Sunday, October 6, 2013

Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2013

...and the Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the Year 2013 is --- Dolcessa - Luxury swimwear for the confident woman. From the get go, I thought that this brand was way ahead of Phoenix Fashion Week itself.  Already an established brand, Dolcessa has graced the glossy and digital pages of national publications like People, Maxim, FHM, etc. It appeared in Sports Illustrated not one, not two, but 3 years in a row, most recently worn by Kate Upton in the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 2013.  This high-end stylish swim wear was a crowd pleaser. The cover-ups and the crystal head pieces by Melis Accessories are my favorites.

Watch Dolcessa finale here:

Congratulations to Las Vegas based Katya Leoncio, owner and designer of Dolcessa.

From the competitors’ perspective, I am sure it was a long grueling yet productive 4 months going through the Emerging Designer Boot Camp.  Time well spent and all their hard work shined in the fabulous runway shows they put up during the Phoenix Fashion Week on October 3-5 at Talking Stick Resort. 
The 12 designers were so talented making this year’s competition much tougher than previous years.  As I shared my thoughts with Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week, just minutes before the show started on the final night of the event, he said “I agree with you, Sheila, it is still anybody’s game at this point.  The scores are so close and the runway challenge will define the outcome tonight.”

Full of excitement, the standing room only spectators cheered as the top finalists were announced, check out a few of the looks from their Summer/Spring 2014 Collection.

Ja’ire International Couture designed by Ja’ire Hattley - "Daring apparel that commands attention." When the 2-sister team presented their first ensemble during the Emerging Designer Reveal in June, I was captivated and the brand set the bar high for my expectations. Unfortunately, the integrity of their first design carried only to half of their SS14 collection, the other half seemed out of place for a spring/summer line.

Medium Apparel designed by Zac McDonald - "Creating premium men’s and women’s street wear." Medium Apparel is one of only 2 local designers selected for the Designer of the Year challenge. I witnessed how this line evolved in just a few short months from what I thought was one-dimensional serigraphy for men's t-shirts back in June to a well-executed brand of unisex trendy art wear as flaunted on the runway.   Here's some his and her looks... 


Stephanie Gentry by Stephanie Gentry - "Luxury fashion for the woman who wants to take the world by storm."  I liked the spring pastel hues and the light fabric which flowed perfectly with the desert breeze as the models strutted the ramp. However, there's too many ideas ambitiously crammed into one collection making it seem like the designs didn't belong together.  Perhaps rearranging the presentation can make a difference.

There are no losers in this competition.  Armed with knowledge, experience and industry network, this is just the beginning of a great future. Congratulations to all the designers!  And a huge kudos to the Phoenix Fashion Week team, well done!

Now off to California for the LA Fashion Council runway show at The Grove and the most anticipated presentation of Bri Seeley’s SS14 in Hollywood.

Get your FASH on, keep styling and make a fashion scene.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Allie! I appreciate you stopping by =) See you soon!!!

      Chasing Sheila