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Each year the Phoenix Fashion Week team travels across the country (New York, Los Angeles, NYC, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Seattle, St. Louis, Dallas, Tucson, and Phoenix) in search of the best emerging designers to apply for our challenging 4-month emerging designer bootcamp.
These curated emerging designers have the unique opportunity to strengthen their business skills in a real time curriculum taught by industry experts from NY to LA, as well as grow their brand by competing in various fashion business challenges presented to them over the 4 months leading up to fashion week this past October.
With a focus on business skills that range from business planning, marketing plans, cut & sew, retail math and social media, the emerging designer bootcamp also has real time fashion challenges wrapped throughout the curriculum.
The category (Couture, Contemporary, Lifestyle and Accessory) winners of the Emerging Designer Contest are officially announced each night of fashion week.
Congratulations to the 2017 category winners: Qmulative, Lifestyle Designer of the Year 2017 | Nouvelle, Contemporary Designer of the Year 2017 | and ACONAV, Couture Designer of the Year 2017.
“My experience with Phoenix Fashion Week was insane! I started my company 10 months before the program but the first time I sat down for the bootcamp with the Fashion Week team and the other designers I pretty much felt like I was back at square one. There was so much information being thrown to us from every direction: branding, marketing, advertising, networking, making a collection, tag line, brand messege, how to sell, and the list goes on. I can honestly say that every designer in the bootcamp was different, and that’s the amazing part, we were all in this together with a final goal- to have a successful fashion business. I got so much out of the program and hustled more than I ever have. It’s really cool to be on such a tight schedule of assignments that are so helpful to your company. I reached out to so many people I never thought I would have, and grew my business in every way. I’m a designer and maker, with somewhat of a business head but mostly creative things going on up there. Coming up with a cohesive collection in the end wasn’t my main concern, it was the business side of things. Brian has so many great ideas and has the ability to help every designer in the room whether you are manufactured in China or manufactured with your own hands like me. My favorite part of the bootcamp was seeing my collection on the runway and being able to stand by it. Really seeing the audience’s reaction first hand. I love the runway, and the fact that every time we met in Phoenix a beautiful runway show was the main event (and always a huge event) was so much fun! I put my all into this competition and had a lot of sleepless nights, but it was all worth it and the whole time I knew I was doing my very best and there was no way I could have done it differently. In the end I won the title Emerging Designer of the Year and I cannot wait to take advantage of the next opportunities that have been given to me though Fashion Week and my hard work!” Rachael Levine | ARAE
“When I met Brian and Abbei in April of 2014, I liked the idea of extending my network to Arizona and the boot camp. I didn’t have any idea that the boot camp would change my business the way it has. I was fortunate to compete in 2014 with 12 other amazing emerging designers. I learned a lot from the experience and decided to apply the lessons to the business and make the necessary changes that would make it viable, thus enabling me me to keep doing what I love to do. When Brian contacted me and invited me back to compete for the 2015 Best Emerging Designer, my first response was “No, I don’t what to do the boot camp again.” He said “You’ll be ok.” I love a challenge so I accepted, knowing that I was going to make this work and do my absolute best. Certainly, I wanted to win but I also knew that Phoenix experience would push me again and open new doors. The PFW team managed to make it harder this year. Even though I have a love-hate relationship with the boot camp, I needed to accept that if you don’t know the business part of your Company, it’s going to be very hard for you to survive in the fashion industry.
My advice to all emerging designers out there is to understand your business, to get organized and apply to Phoenix Fashion Week boot camp, the best organized Fashion Week I’ve ever been a part of. Not only do you get the exposure from participating, but the PFW team guides you, and helps you build your business. It’s a win-win when you’re lucky enough to be selected to be part of this amazing program.” Neide Hall | Charmosa Swimwear
“This was the most organized fashion show that I’ve ever seen in my entire life! Attendees could see the effort and love, that you, Brian and the whole team have put in order to make the whole Phoenix Fashion Week event worth going to and worth remembering. There was so much attention to detail and it’s amazing. You weren’t kidding, when you say “all hands would help me out,” they all did and the dressing was so quick, it was impressive! I can’t believe I stressed out for no reason.” Farah Abu | Farah Abu
“I signed up for the Emerging Designer Bootcamp to get the marketing side of my brand established. I am amazed with all that we accomplished in four months! Press releases, news segments, interviews, photoshoots, and tons of nuts and bolts on the marketing side of fashion. Bootcamp has allowed my brand to grow in directions that I only ever thought of, but never put into practice. PHXFW equipped my business with the tools that any business in fashion needs to get off the ground. I am forever grateful for the tools, seminars and the whole production put on by the PHXFW team!! Thank you to the whole entire PHXFW Team!” Teresa Wangia | Beltshazzar Jewels
“The Emerging Designer Bootcamp definitely prepared me for what I need to know to keep my swimwear business afloat and you provided a blueprint for building the team that I need. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone who is starting a fashion business and needs a team and guidelines to follow while preparing for success!” Shaquoya Jackson | ShaLaJa Swimwear
“Best thing that ever happened to me as a fashion designer! Building your fashion brand? Try it, you will thank me later!” Dorota Zglobicka | Theo Doro
“The “Designer Boot Camp” provides you with all the necessary tools to succeed and grow creatively and professionally. Make good decisions, do the work, and build a strong team around you because it takes a village in fashion! The entire PHXFW team is there to support and encourage you every step of the way.” Breanna Schoonover | Lousy Rich