On Wednesday, July 27th 2016, I participated in a truly wonderful artisan festival, called RAW San Francisco presents: REVEAL, which was held at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco! I hope you were able to come out and attend this event in person, as it was an unforgettable night filled with many talented individuals displaying and selling their artwork, as well as amazing performances by performance artists, dancers, and musicians. If you missed the show, or were out of the area, I wanted to provide you a look as to what RAW is, and give you all the details of how the event unfolded! Sit back, relax, and enjoy my experience being featured in the San Francisco RAW Showcase!
Running my own design studio, in addition to working at a day-time job, and having an active family life, I have learned to keep my obligations reasonable, by knowing my own limitations on project resources and time. Currently, I have decided to focus my talents on only one Ready-To-Wear Collection per year, which allows me to make quality pieces that are cohesive, and then spend the additional needed time on preparing for and attending events, updating my web-site, collaborating with models for photo sessions, and preparing marketing materials for the promotion of my brand. It is all so much work in addition to trend forecasting, designing, and constructing clothing! I am thankful that my college education has prepared me for so many of these essential Fashion Design Business tasks!
You may recall a blog article that I posted last Fall, in which I gave a behind the scenes look at the first two fashion shows that I participated in since graduating college: The Designer's Unleashed Fashion Show in May of 2015, and the First Annual Soul Incredible Unity Fashion Festive held in August of 2015. Click HERE to read the full article.
While participating in these fashion shows, I gained experience and networking opportunities that allowed me to be selected as a featured designer during the 2nd Annual Oakland Fashion Week 2016
(Click HERE to read my blog article(s) covering Oakland Fashion Week),
and I was also invited to showcase my collection during the 2nd Annual Soul Incredible Unity Fashion Festive, this time held in May of 2016.
My participation in Oakland Fashion Week gave me exposure within the Bay Area Fashion Community: I was featured on KTVU Channel 2 News for the filming of their segment on Oakland Fashion Week, I was invited to a filming of El Show De Pepe for a studio interview about my collection, and I was asked by Joshley's Modeling School if one of their models, Deisy Salas, who was selected as El Aguila Magazine's Miss. June 2016, could wear three of my garments during her photo shoot with El Aguila Magazine! Then in June, I was contacted by Sarah Reake, of RAW, to participate in the RAW San Francisco Showcase, as a featured RAW Artist in the Fashion Design Category!
(Check out my experiences in the media by clicking HERE)
As you can see, the more events that I am a part of, the more opportunity I have received to participate in even more events. It has really been exciting, not only to be recognized for my ability to create clothing, but to also receive such positive feedback regarding my designs.
When I had my first meeting by telephone, with Sarah Reake from RAW, I had never heard of the event previously. Sarah is a talent scout with RAW, and had came across my Facebook Business page when researching Bay Area talent. She was impressed with my designs, craftsmanship, and branding. Sarah explained to me that RAW was a unique network that brings local artisans together across the globe. RAW is in its seventh year of operation, hosting four showcases per year in cities across the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. Most of the events feature 30-40 artists, with artists displaying and selling their work at their own vendor booth space. The event features full stage productions, including showcasing Hair and Make-Up Artists, as well as a runway fashion show! So far, Sarah said that RAW has hosted many San Francisco shows with the attendance of well over 900 people!
After speaking with Sarah about all of the RAW network and event details, I decided that this would be a great event to be a part of, and I signed up immediately! Part of the sign-up process included creating a RAW Artist Profile, getting together my RAW Team (Models, Hair Stylist, and Make-Up Artist), and selling 20 tickets to my friends, family, and clients.
Check out my RAW Artist Profile here.
Meet my RAW Team!
Here is a brief introduction to each member of my RAW Team!
But first...let me say, that working with these amazing woman truly enhanced my experience being a featured designer at this event! I highly recommend working with these ladies to anyone, and I look forward to working with them all again in the future.
Here is a highlight of some of their experience, inspiration, and where you can contact them if you would like to work or collaborate with amazing MUA, Hair Stylists, and Models!
Make Up Artist: Biridiana Rodriguez
Instagram: www.instagram.com/beautybybiridiana (@beautybybiridiana)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Mrs. Biridiana Rodriguez is a Make-Up Artist who lives in Arizona, but is originally a California Native. When I began seeking a Hair and Make-Up Artist who might be interested in working with me for this event, a dear family friend of mine, Mrs. June Caloroso immediately suggested that I get in touch with her close friend, Mrs. Rodriguez. Mrs. Caloroso told me that Mrs. Rodriguez is a Make-Up Artist for Dior Cosmetics, and would be visiting the Bay Area during the week of the event. I had met Mrs. Rodriguez at the Caloroso Wedding last year, but I did not know her very well. I was delighted when we spoke, that she said she would be very interested in participating in this event! I was also impressed that she would consider being a part of this event, since she would be traveling from Arizona to California while on vacation!
