Almost everyone knows that New York is the fashion capital of the Unites States. What many of us may not be aware of is that Providence, RI is one of the most artistic and culturally diverse cities in the Northeast if not the country. With some or the greatest educational facilities such as Brown and RISD, it makes sense that many great artists and leading figures will come from the area. With such an emphasis on fashion, many talented aspiring designers from New England do one of two things: pack up and move to Europe or New York City.
This season, Rosanna Ortiz Sinel and her team challenged to change this trend by showing everyone what Providence has to offer. Having founded StyleWeek Providence, Rosanna recruited over a dozen talented designers to show their collections in a New York Fashion Week driven event occurring June 6-12th. Backed by a larger than life vision, Mayor Cicilline, and corporate sponsors including Tiffany and Co., Rosanna was able to deliver the largest fashion event in the history of Providence and New England.
StyleWeek offered the allure of designer names known across the country. Two designers from the popular television show Project Runway were eager to be a part of such a revolutionary occurrence. One of Project Runway's designers, Jonathan Joseph peters, is originally from Rhode Island and made his way back upon completion of the show's filming. Calling Providence his home, he works on his line to sell off his website in the near future. On the flip side, Jonathan's castmate, Maya Luz, works in and around New York City. Though New York based, she is no stranger to New England, having come to Massachusetts for school and having family in Connecticut.
The week began on Sunday June 6th where a flood of buyers, press, media, and the northeast's fashion elite packed the Marriott for the opening shows. Each day of the week was somewhat structured the same, with cocktail hour beginning at 4:30 to give attendees a chance to check in and settle down before the start of the runway shows that evening. The first runway show began at 6:00 pm each evening with a brief intermission and a second show at 7:00 pm. The events were strictly invite only but StyleWeek hosted post event soirees each evening to give uninvited guests an opportunity to mingle with the designers and participate in the week's events.
After the culmination of Sunday's events, the tone was set for the week. StyleWeek Providence was a force to be reckoned with, drawing in crowds from across the country. Only in it's first year, StyleWeek surpassed the expectations of even it's most skeptical guests. Rosanna and her team were able to execute an all inclusive fashion week not previously seen outside New York City. Soon there many not be a reason to leave New England for fashion insiders; the bar has been set and StyleWeek promises to be back, bigger than before.
We can hardly wait.
More to come: designer examinations from some of the week's hottest shows. Be sure to check back to see designer looks and who was there.