie designers and their contribution to the fashion community. Alyson Roy, Partner/Publicist of amp3, organized the Fashion Lounge + Media Brunch, expressing the event following the shows was about the Sponsors’ involvement and support.
We look forward to seeing the designers and their collections in the future and imagine it won’t be long before they present at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
Tess Johnson @ Nolcha Fashion Week AW 13 - New York
Photographer - Paul Newland
Sponsored by Rusk
See full photos HERE
Nolcha Fashion Week
As many of you know, last week was New York Fashion Week. And in the fashion world, it’s about as exciting as Christmas, Thanksgiving, and every other Holiday combined. It’s where designers showcase their new collections. I was lucky enough to get the chance to hang out with one of my good friends, Kacie, and attend Nolcha Fashion Week, where we got to view the Fall and Winter collections from the latest up and coming designers.
Aisha x Artini Fall/Winter 2013 (We’re seeing a lot of deep purple for Fall!)
Tess Johnson Fall/Winter 2013
Tess Johnson Fall/Winter 2013 (Love this fun & edgy combination!)
This is who we sat next to. The one, the only, Waka Flocka Flame, and his commentary couldn’t have been more on point. Kacie and I have decided that we will never go to another Fashion Show without him by our side. (Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration!)
Kacie B. in Lilly Lorraine and Diana Warner Leather Bangles
To view all of the collections show at Nolcha Fashion Week, click here.
MAKLA – who was a sublime addition to Nolcha’s Fashion Week 13’ showcases her vivid vision upon her collection of resort and cocktail wear.
1- WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR THIS SEASON? I always begin with color and texture. This season is about light fluid fabrics with a lot of layering and multifunction. Most pieces can be worn as a cover up over your bathing suit by day and with a simple slip added the styles transition into chic cocktail dresses for night. The colors are bold and exotic with organic abstract print design. The imagery ranges from surreal forrest prints to psychedelic florals. This collection aims to inspire travel to exotic locales and late nights spent lounging at beach front hot spots.
2- WHEN DID YOU FIRST REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER? I always wanted to be an artist but I think a pivotal point was in my early teens. I was obsessed with Madonna and would watch Blonde Ambition and The Girlie Show over and over again. I loved all the personas she would take on and identified with how empowering the way you dress can be for a woman. I wanted to make women feel beautiful and empowered and fashion was a creative outlet that allowed me to do that.
3- WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? Trying to do it all on my own from design to production to sales. There are never enough hours in the day.
4- WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS? Having the courage to put myself out there and be judged by a mass audience. It was so gratifying to get my first orders and see them sell out in a few days time.
5- WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR STARTING OUT DESIGNERS? You gotta LOVE this or don’t even bother. This industry is all consuming and a life-style so you never really get to shut it off. Also your customer is the most important thing to remember when designing. You can make beautiful clothes but finding the right market and placement for your product is the key to success! I would have minored in marketing in college if I could do it all again. Without a good knowledge of marketing it is very hard to get your brand seen.