Mrs. Rodriguez explained her passion of Make-Up Artistry to me, as something she has loved all of her life, "as far back as I can remember" she had said. So I was quite surprised when she told me that initially she had sought out a career in Culinary Arts, and had went to college to become a Pastry Chef! Because of her career as a Pastry Chef, she found herself with little time to pursue her creativity in Make-Up Art. However, after some "soul searching", she realized that her true love was Make-Up, and that working as a Pastry Chef was lacking in her passion. It was as if the baking was a hobby, and her Make-Up was her craft, so she made a change...
When Mrs. Rodriguez decided to pursue a career as a Make-Up Artist (MUA), she began working as a Freelance MUA for MAC Cosmetics. This led her to begin to develop her own MUA business, where she creates beautiful Make-Up looks for her client's Bridal, Quinceañeras, Prom, and other special occasions. Mrs. Rodriguez said that since changing careers, she just "ran with it, not looking back", and is truly happy with her career as a Make-Up Artist.
In the future, Mrs. Rodriguez would love to create You Tube Tutorials that help viewers of all ages and races learn Make-Up Application Techniques, learn how to enhance their features, and thus provide confidence and the feeling of beauty that every woman desires to some degree.
Personally, I love this idea, since I myself have never really learned much about Make-Up, and need an expert to teach me so many basic techniques!
If you would like to contact Mrs. Biridiana Rodriguez for your upcoming occasions, you can contact her via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Also, be sure to check out her Instagram page: www.instagram.com/beautybybiridiana !
Hair Stylist: Esme Gutierrez
Mrs. Esme Gutierrez and I met during Oakland Fashion Week 2016, when she styled three of my model's hair, as well as my own hair prior to our Runway walk! Mrs. Gutierrez is not only a highly skilled Hair Stylist, but a remarkably sweet and humble lady.
I contacted Mrs. Gutierrez when I first began seeking a hair artist for this event. I was so pleased when she agreed to come on board as part of my RAW SF Team! Mrs. Gutierrez has a true passion for styling hair. I was amazed when she told me that her love for styling hair began when she was just seven years old!
When Mrs. Gutierrez was a young girl, she would often style her doll's hair, and cut her Great Grandmother Hair! As she grew up into her teenage years, she began to study fashion. However, as her studies of fashion progressed, the more she realized that hair was what she truly loved. Mrs. Gutierrez moved to California to begin Cosmetology School for hair, and has loved every moment of it! To Mrs. Gutierrez, her dreams truly came true! She is able to spread the art of her creative, beautiful hairstyles by styling the hair of countless beautiful models at many runway shows.
Mrs. Esme Gutierrez can be reached by phone for appointments or events, at (408) 318-3051.
Fashion Runway Model: Ebone Macon
A few months ago, I was invited to participate in the recording of a pilot episode of a Bay Area fashion television show, which was being filmed in Alameda, California. I brought two models with me, and a third model, which happened to be the lovely Ebone Macon, was also there to wear and take a few pictures in my collection pieces. That day, my husband, Javier and I took some great shots of the models just outside the studio. I loved all of the pictures we took, such as the two below, and knew I would love to work with Ebone again. We exchanged contact information, and I began to follow her work on social media.
Ebone Macon, who is from Antioch, California, and has been modeling for the past six years, is not only a beautiful model for both runway and photography shoots, but is also extremely creative and artistic. Ebone is the founder of The Royal Plug Company, which she created in February of 2016. The Royal Plug Company is a network of models, entertainers, and artist, with the goal of empowering the community through public outreach, and community events. Ebone hopes to inspire change and make a real difference within the community.
As I began to know Ebone better, I was not only impressed with her Royal Plug accomplishments and goals, but I also learned that Ebone is a singer, poet, artist, and she creates beautiful Waist Beads, chokers and headbands. Ebone's ambitions do not stop there! In addition to creating The Royal Plug Company and her artistic works, she has also developed the groups; The Goddesses of the Bay, in conjunction with The Goddesses of Atlanta, and The Royal League for Boys and Men. Ebone hopes to grow these groups into a modeling agency, and perhaps a modeling school for boys and girls!
If you would like to learn more about The Royal Plug Company, and upcoming events, check out www.royalplugcompany.com!
Fashion Runway Model: Kayli Di Vor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/1kaylidivor (@1kaylidivor)
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/Kayli-Di-Vor-1760788317488223
Kayli Di Vor, a fashion model from Oakland, is not only a stunning beauty, with classy confidence, but is hard working and dedicated. I first met Kayli Di Vor during one of the final model casting calls for Oakland Fashion Week 2016. While practicing her runway walk among many other young ladies, Kayli surely stood out. I recall on that particular day, I was hoping to collaborate with her in the future, as I had already chosen my models for OFW during the previous casting call, and was unable to use her as a model for that particular event.
