Phoenix Fashion Week 2014: Emerging Designer Spotlight

Phoenix Fashion Week was all about showing off the unique designs from both prominent and emerging designers. I thought it was so great to see PFW encouraging budding designers to pursue their dreams by entering into this competition. The emerging designer competition consists of 14 designers and includes a four month designer boot camp, at the end of which one contestant will win $10,000 to go toward his or her dream of becoming a sought-after fashion designer. It’s such a perfect way showcase their hard work and talent and get noticed by buyers, bloggers, and potential customers.

One of the emerging designers definitely stood out to me for her modern, edgy and unique eye. Delora Fuglem of Kismit is from Scottsdale, AZ (we actually went to high school together!) Her line showcased tons of faux leather, buckles, and neutrals to create quite the androgynous look (the next Akris, maybe?). The line brought back some NYFW thoughts – a little Moschino with the buckles, and a touch of Alexander Wang for the modern/sleek/edgy look.

fashion week kismit

I had a chance to ask her a few questions about her experience and inspiration, and here I’m sharing her answers with you:

What sparked your interest in fashion?

Fashion magazines were definitely what sparked my interest in fashion. As a child I grew up on a farm and was a huge tomboy, so I had no idea what fashion even was until I moved to Arizona when I was in the 5th grade. When middle school hit I started picking up magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Elle not to read but to only look at the fashion spreads. I can remember tearing out all of my favorite designers and photo shoots to make a huge collage on my bedroom wall.

When did you decide that you wanted to take fashion seriously and make a career out of it?

I took fashion design classes for 3 years at my high school and my fashion design teacher introduced me to FIDM. After learning more about FIDM, I realized that becoming a fashion designer was a true possibility for me. So I will have to say that it was in my Junior year of high school that I knew I wanted to make a career out of it.

Why fashion design over another sector of the fashion industry?

I chose fashion design over any other sector of the fashion industry because I absolutely love being how hands on it is. It is so exciting to be able to take an image or idea that has formed in my brain, sketch it out and then see it come to life on a model and the best part about the whole process is that I am completely involved in it.

How has your work evolved since you created your first piece?

Wow, thinking back to my first piece really makes me see that my design aesthetic and work has really changed. The first garment that I ever created was completely couture, with hand beading, painting and sewing. When I first began fashion design I wanted to only create couture and I specifically wanted to create a bridal line, never even considering a ready-to-wear line. Throughout my 2 years at FIDM, that changed. Having pattern drafting and sewing classes that challenged us to make all types of garments is what introduced me to ready-to-wear and ignited my desire to transition from bridal to woman’s RTW. So my work has had a huge evolution since my first piece, I am not wanting to create very wearable items that all woman can wear.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from minimalism. I love the concept of less is more. I like to keep my designs simple but I always like to add a little bit of detail and make sure to never let my design feel overwhelmed.

Who is your favorite designer? What makes his/her collections your favorite?

My favorite designer is absolutely Alexander McQueen. From such a young age I have been inspired by his couture collections and then once I personally transitioned into the world of RTW I was also drawn to his RTW pieces. Ever since he has passed and Sarah Burton has taken over, I am able to say that the brand Alexander McQueen is still my favorite. She has done an amazing job carrying on his legacy. With that being said, the reason why Alexander McQueen is my favorite designer is because the brand fulfills both my expectancy of what a couture and RTW line should be. The couture collections are out of the box and risk taking (which is what I believe makes couture so special) and the RTW collections are simple; they focus on fabrics, colors and silhouettes and that is my favorite kind of design concept.

What has been your best experience as a fashion designer?

My best experience as a fashion designer happened recently, by being a part of Phoenix Fashion Week. It is so exciting to say that I just had my first official runway show and debuted my first full collection at a Fashion Week. This by far has been my best experience yet.

What have been your biggest challenges as a fashion designer?

My biggest challenge as a fashion designer has been learning how to get my designs into manufacturing. Before I decided to move into the world of manufacturing I was designing, draping, pattern drafting, cutting and sewing all of the garments on my own. Understanding how manufacturing works and trying to find the best company out there to put my trust and money into was scary and challenging all at the same time.

To the aspiring fashion designers out there, what is the one piece of advice you would give?

One piece of advice that I would give would be to challenge yourself. If you want to be a fashion designer make sure that you apply for competitions, runway shows ect… The more challenges the better. You may not win or do well at the beginning but I believe that taking risks is what helps you grow. So go for it!

What is your favorite piece in this collection? Why?

My favorite piece in the S/S15 collection would have to be the closer look of the show which was the white Buckle Slit Column Maxi and the white Buckle Crop Jacket. Why? That is because it is a very daring look to wear. Kismit is Ultrachic Fashion for the Fearless Woman and I believe that any woman that wears that piece is either fearless to begin with or will be fearless when she wears it!

fashion week designer delora fuglem

Aside from Kismit, here are the other emerging designers from Phoenix Fashion Week 2014: 

Adoire by Saba – Phoenix, AZ
Atiz – Seattle, WA
Blackberry Maverick – Colorado Springs, CO
Charmosa Swimwear – San Francisco, CA
Hues of Ego – Phoenix, AZ
Jacqueline Nicole – St. Louis, MO
Lillienne Lang – Phoenix, AZ
Misha Mendicino Designs – Phoenix, AZ
RAYAN – Los Angeles, CA
Schuylark Design – New York City, NY
State Forty Eight – Gilbert, AZ
Woman’s Touch Apparel – Phoenix, AZ

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