The heat is on for 15 designers who debuted looks at Phoenix Fashion Week's 2016 emerging designer launch event Livewire in Scottsdale on the evening of June 9.
Each brand showed one look from a forthcoming collection that will debut during Phoenix Fashion Week proper at Talking Stick Resort from Thursday, October 13, through Saturday, October 15. Leading up to the fall fashion event, the designers partake in a four-month bootcamp program that aims to educate them on the ins and outs of the fashion industry, from crafting garments and building a network to website creation and getting garments into stores.
How they handle challenges throughout bootcamp and during their Fashion Week showing determines each designer's score. The highest possible score is 75, and the designer whose brand scores highest walks away with a prize package that's valued at $10,000 and intended to help them further launch their brand.
And based on Thursday night's showing, competition looks to be particularly tough this year.
These emerging designers were chosen after a nationwide search (as well as an international application program). The resulting group includes Arizona labels ACONAV, whose boldly graphic black-and-white halter cocktail dress tied with a wide crimson sash gave the runway show a strong opening; Dinézhoon The Beautiful People, which debuted a Native-style patterned one-shoulder gown; ForgivenLove; and Tucson designer Laura Tanzer, whose simple, elegant separates marked her return to the competition after participating in 2015.
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Cape Town, South Africa's Ricci Jvr debuted with decidedly on-trend criss-crossing white tunic. Rounding out the designers were Amanda Casarez, who showed a crisp white button-down topped with a cropped bustier, as well as Barbara Bultman Designs, Cosmogyral by Jenine Nerecina, Emily Smith Designs, Cayman Islands-based Isy B., MXN, and Shelby Healy, who closed the show.