Kayli, however, was chosen by several other designers for OFW 2016. While working together during that fashion filled week, we met the host of El Show De Pepe, Pepe Gonzalez, who was impressed with Kayli, as well as with my designs! Mr. Gonzalez told me that I and Kayli had stood out to him! The both of us were invited to be guests on El Show De Pepe in May!
For the filming of the episode, we car-pooled together from Oakland to Burlingame, California, across the Bay!
As I got to know Kayli, I found that she started her modeling career three years ago, and aspires to become a designer. On her free time, she sketches out intriguing designs that are unique and fashion forward. I was so happy when she agreed to work with me during the RAW San Francisco Runway event!
Fashion Runway Model: Lilibeth Bustos Linares
Instagram: www.instagram.com/lilithbln (@lilithbln)
When I started putting together my RAW SF Model List, I was so pleased that Lilibeth Linares was interested in participating when I contacted her! Lilibeth is such a pleasant young lady, I absolutely adore her! Like many of the other models I have met in the Bay Area, I met Lilibeth during Oakland Fashion Week 2016. Lilibeth, who is also a photographer in addition to a model, is from Columbia.
Lilibeth began to study modeling when she was 18, in Columbia, but it wasn't until recently that she began walking the runway! Lilibeth says that participating in Oakland Fashion Week was really the first modeling event she has done in the USA. Her friend, Yasmin Guerrero (another model we love), recommended that she try out for Oakland Fashion Week and attend the Model Casting Call. Lilibeth was inspired by Yasmin's confidence and willingness to help teach others modeling techniques.
I found it fascinating when Lilibeth told me that in Columbia, the beauty standards are much different than here in the Bay Area.
Lilibeth said that in Columbia, "Women have to have a 'perfect' body, hair, and face. But here, even when I was super nervous, I had someone that believed in me, and that broke many taboos in my mind. I started feeling more secure with the person that I am, and I learned that the concept of beauty is a combination of many things, the most important of which is that which comes from inside."
Beautiful words, Lilibeth!
Lilibeth's future modeling goals include participating in more runway events. I know I would love to work with her next season when my upcoming collection debuts, if her schedule permits! If you would like to contact Lilibeth regarding runway events, you can contact her through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to also check out her modeling and photography work on Instagram: www.instagram.com/lilithbln.
Fashion Runway Model: Raashi Chugh
Two days before the RAW San Francisco Reveal event, I received a message from Raashi Chugh, asking if I had any need for last minute or additional runway models. Raashi had met my Hair Stylist, Esme at an event the previous week, and was interested in RAW when she heard of it.
It just so happened that my Pencil Skirt Flamingo Halter Dress from my current collection was not going to be shown in this event because the model I had originally intended to wear the dress was under 21 years old. I didn't think of it at first, but I later realized that because the event was at a night club, all models and assistants needed to be over 21 years of age. Instead of seeking a new model, the exact same size, I just decided to cut the dress from the line-up, and add a new dress for model Saucye West to wear instead.
When I received the initial message from Raashi, I responded by asking her what her dress measurements are. Surprisingly, she is the exact same size as the dress that I had decided not to show! We agreed to meet in San Jose the following evening for a fitting (the day before the show!), and... the dress fit her perfect! Like a glove! Interestingly, in addition to being a model, Raashi is also an IT Technician in San Jose.
I was happy to welcome Raashi to our RAW SF Team, and I filled her in on all the 'day of' details.
Fashion Runway Model: Marisa Johnson
Instagram: www.instagram.com/thespideylady (@thespideylady)
The lovely Marisa Johnson, started her journey in Texas, then traveled to New York, and all along the East Coast, before heading to sunny California! I recall when I first met Marisa, back in April, at the Media/Designer Mixer for Oakland Fashion Week 2016. On that occasion, Marisa told me that she only recently moved to California from Texas, as a traveling Sonogram Technician, and was shocked at all the spring time rain we were having! I laughed because California has been lacking in rainy seasons for years now, and all this drought talk must seem like a myth to someone traveling into California during an unexpected spring time rain season, such as the one we had this past spring.
Marisa is not only a Sonogram Technician, but is a model, a photographer, and an actress! When Marisa and I first met, we instantly connected. I was even more excited when she contacted me soon after to ask if I had any garment samples of my designs that I would be willing to loan to her while she traveled to Greece for a vacation trip and photo shoot! I thought that that this was a brilliant idea, that ended up being a WIN for the both of us! Marisa took several of my dresses and skirts as she traveled to Greece! Upon her return she shared with me some truly amazing photos! I may not be able to travel the world quite yet, but how exciting that my designs have!
