Designers from across the country and around the world bring their collections to the Wortham Center Monday through Thursday for Fashion Houston 2011. The runway lineup ranges from fashion rookies and veterans with household names to local designers. The mastermind behind the city's second annual fashion week, Jared Lang, founder and co-creator of Fashion Houston, has made it his mission to highlight the city as a fashion destination.
Annina Stefanelli, creator of the Houston fashion blog Cinched at the Waist, recently caught up with Lang before the fashion frenzy begins. Here are some excerpts from her interview:
CultureMap: While I’m very thankful for your leadership in organizing a fashion week for Houston, was it hard to get it together? Houston tends to have a less fashion-forward rep, so was the demand always there?
Jared Lang: The reputation continues to surprise myself, and it was definitely motivation for me to take this project on. Houston indeed has a top retail market. However, because of its ties to the oil and gas industries, the fashion industry tends to be overlooked. Houston is a very fashion-forward city and I am proud to be able to begin to showcase this.
CM: How is Fashion Houston different from similar runway shows in other leading fashion cities?
JL: Fashion Houston is different because it is for the people of the city. It is a production that can be enjoyed from any perspective.
CM: The Houstonian woman likes to shop. What shopping events are integrated within the shows this year?
JL: Each designer will have a trunk show the day after their showing at Fashion Houston.
(Editor's note: Barbara Tfank and Douglas Hannant will be at Neiman Marcus on Tuesday (Oct. 11), Carmen Marc Valvo will be at Neiman Marcus on Wednesday (Oct. 12), Fabiola Arias and Norman Ambrose will be at Neiman Marcus on Thursday (Oct. 13) and Robert Rodriguez will be at Neiman Marcus on Friday (Oct. 14).
Jerri Moore will be Tootsies on Tuesday and Wednesday (Oct. 11-12) and the Camilla resort collection will be at Tootsies on Thursday and Friday (Oct. 13-14). Chloe Dao's collection is available at her store, Lot 8, and the men's fall/winter collection showcased by Saks Fifth Avenue will be at the store throughout the week.)
CM: Last year’s Fashion Houston was a huge success, with big names and shopping shows like Net-a-Porter and Christian Siriano. How will the lineup this year top that?
JL: We will not only feature household names like Carmen Marc Valvo, Robert Rodriguez, Camilla and Douglas Hannant, but we will also be featuring up-and-coming designers such as Fabiola Arias, Norman Ambrose and Bibhu Mohapatra. We will also feature special guest Patrick Schwarzenegger and his line Project 360.
And of course, as we did last year, and will continue, we will feature one local designer each night. This year we are featuring Jerri Moore (Monday night), Aries Milan (Tuesday night), Chloe Dao (Wednesday night; also featuring Elaine Turner accessories) and Cesar Galindo (Tuesday and Thursday nights).
CM: Without giving away too many details, is the set up similar to last year?
JL: We will keep the classic look as we did last year but have changed it up a bit. The Audi Pavilion has expanded and will feature a separate VIP lounge.
CM: What evening are you most excited about?
JL: Each night is assured to impress and keep the audience engaged.
In addition to runway shows, Becca Cason Thrash will be honored as Fashion Houston Style Icon on Thursday night (Oct. 13). For more details about Fashion Houston 2011 click here.