Phoenix Fashion Week Introduces 10 Emerging Designers

A large group of local fashion fans and designers anxiously waited inside the Musical Instrument Museum lobby on Friday night for the announcement of  Phoenix Fashion Week's 10 emerging designers of 2011.

The designers have remained unnamed since they were chosen by Fashion Week coordinator weeks ago and will compete against each other for a $25,000 grand prize in October.

See who made the cut and a sneak peak at a few of their designs after the jump ...

Brian Hill, Phoenix Fashion Week's executive director, says improvements  were made behind-the-scenes by organizers (like the creation of the first ever "Fashion Bible" for the group of 10 to help with organizing a budget and running a staff), and designers were scouted nationally this year.

Five of the 10 designers will commute back and forth to Phoenix from Ohio, Texas, Mexico, Minnesota, and Missouri.

After the audience packed into the tiny room, Hill cleared a space for an impromptu runway and announced this year's emerging designers: Silvia Bours, Mabella Chic, Diary of Joli, Jones Select, Blue Bird Denim, Hour Glass Apparel, Deeds of Love, Sebastien Millon, inDi, and Dejamone.

Joanna de'Shay, 2009 emerging designer winner and founder of Black Russian Label, took the stage and spoke to the crowd about pressure of being in the competition.

"Everyone sitting up here is taking a big chance that you'll support what they do," she said. "To me, it's like singing in the shower. You think you're good until you get out and hear yourself against others."

The designer's look was "Black Swan" meets Victoria Beckham (who the designer mentioned she'd love to dress). Her look was busy, and the feathers were a bit messy, but Diary of Joli managed to retain its modern-day glam reputation with the flirty, silk green skirt.

Will Chandler, the designer behind Dejamone, says he was dared by friends to compete in Phoenix Fashion Week. It's easy to tell the designers runway look is inspired by what he likes to wear; the 50 Cent-influenced style, worn by both model and designer, is taken from hip-hop culture.

"I'm so tired of seeing a group of men wearing the same flannel shirt. I love your look," said a woman from the audience.

Local artist Sebastien Millon brought his drawings to the fashion world, with a piece screen printed on the front of his model's T-shirt.

Millon, who was out of the country promoting his line, has a fun skate-park style that always resonates with the crowds outside of Revolver Records on First Friday, where Millon sells his work.

See the rest of the designers' looks in our PFW slideshow.

For more information about Phoenix Fashion Week that takes place on October 5 through 8, check out the PFW website and blog.

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Bryan Scott Dugan