Yesterday unofficially marked the end of Fashion Week considering Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein has their shows today, but yesterday also marked the day of NOLCHA Fashion Week, where indie designers showcase their collection to press, retailers and more.
This season, NOLCHA brought us the styles of:
Diana Simaan – owner of Diana Simaan, Inc. was born in London, England. She first expressed her love for fashion at the age of 2 when she hopped up on the runway at a major show during fashion week in London. Diana moved to the United States with her family in 1987. The influences of her family and upbringing endowed Diana with a great love for design in many forms, especially fashion, architecture and interior design. Her career started in interior design and architecture and later transitioned into fashion design. In 2009 she was Harriet’s Park Avenue Fashion Week Emerging Designer Winner and returned as a judge in 2010. Diana worked in Milan with a high end designer in 2012 preparing the Spring Summer 2013 collection for two designer fashion labels. Diana Simaan Inc. focuses on designer day and evening wear. Her line launches in February 2013 at Nolcha Fashion Week NYC during New York Fashion Week. See Diana’s site
Studio 6th Sense – Stephen Goudeau grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana and has always had and an eye for fashion and art of all types. In 1999 he instituted his love of drawing and sketching and applied it to his interest in fashion design. After five years of development, Goudeau formally named his new business endeavor Studio Sixth Sense. Each one of the founders of Studio Sixth Sense is also from Louisiana and applies their Creole heritage and influence to bring strong diversification to the line. Studio Sixth Sense has produced premiere fashion shows and participated in Gulf South fashion platforms and has received outstanding reviews. View Studio 6th Sense
Dany Tabet – Coming from the colorful mosaic of Lebanon, a melting pot of cultures, he gathers his inspiration from the beauty of the land and its people. This inspiration allows him to bring to life detailed, unique, and luxurious pieces. Dany Tabet Couture ”AISHA” is about creating a glamorous and high-class experience. Dany started his couture line in 2007 and began working diligently on his couture label. After he conducted his first fashion show in Beirut in 2009, his reputation for creating exquisite evening gowns and wedding dresses with the finest handwork grew quickly throughout the Middle East. Today, the fashion house of Dany Tabet includes many lines; a couture line, prêt-a-porter ”AISHA” bridal wear, and a burgeoning luxury evening and cocktail wear collection. Soon, the Dany Tabet brand will expand to include its own label of casual ready-to-wear designs for young women with modern, dynamic lifestyles. Through a mixture of inspiration from our different cultures, experiences in our lives, and difficulties we have faced, we design our line. View Dany’s Website
Tess Johnson – As far back as she can remember, Tess has always loved clothes. In 2007, she graduated from high school and started her life as designer, studying at Parson The New School for Design, spent a semester in Paris, and many years interning. She graduated with a BFA in women’s wear designer after presenting her Senior Thesis, my first real collection. She then had the opportunity to compete on Lifetime TV’s show “24 Hour Catwalk”, where she successfully created a 3 look collection, and was chosen the winner. Since Parsons, Tess has shown a Resort wear collection in Miami, has been invited to participate in the AHA “Red of the Runway” event, had a featured mannequin display in Saks 5th Ave flagship store, received a Swarovski sponsorship, and slowly began to grown her brand. View Tess’ Website
Andressa Leao – She was 15 years old when she started to design and followed with great interest the making of her own dresses. Her mother’s family is from France and her father’s is from Brazil, which gave her a great influence when creating. Her experience of living in Paris and Barcelona became a great source of inspiration because of its interest in art and different cultures. All of that allowed her a peculiar vision of fashion. View Andressa’s website
Mikailee Alton – Single mother & survivor, fashion is her first thought. She believes it’s been her thirst for life that has lead her down a wonderful path to fulfill her dream of designing, born to a fashion-forward mother, whose impeccable taste along with a tremendous talent for sewing, guided her onto a path in fashion. She taught her the wonderful skill of sewing, though at the time, she thought it was a chore. She believe her mother knew her creative outlet before she did. View Mikailee’s Site
Michael Fenici – Leaving Lebanon in 1976 for Paris at 16, he started studying and 3 years later moved to Sweden, where he worked for Oscar Jacobsen for a year and a half, but then received a more tempting job in a company called Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm. Michael then started working for Sas Airlines where he customized patting construction for pilots. In 1989, he decided that not to work for anyone anymore and launched the Michael Fenici brand in Sweden. In 2003, he opened his own workshop in Lebanon to serve Middle East and GCC market. His ambition today is to enter the USA market. See Mike’s Site
Adolfo Sanchez – At the age of 20, the Latino designer moved to Las Vegas, working high-end retail which ended up being where he began to develop his own line on the side. The retail job gave him the opportunity to see high-end garments up close in detail. Now back in L.A., he has since started playing with design and has been able to grow his business from custom designs to ready to wear, fur trimmed outerwear, evening, and bespoke services. See Adolfo’s Site
The Vanity Project – Omri and Jason met at Northwestern University. After Jason’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, both he and and Omri started helping out at events for several Chicago non-profits. Throughout their volunteer work, they noticed that many organizations had ugly, uncomfortable t-shirts. T-shirts are a crucial advocacy tool for non-profits, and when done right, they create conversations that spread awareness for the cause. TVP has since partnered with over 30 non-profits to help them create gear that people actually want to wear. View The TVP site.
Dos Caras – The dynamic duo of Dos Caras Swimwear are bringing the beauty and culture of San Diego to women all over America one bathing suit at a time. Never shying away from color and flash, the suits offer more coverage for the “everyday” woman. Designed and made in San Diego, California, these women are making swimsuits for the beach at the beach. Native San Diegans, the Dos Caras team of Aida Soria and Syncletica Maestas at first glance seem like complete opposites. San Diego State grad, Soria is an out-going, curvaceous woman who considers herself a “natural fashionista” and loves to rock the latest trends. Maestas, meanwhile, is a petite, sometimes soft spoken woman who has had a lifetime love affair for fashion. Always obsessed with making creative clothing, she once made a dress out of AstroTurf in high school before eventually graduating from the Parsons School of Design. After returning from the fast-paced lifestyle of New York City, Maestas found the unique ability to mix the glitz and glamour of the Big Apple with the laid back, beach bum lifestyle she grew up with. Now after successfully launching their new line this past October and debuting at San Diego’s fashion week, the fifteen year friends are proving that opposites do, indeed, attract. View The Dos Caras site.