At Viennemilano, we love collaborating with fabulous brands and organizations - particularly those that give back to the community. This fall, we are excited to work with Jennifer Baker, the woman behind North Carolina’s Fashion Week. Get to know Jennifer and her show! This year, Jennifer’s Fashion Show takes place on November 13 - 19 at Fayetteville, NC. Read on and learn more.
Tell us about yourself. How did you begin your career in the world of fashion?
It all began at the age of twelve when I walked into an open call for a fashion show and received a callback. This part of my life would be on hold, as I continued my studies in Early Childhood Education while living in Florida. I soon became a wife and a mother to a US soldier, and like most moms, I dedicated my life to my family. Fashion continued to be my passion, so I started a nonprofit organization giving aspiring models opportunities to walk in fashion shows for local charities around the US. Fast forward seven years, I started a talent agency, Sandhills Model. Soon after, North Carolina fashion week was born.
Why did you start NC Fashion Week?
At the time, there was no event like this in the region, and I longed to produce a way for local models and designers to have an opportunity to showcase their talents.
What do you hope to accomplish with NC Fashion Week?
My goal is to give the models, designers, and musicians an opportunity to be seen. I want the attendees to be wowed by the runway. I yearn for the people of the Carolinas to appreciate and respect fashion. I hope they will understand that we may not be a fashion capital, but we love and appreciate fashion just as much.
You have fused fashion and philanthropy together as a way to donate to local charities. Where do you donate to, and how do you select that organization?
I select charities and organizations that way heavily on my heart. Some of these have included breast cancer awareness, sickle cell awareness, domestic violence awareness and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
You have been organizing this event since 2001, what has been the most rewarding experience or proudest moment?
Two of our models were selected to walk in Los Angeles fashion week. This opportunity is awarded by our co-producer, Parris Harris, a fashion guru from Los Angeles California. This honor allows the models to network with other professionals in the industry, including renowned famous designers.
How do you decide which brands or designers are featured in the shows? Are they invited or must they apply?
That is a really good question! When North Carolina fashion week was founded, we sought out and invited the best designers and boutiques. Now most models, designers, and boutiques showcased contact us. I will still personally invite some designers to be included if I feel they stand out.
How far in advance do you start preparing for NC Fashion Week?
When the event is over, we take a week to regroup and then we are right back at it. It is a bi-annual show and it typically takes anywhere between 6 to 8 months to plan.
Tell us about your models. Does each designer pick their own or do you provide the models for each show?
We take pride in providing professional models for North Carolina Fashion Week. In some rare cases, designers may use their own models and that is welcomed.
Is there a common theme to the week, or is each show left up to the creative direction of the designers?
We encourage our designers to show their creative side. Therefore, we have a theme that acts loosely as an umbrella theme for the event.
How do you get to view the show? Do you need to be invited, or is it available to the public? How would someone purchase a ticket to the show?
Tickets are available to the public at least three weeks prior to the event.
Where can I find a schedule of all the events?
A schedule of events is released to the public a week before the event also on our website.
How do attendees learn more about featured brands in your show?
We have a blogger who contacts all of our designers and brands to share with our followers. They are also featured on our social networking pages, as well as on our show programs.
What type of brands are featured in your show? Are they global brands or local brands?
Our show is comprised of both local and international boutiques and designers.
Does your event take place in one venue or multiple venues? And if so, how did you decide on the venues?
NC businesses will compete for sponsorship, this gives North Carolina Fashion Week an opportunity to be seen throughout the state before the show.
What is your favorite part of the fashion week experience?
When we are able to feature designers who are new grads. We are providing them with hope and affirmation that their dream of designing can come true. Furthermore, it brings awareness to their brand. They may start with North Carolina Fashion Week, and then one day is featured in a major fashion house. It is both exciting and humbling to know that you are supporting and encouraging young people to chase their dreams.
Are you interested in working with VienneMilano and showcasing our fabulous hosiery? Email us at ciao@Viennemilano.com - we love to meet new fashion brands, fashion shows, influencers, photographers and we welcome collaborations.