There’s New York Fashion Week, L.A. Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week. Portland Fashion Week and even Charleston Fashion Week, but Atlanta, with at least four fashion degree programs, America's Mart, and a reputation for exclusive parties, lavish lifestyles and women who don high heels at high noon; until recently went without its own presentation of stylish shows. Angela Watts, President of 10 Squared PR and Katie Kern, Marketing and PR Director at Media Frenzy Global, formed a collective of fashion designers who are determined to put Atlanta fashion on the map.
“The original ideas was Angela’s,” Kern explains. “She always wanted a fashion week in Atlanta, but didnt want to call it fashion week.”
Watts was searching for a name reflecting her vision of a show that attracted the fashionable crowd, but also the appropriate buyers, publicist and journalists. She came up with the word Ragtrade, or the business of fashion. In 2013, Watts met up with Kern, who was on the founding committee of the successful Charleston Fashion Week. They combined their knowledge of the fashion industry and PR mastery to launch an ambitious project highlighting talented fashion designers based in Atlanta. Looking to New York Fashion Week and Charleston Fashion Week as business models, Watts went about campaigning on behalf of Ragtrade Atlanta.
“When Bill de Blasio talks about fashion, Mayor Reed should be talking about something too,” Watts explains. “The music industry in Atlanta is great, and so is tv and film, but we wear clothes everyday. We have a great retail scene, but fashion is much more than that.”
Though the first of it’s kind in Atlanta, the duo aims to make Ragtrade the official Atlanta Fashion Week. The event has the support of the City of Atlanta, a first despite past attempts at launching major fashion events. W Atlanta-Buckhead is hosting the round of shows which includes looks from Milo Beloved, 2014 Birmingham Fashion Week Emerging Designer; Edmond Newton, of NBC’s Fashion Star; Larika Page, a Charleston Fashion Week winner; Natt Taylor who presented at Harlem Fashion Row and Anna Toth, 2014 Charleston Fashion Week winner. Bauder College's Senior class is also showing at the debut. Watts and Kern held auditions for designers, hair stylists and make-up artists to enlist the individuals needed to produce a high-quality show. Ragtrade Atlanta is partnered with Bauder College, AIU, Jezebel, The Atlantan and Stila Cosmetics to maximize its exposure and put the right individuals in the front row.
“It’s important to have buyers and influencers in seats,” Kern says. “We want to make it diverse not just Black and white. Everyone who has talent is welcome.”
Meet the designers of Ragtrade here
3377 Peachtree Rd NE,
Atlanta, GA 30326
For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.ragtradeatlanta.com