Emerging Contemporary Designer of the Year is.. ARAE

So.. winning Phoenix Fashion Week. I know I've said it before but this was not easy especially to do alone. I am a small brand with a lot of accomplishments (in my opinion) but this was a lot for me. Even though I have done a lot, I've done it at my own pace, I had to juggle building my brand on a daily basis at the same time as building my brand. June-October would have been a good time to have a clone. 

Every homework assignment and project was so intense. It took me way out of my comfort zone every time and each time I was glad to do it. Do you know how uncomfortable it is to walk into store after store pitching yourself and your brand? Let's just say I'm used to hearing no, but I'm also used to hearing YES! During these past 4 months I dove even deeper into my target market, I think that is a lot of the reason why I was able to be successful. I have a niche brand and not everyone appreciates a hand crafted piece that is easy to wear but the people that do are amazing and I'm thankful for all of you. 

The trend of handmade items is happening and there couldn't be a better time. I think I also had an advantage being one of the youngest in the program. I design what I like. If you try to please everyone, you are definitely not pleasing yourself. Since this industry is so difficult to make it in, it's important to do what you love and have a special niche. Even though I did not have people that were employed by me, it was amazing to see who came together to help when I needed it the most. I'm not just talking about things to do with ARAE, personal things as well. Pep talks, nights out, hikes in the mountains. Everyone who knows me knows I work too damn hard for a 23 year old, but most of them understand my intense motivation to succeed and know when to pull me out of it to be balanced and enjoy life. There's time for work and there's time for play.

I was running around up until the time my models went on stage. Believe it or not, one of the pieces ripped right before my show and I had to run (in my heels) across the venue to get my sewing kit to fix it. My heart was racing but I was thinking to myself "THIS WOULD HAPPEN and it's going to be okay". Good thing it wasn't the first look.. I got it fixed and it was good to go. I needed every point I could get- ultimately only winning by 1/2 a point. 

I tried my very hardest from the moment I was accepted to Phoenix Fashion Week until the moment it was done, I did everything I could, executed all my ideas, and designed a collection I loved with so much support from all of my friends and family, which I think is how you ultimately come out a winner, whether you have the title or not. 

After I won, I was invited by one of the Fox10 Phoenix News anchors to speak about my collection live the following week. Thank you Anita Roman for the invite and for being a fan of my collection.

I also made Kym Gold- the Co-Founder of True Religion Jeans her favorite dress in my collection. 

And lastly, I dressed Dr. Jen Welter the First Female Coach in the NFL.