French fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “A beautiful dress may look beautiful on a hanger, but that means nothing. It must be seen on the shoulders, with the movement of the arms, the legs and the waist.”
Dresses and other fashionable wear and accessories were part of the events on display at various venues as Sacramento Fashion Week (SACFW) celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary.
To mark 10 years of making fashion history in Sacramento, we spoke to SACFW’s Producer and Executive Director and two members of his production team to look at SACFW’s evolution, from its early days as a one-day mixer to a week-long event making its own imprint on the fashion world.
The initial show was a big success, noted Duane Ram, SACFW Producer and Executive Director, who was a model the first year of the production and an assistant to SACFW’s first organizer and producer, Grace Ballesteros.
“We quickly found out that there was a community of local talent that needed a platform to express themselves,” said Ram. “However, producing a full week was a challenge. We started small with one show and added a day every year. Now in our 10th year we have grown into a full week of events.”
Besides Ram, Production Assistant Linda Saeturn and Model Coordinator David Alcarez have been with SACFW since the beginning.
“I was a model in the beginning when it was called Magnum Opus. It was one of my first shows and I was scouted by a modeling and talent agency immediately after that show,” said Saeturn. “Since then many models who have participated in SACFW have gone on to larger fashion markets.”
Alcarez recalled his first SACFW saying, “I remember a small and ambitious production group, giving 100 percent to execute the most fashionable event in Northern California. Due to minimal resources at that time, the finished product was really something to be proud of.”
The event has continued to grow over the years and changed venues to accommodate the expanding audience and production team. Saeturn recalled their excitement at the thought doing three shows following the first year. And now, 10 years later, they find themselves established with a full week of production activities and putting on sold out or near-capacity showcases.
“Our mission is to provide a bridge and platform for local artists, and I think we have finally done that,” said Saeturn. “I’ve seen a lot of those talented people grow and be featured in magazines, television, and other fashion shows. That’s what I’m most proud of, building that bridge and platform.”
The growth has also brought changes to SACFW’s production and contributing team. With a particular production increase the last three years, co-producers Ryan Brough and Miss O’Daniel have become Ram’s partners. This change allowed not only better management of production, but also the ability to grow into what it is now.
The number of designers has remained constant with 16-18 designers featured, but SACFW now includes local boutiques showcasing their products and another night for emerging and student designers.
The week of events also includes the California Film Foundation’s presentation of short films created by local talent behind and in front of the camera.
A Fashion Forum held at the Art Institute of California this year gave future models and designers an opportunity to ask knowledgeable fashion industry leaders questions about their experience and what they’ve learned.
A Model Boot Camp Workshop gave potential models the opportunity to learn about getting into the industry and what to expect at different levels of that profession.
When asked about the growth of SACFW, Alcarez shared, “I am so proud to see an event that grew from a single evening to a full-fledged power week of fashion events which include workshops, film projects, speaker forums, and three nights of boutique and designer fashion shows.”
Indeed, Fashion Week has expanded the number of venues to different local areas.
“We have established strong partnerships and support from the community over the years which has helped us develop and grow,” said Alcarez, adding, “I look forward to reflecting back on the hard work it took to build this production to what it is today. I am excited to be a part of the amazing week we have worked on while envisioning what’s to come in the next 10 years and beyond.”
So what are some accomplishments of SACFW and what can be expected in the future?
Speaking of the achievements beyond the event itself, Ram reflected on some success stories from SACFW and made note of these past participants who have gone on to larger fashion markets:
- Richard Hallmarq and Cindy Vo – Showcased in the earlier years, they both went on to do San Francisco Fashion Week. Hallmarq also went on to Project Runway Fame.
- Neide Hall – Featured in 2014’s first-time showcase of swimwear, Hall went on to do Phoenix Fashion Week and now is being featured on Evine Live.
- Saul Latvanen – Showcased with us in 2013, Latyanen presented his new collection at New York Fashion Week this year.
- Mimi Tran – A designer who premiered her collection at SACFW in 2014, she is featured at New York Fashion Week this year.
- Sacha Laurin – Presented her Kombucha Couture in 2014 and then took it to Paris Fashion Week the following year.
- Models Elaine Welteroth, Andy Allo, and Andrey Ivanov – Welteroth, who was a part of the first SACFW showcases, is now the Beauty & Health Director at Teen Vogue. Allo, also a model in their earlier events, is now a recording artist and has toured with Prince. Ivanov went on to be a top male model walking the runways in New York and Paris.
In summarizing some of his future expectations for SACFW, Ram said, “I would like to see the production being a full citywide event. Events happening all over the city with all types of businesses involved.”
“It would be awesome if Sacramento Fashion Week ends up being a destination spot for international designers and media.”
As a photographer of the event the past 6 years, I can say I see the growth and potential for SACFW to one day compare to LA and possibly New York Fashion Week, though, as Ram pointed out, it is still pretty small in comparison to the latter–which leaves room for more growth and even higher aspirations.
This year’s events were held at the Neumann Warehouse, California Auto Museum, Federico Beauty Institute, Beatnik Studios, Arden Fair Mall and The Art Institute of California.
Stay up to date with Sacramento Fashion Week’s happenings and ongoing evolution at sacfashionweek.com.