On a balmy Sunday afternoon, the Icehouse in Phoenix played host to Thread, a traveling, curated indie fashion show.
The set up was cool, the DJ was pumping, the snacks were free flowing, the vendors were buzzing around each others' tables -- but where were all the people?
It couldn't have been the products keeping people away -- there were a lot of really great pieces offered for sale. The Thread group's website boasted 100 local vendors, but in reality, there were about 30 -- not all of them were local, but most were at least regional. There was a wide variety of fashion and jewelry available in all prices ranges and all levels from hip hop to wacky.
The problem was perhaps at the root of the concept: Having a Los Angeles group roll into town without really knowing the Phoenix scene is really so 10 years ago. And the venue (and its semi-remote location without sufficient parking) didn't help. The show would have been better served in empty space in Mid-town, say in the Lola Coffee/Hula's Modern Tiki plaza on Central Avenue.
Another problem was the day, date and time. Perhaps Thread would have been hopping, with all the funky elements they had in place, if only they had held it on the first Friday of December (come on, there was tons of cool live art!) and if held at night, that DJ would have earned his keep.
Note to Thread organizers: If you come to town again, maybe take the time to ask a local where the best fashion-friendly locations are and when people in downtown Phoenix show their faces. There are a lot of local designers, and reaching out to those folks might also be a good idea -- they might appreciate the work, and we all want things funky and fashion to happen around town.
You just have to ask the questions.