Fashionistas---Ready for a Serious Fashion Makeover?
San Francisco is finally on the fashion map!
By Uduak Oduok
If you have an insatiable appetite for fashion and live in the Bay Area, you at least share one of the following three experiences, if not more: 1) to enjoy quality fashion, you travel to New York, Miami or L.A. for its Fashion Weeks; 2) after hours of patiently waiting, your adrenaline rush is indescribable as you are "fortunate" to glimpse "Fashion File" on Style Network; and 3) you subscribe to as many fashion dotcoms to stay abreast of the latest trends and non-stop cutting edge fashion. Do you really have to go through these expenses and drama for quality fashion? Suffer no more!
In such a culturally rich and diverse city as San Francisco, it is surprising that fashionist events were not produced sooner.
Some entrepreneurial Fashionistas felt your pain and stepped in for some serious fashion makeover. In fact, strong change began on April 16th, 2004 when Gen Art San Francisco, a non-profit organization operated by Ariane Mclean and Lateefah Gainey, launched their "Inspiration Defined Fashion Show." The show was held at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum and featured local fashion and jewelry designs of Colleen Quen, Gayla Rosenfeld, Jan Warnock, Flavia Giffoni and Tony Sananikone, to name a few.
Since then, there has been a steady and fierce group of Fashionistas committed to making the Bay Area a fashion force to be reckoned with. A clear example is Erika Gessin the owner and founder of Mystery Girl Productions, Inc. Erika single handedly launched the first ever San Francisco Fashion Week. Of great significance, is that she secured the official stamp of San Francisco's Mayor Gavin Newsome who now proclaims August 26-29th, 2004, to be San Francisco Fashion Week! In addition, with strong sponsors such as SF Weekly, Zink, San Francisco Magazine, Nars Cosmetics, Guess, Lucire and featured designers such as: Colleen Quen Couture, Hieros, Joseph Domingo, Loungewear Betty and much more, Erika shows she is no novice in producing fashion shows. Indeed, her biography is laced with various catwalk events produced through Mystery Girl Productions, Inc. The icing on the cake is that Erika was smart enough to trademark "SF Fashion Week." Sorry 7th on Sixth Fern Mallis or any impostors, it won't be easy to claim "SF Fashion Week" without some serious Mystery Girl legal butt kick. The Fashionista explains her motivation behind producing SF Fashion Week, "We may not dress fashionably but people have interest in fashion and it is time!"
An equally fierce Fashionista is Y'Anad Burrell. Armed with a resume which includes experience as a fashion consultant, editor, producer, director and educational accolades such as Bachelor's Degree in Accounting, Paralegal Certificate, Masters Degree in Health Care Management and Masters Degree in Public Administration, this woman has captured the fashion world slowly but steadily. On July 31, 2004, Y'Anad through her company "Unsung Diva Production" will produce her also trademarked show "Fashion on the Square," at SF Union Square Plaza, one of the most expensive real estate in the City. She explains that this will be "one-of-a-kind, largest and hottest outdoor fashion extravaganza on the West Coast. . . the event is a fundraiser for Hand-n-Hand New Media Fellowship, a California non-profit organization."
With an impressive line up of media and non-media sponsors as well as Fashion designers such as Jackie Christie, Meoshe, Avirex, Tayion Collection, Lane Bryant, IRE Clothing, Optimystic Designs, Ariana & Zoe Obsessions, the show promises to be fabulous. Y'Anad says her goal is "to brand San Francisco as a fashion industry gem."
So, all you Bay Area Fashionistas, get ready to check out the shows, adorn your favorite Bay Area designer clothing and answer the famous Joan Rivers question, "so who are you wearing?" with an answer like this, "I'm wearing Colleen Quen Couture." No explanations necessary because San Francisco is finally on the fashion map!
Copyright 2004. Ms. Oduok is a Fashion Model and Attorney based in Northern California.