FashioNxt Week is Portland Oregon’s version of Fashion Week, with an emphasis on the Pacific Northwest, showcases designers from around the world. The mayor of the City of Portland, Ted Wheeler, has declared FashioNxt Week as Portland’s Official Fashion Week.
With the thousands of fashion shows worldwide, the competition – for sponsors, buyers, global media, and industry influencers- is fierce. FashioNxt Week [FNW] celebrates an eight-year run on showcasing independent and emerging brands, and highlights those advancing sustainable and technological design practices. That’s all great, but it can do more.
What it lacks is an advanced curatorial discovery and promotion of cutting-edge fashion designers who are effecting change, real change. FNW has the ‘out-of-the-box’ indie/entrepreneural mind-set [the Portland culture] and with combined support from the corporate fashion community and government it can push their platform to be on par with, let’s say, London Fashion Week.
The fashion industry is drowning in the same old thing from the creative process to its marketing and exposure. The consumption and disposal of fashion is evolving and changing in a way that runway shows, like FNW, need to get in front of and become leaders in shaping the movement. Portland is primed to be a global leader and strategic partner in effecting real change in fashion.
Weat Coast art dealer Irving Blum, famous for taking a chance with Andy Warhol when no one understood his artwork, once said, “artists that effect change, real change, are so few and far between, are so incredibly valuable, they cannot be replaced, they’re unique. You have to adore these people. They contribute so much to the culture. They are the culture.”
EDGE congratulates the 19 designers who showcased their collections, and recognizes 6 as top picks in design excellence. Because of their experimentation, purpose, and environmental consciousness, these emerging designers are the ones to watch. They are not a prisoner of the industry nor are their consumers held hostage to what today’s fashion dictates. What you see is how they leverage there own cultural textile heritage with modern aesthetics, yet play to our sophisticated whims. Are they game changers? Can they bring real change necessary for the industry to survive? Are they what’s next? We hope so and that they leave their mark.
FashioNxt Week 2019 – EDGE top picks:
Unifelt – Bayama Batomunkueva is a fiber artist based in Portland OR and is from Buryatia, a region in Russia, where her ancestors used wool to make clothes and yurts. Bayama has developed her own technique called Cruelty-Free Sustainable Fur [CFSF]. Sheep locks are hand-sheared then interlocked into a wool base, imitating a pelt and creating a unique cruelty free fur piece.
Akrofi Adjumani is a Seattle based Ghanaian fashion designer. His vibrant palette and sophisticated tailoring are inspired by nature, architect, and his homeland, Ghana, and its culture.
Yamil Quiñones – a Puerto Rican designer who considers himself as a neo-classical designer. The collection, Dark Kingdom, is inspired by medieval royalty – using multiple textures, jewel tones, structure, and movement.
Ale O – Alejandra Oyervides is a Portland based Mexican fashion designer. Her collection takes on geometrical, asymmetrical and minimalist designs.
O’FIELD – delivers sustainable made-in-america luxury. As a fifth generation sheep farmer and Oregon native, designer and wool ambassador Maddie Iverson draws inspiration from her family’s rich heritage in sheep ranching and the wild west and her time spent working in London. With a love of agriculture and expert knowledge of textiles and design – Maddie is an unusual fashion creative with a bright and fresh perspective on sophisticated western style and strives to build a bridge between American agriculture and high fashion.
Vouture by Vien To – born in Vietnam, based in Oregon, Vien To incorporates her Vietnamese cultural aesthetic into modern couture bridal fashions.
Ale O by Alejandra Oyervides
by Alejandra Oyervides