When we think of fashion in the United States, it’s easy to let our minds quickly jump to New York and Los Angeles with little thought for much else in between. However, there is a whole slew of emerging fashion designers nestled in unexpected cities like Seattle, Phoenix, Nashville and more. In fact, some of these cities are even helping to give a voice to the emerging designers in their city by supplying them with funding, hosting runway shows, and giving them coverage through their local media outlets.
In my hometown of Phoenix, AZ, we have several fashion organizations to help support local designers. There, of course, is the Arizona branch of Fashion Group International, which hosts events around topics such as building your brand and embracing sustainability. We also have Phoenix Fashion Week, an organization that puts emerging designers through a rigorous boot camp to help them understand the ins and outs of the industry. The program ends with a world-class fashion show where buyers, media, and local influencers can view the hard work of the designers, and purchase the garments. Phoenix Art Museum is another great resource for emerging designers, with several exhibits throughout the year to highlight the best fashion throughout history. The museum encourages students and emerging designers to come, sit in the exhibit, and sketch their own designs while looking at the work of other influential designers.
No matter what city you find yourself in, there are always opportunities to embrace fashion at a local level. Many times, these opportunities are more accessible than what you might find in a city like New York, and can provide you a chance to learn, experiment, and better your craft. If your dream is to work in the fashion industry, don’t wait one more. Go out in your city, find other fashion lovers and find a way to work together to make your dreams come true. I promise, if a city as casual and laidback as Phoenix can make its mark on the fashion industry, it can happen anywhere.
Author: Lindsay Viker (Executive Member – FGI Arizona)
Lindsay Viker has had a passion for all things beautiful since she was a young girl. This passion led her to the fashion industry, and founding CoutureintheSuburbs.com in 2012. What started as a way to gain experience during her college years has turned into a mission to help people around the United States connect to their local community of artists. Active in her own community, Lindsay regularly networks with designers, artists, and entrepreneurs. She hosts events to help others improve their businesses, while belonging to professional organizations to help her improve her own.