Interview with Allison Andrews
by Aubree Lynn
San Diego has the perfect venue for so many events, parties, and productions. Yet, we fail to think about the magnitude of what this great city can produce when the right talent, minds and collaborators get together.
In terms of fashion, we don’t give the San Diego scene enough credit for the talent and accomplishments of the many “fashionistas” who are working to be a part of this multi-million dollar industry. During this hectic summer I was able to pick the mind of the brainchild of Fashion Week San Diego (FWSD), Allison Andrews, to get an up-to-date account of the plans for this epic week, Monday, September 30 through Sunday, October 6, 2013 in downtown San Diego.
AL: How does this FWSD differ from last year’s event?
AA: FWSD 2013 is bigger and better! We are at one major venue rather than several different locations. We will be taking over the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier for five days the first week of October. We have doubled the number of designers showing and extended the number of runway show days to accommodate the huge growth we have seen this year. The production for the runway shows is going to be amazing and fully automated- you know we love technology! I can’t wait for the week to be here to show everyone.
AL: What are the biggest challenges you have had to face with this event and why?
AA: With the growth we have seen since last year, we want to continue in the right direction. We remind ourselves, we are still a startup. We are a team of three people plus interns for most of the year. We have to manage our time and resources to accomplish our goal of creating an event to launch the careers of our emerging designers. We look forward to having more supporters this year to help us continue to grow.
AL: Seeing that some of the people are not from San Diego, what was your thought process to expand the search to not only San Diego artists?
AA: Last year was San Diego centric with designers and events. Moving forward we set our goal to be helping develop emerging designers. These up and coming designers can be found across the nation and globe, so we decided to open up to all emerging designers.
To participate in FWSD, you have to go through the application and interview process. The application includes a three page form, sketches and photos of past garments. Then we meet with every designer who applies. They bring in samples of their work and we ask them questions about their background, garments, business, etc. It’s an intense process.
AL: What is your favorite fashion must have of the season?
AA: It’s a cute romper, parachute pant or jumpsuit – perfect for summertime and you can carry it through fall by throwing on a blazer.
AL: Who are you looking forward to seeing at the events you have lined up?
AA: All the FWSD designers are like my children. I can’t pick a favorite. We work with them throughout the year coaching them to be ready for FWSD 2013 and beyond the week. I’m excited to see all of their collections coming down the runway.
My favorite event is always the trunk show where the audience can now validate the designers by purchasing their designs. It’s a great day for the designers – I love to watch it happen!
AL: How did you come to the conclusion that three nights of runway shows would be better than last year’s one big night event?
AA: With the number of designers doubling, we thought we would take the opportunity to expand the number of runway show days with our growth. The runway shows are the major component of a fashion week and the main highlight. One thing people don’t realize is these runway shows are like an opera, a major production. If we showed all the designers on one day it would be close to a 12 hour show. Three days allows the audience to see all the differences between the various designers.
AL: Any major concerns leading up to the big week?
AA: We take a year to plan FWSD. At the end of the all that planning, we want everything to go with only minor hiccups.
AL: As we all know we learn after every show we produce. What have you learned from last year that has helped you better determine the unfolding of this year’s FWSD?
AA: Each year is about growth – we are always looking for ways to improve the production. How can we become more efficient? What went well? What did people really love? What didn’t work out the way we envisioned? These are all questions we ask at the end of the year. Our goal is to top what we did last year, to challenge ourselves.
The fact of the matter is there’s nothing like this fashion event in San Diego. I advise anyone who is interested in seeing something amazing, being entertained and supporting the arts and fashion in San Diego, to attend FWSD, even if it’s only for one runway show.
To learn more about FWSD, visit www.fashionweeksd.com. Use promo code ILOVEFWSD for tickets $20 off the regular price.