Happy New Year!
We have always considered serving the Boston fashion community an honor and a privilege. That has never been truer than this past fall when we reached a very meaningful milestone — 20 years! We're so grateful to everyone who has helped us make history.
We're very proud that this annual tradition is now an eagerly anticipated and important touchstone for many local fashion professionals, as well as the next generation of aspiring talents and all those who support their efforts.
In one way or another we've worked with almost every designer, media outlet, cultural institution, school and venue in the area. There is no substitute for that kind of experience and we want to put it to good use as we move forward.
2015 will mark the start of our third decade and a new phase of our mission — Boston Fashion Week 3.0
Our first ten years were dedicated to building a local fashion community. Mission accomplished! The core of hard working, talented, and very passionate professionals that came out of that initial effort continue to be at the heart of Boston Fashion Week.
The next ten years were spent defining Boston fashion, as a whole. Done! This process led us to develop our Boston Fashion is SMART campaign, which has already allowed us to explore fashion in interesting and unexpected ways.
Success in both of these areas has resulted in a major realization.
The local fashion scene continues to grow organically, both in scope and variety. The great diversity of the region provides every type of designer and fashion professional with an audience, whether that means a group of 50 or 500. There really is something for everyone, and if you don't see it yet, just wait a season.
We're thrilled that there are so many event producers, organizations, retailers, and schools producing fashion events. They are filling the whole calendar year with proof that fashion has become an important part of the Boston lifestyle.
The Boston Fashion Week calendar will remain a platform for every kind of fashionista, from students to prominent professionals who want to express themselves using traditional fashion week tools like runway shows and parties. That being said, we believe it's time to introduce some new ideas and embrace change.
Here are a few examples of what we have already put into motion.
1) Boston Fashion Week will no longer be constrained by only one seven day period in the fall. It will also be shifting its focus away from conventional fashion week frameworks. The calendar year will include special events and industry programs designed to test new ideas. We are hopeful that this spirit of exploration and experimentation will yield some innovative, alternative methods for how the Boston Fashion Week platform will be used in the future.
2) The Boston Fashion is SMART campaign will continue to serve as the impetus for building relationships with other complementary fields which would include the arts, culture, science, technology, education, lifestyle, entertainment, and of course business.
3) Understanding the importance of providing an anchor for those independent designers and event producers looking to create time-honored fashion week events for their audiences, September 27 thru October 3 has been designated as the official Boston Fashion Week 2015. More details on that will be available on our website and social media channels in the spring.
4) After 6 years and just under 30 designers, The Launch mentor and development program will be expanded, taking place over a two year period. The new version of the program will also provide opportunities to select fashion designers who are outside of the academic system. More details on that will be available on our website and social media channels in the spring.
5) Boston Fashion Week initiatives will be reaching beyond our borders. National and international creative exchanges will provide opportunities to expose local talent to a global audience, learn from our peers in other fashion communities, and enter into collaborative relationships.
It would be easy to hold fast to the narrow definition of fashion that most people are comfortable with, but we feel that would be shortsighted, show a lack of imagination, and undermine the sense of community which is the very foundation of what we set out to do 20 years ago.
Those who reduce Boston Fashion Week to a series of events are missing the point. It has always been bigger than that. From the start it has been a movement — a vital one that the city takes pride in. The environment we've strived to create and maintain doesn't allow the latest trends to eclipse the people who make fashion, or those who wear it. In an industry known for treating talent like a disposable commodity, that is no small feat.
Our strategy is simple. We need to keep it interesting, adopt fresh ideas and invent! Fashion at its best is driven by disruption. After all this time in the game we're pretty confident that we'll get some things right and at the very least learn from the things we don't. That makes it a win-win in our book.
We're opening a new door. We hope that you'll cross that threshold with us!
All my best,
Founder & Executive Director
Boston Fashion Week