NBC 7 San Diego showcases local designers’ runway visions for fall 2023 show.

H3: San Diego’s Fashion Week Shines Spotlight on Local Designers

The internationally-known “Big Four” fashion weeks have wrapped up — but did you know San Diego has its own fashion week, too? Every fall season, fashion designers local to San Diego County bring collections they’ve been working on all year to the runway at Fashion Week San Diego, the longest-standing fashion show on the west coast, according to FWSD Director, Gwen Bates.

H3: Supporting Local Designers

FWSD strives to accelerate their designers’ brands, holding community events year-round and helping them make connections. “That’s what we do very well. I can speak to that from being a designer from other fashion events where that was not the goal. The goal was to just to come in, do the show and get out. But here, that’s why we actually work with them [designers] all year long,” Bates said.

H3: Showcasing Local Talent

On the night of the show, attendees vote for their top three designers. This year, CWCouture won first place, Sierra Mitchell won second place and third place went to to Saulho. Despite just three award spots, each designer’s collection brings creativity and impressive skill. NBC 7 spoke to three designers ahead of the fall 2023 showcase.

H3: Sierra Mitchell: Designing with Emotion

Fashion designer Sierra Mitchell has spent several years showing her collections at FWSD and is not done yet. Mitchell’s mother was in turn taught to sew by her mother. Fashion design is how Mitchell expresses herself without being too blatant, she said. “That’s why I think I love design so much, because I can kind of play with emotion — but in fabric,” she said.

H3: Brittany Arriola: Odd Bird Designs

Odd Bird Designs by Brittany Arriola is a world of whimsy, adorable eccentricity, and lots and lots of quirk. All of this showed at her 2023 collection, a sort of “mermaid disco” collection with notes of Studio 54, she told NBC 7. Arriola is originally from Tucson, Arizona, where she learned fashion design at the Art Institute of Tucson, but has called San Diego home now for almost a decade.

H3: Nina Cicolo: Sustainable Fashion

Nina Cicolo is an independent fashion designer who moved many years ago from Sao Paolo, Brazil to San Diego. Cicolo won first place at last year’s show. Her collection this year started the 2023 show. Cicolo’s collection is inspired by the idea of a harvest and using alternative, eco-conscious materials. A model came down the runway in a handmade, sculpted pink and black dress — made primarily from a plant fiber similar to a banana tree, Cicolo said.

H3: The Impact of Fashion Week San Diego

San Diego has its own Fashion Week? Folks may be surprised to hear that San Diego, a city known for its perfect beach weather, has the oldest fashion week on the west coast, according Bates. FWSD was founded in 2007, before all other fashion weeks on the west coast, according to Bates. Local and small designers have their work boosted by FWSD, which works to cultivate and accelerate their brands, connect them with the San Diego community, and prepare them for a cutthroat industry, Bates says.

Original Story at www.nbcsandiego.com – 2023-11-03 22:59:12

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