After seeing so many of my creations looking absolutely amazing on Marisa, I was truly overjoyed that she was able to come out and be a part of the RAW San Francisco runway show! As expected, she looked stunning in my SS2016 Collection, Parthenon High Waist Skirt, and Crepe Satin Drop Sleeve Blouse! Just take a look for yourself...
Marisa is always looking to network and collaborate with others for participation in upcoming events. Be sure to visit her Website, www.MarisaJ.com, and check out her work on Social Media! Marisa is currently rehearsing for her performance in the musical, Memphis, in San Jose! Buy your tickets to her performance today at, www.tabardtheatre.org/memphis.html.
Fashion Runway Model: Saucye West
Instagram: www.instagram.com/saucyewest (@saucyewest)
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/SaucyeWestPlusModel
Truly, one of my favorite things about working in the Fashion Industry is meeting such amazing, inspiring people. One such inspiring person, who I've had the privilege to meet and work with, is the beautiful model, Sauyce West. Sauyce West is a fashion model from Vallejo, who is breaking down the barriers of what society defines as beauty, and giving so many woman who do not fit into the molds of standardized, off the rack clothing, increasing confidence .
Saucye had contacted me over a year ago, asking if I created any Plus Size clothing in my existing line, and if I did, she was a local fashion and runway model seeking to work with local designers. After checking out Saucye's modeling work, I was very impressed and inspired! Saucye is not only gorgeous, she loves her body, and promotes body confidence.
Saucye West, who has been modeling for the last six years, said that she decided to pursue a career in modeling because she felt there is a lack of representation of plus size women in the modeling workforce, and she wants to change that. However, she finds it is rare to meet designers who are willing to create clothing for her size.
When I began to gather all of my RAW SF models, I realized I had enough time before show date to create a new dress, for my Flamingos at the Parthenon Collection, that was made to Saucye's measurements. I recall back in college, one of my favorite professors, said that when asked if I could sew this, or make that, I should get in the habit of saying yes. When you say no all the time, people will stop asking. It is also a great way to gain more experience, learn new techniques, and expand my creativity. So, when Saucye inquired about walking in the RAW SF Runway Show for my collection, I didn't see why not! Saucye then sent me her measurements, and I thought up a new dress I would make for her to wear. I drafted a pattern, and then constructed a muslin mock-up for the first fitting.
Saucye West wants to continue to challenge designers to add plus size garments to their collections. I love following Saucye West's work, and saved some links to share with you!
Check out the recent videos and articles Saucye has been featured in:
Huffington Post: "13 Women Share The Unbelievably Fatphobic Sh*t People Say To Them"
"48 Plus Size Women Rocking Their Visible Belly Outlines in Flawless Fashion Photos"
"Jeanette Miller and Saucye West Talk Fat Activism"
You can reach Saucye West for future collaborations or events though her email, at: email@example.com. Also be sure to check out her web-site and social media to keep updated on all her projects!
My team and I began to arrive at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco around 2pm the day of the event. Each of my models began to have their hair and make-up styled, as we began to prepare for the runway show! The energy of my team was so upbeat and positive! As my models began to arrive, they were re-united with ladies they had worked with previously, or they were able to create new networking connections by meeting people they had not worked with as of yet.
As the other featured artisans began to set up their artwork and vendor spaces throughout the venue, my team and I had a chance to walk around, meet some of the featured artists, and check out some amazing art, all before the doors of the event even opened! I too set up a small vendor space, where I displayed my Ready-To-Wear Catalog and Made to Order information. I was even able to sell my hand-crafted all natural Oils Right Now! Lip Balm!
After much work and preparation, my models were Cat Walk ready! 7pm quickly arrived, and the numerous event patrons began to come in to the venue. My models changed into cocktail dresses that they had brought to wear until the runway was scheduled to begin at 10pm. Some of my models had friends and family that joined them. My husband came to help me with my vendor booth, a buddy of his came out, as well as members of my family. It was really nice mingling and talking to people about my brand!
Before we knew it, the grand finale of the event was approaching! It was time for my team of models and I to head downstairs to the Green Room to change into my collection pieces! We then lined up to walk the runway!
Here are some pictures of my beautiful models wearing my Spring/ Summer 2016 Collection, "Flamingos at the Parthenon", at the RAW San Francisco presents: REVEAL Runway Show:
Here are some more lovely photos, taken by Duy Ho (RAW SF Lead Photographer)!
My RAW Future...
I very much enjoyed my experience as a featured designer at the RAW San Francisco presents: REVEAL! As part of the RAW Network of Artisans, I have another opportunity to showcase my designs at a future RAW event, in the city, state, or country of my choice, within one year. I have not yet decided where I will be showcasing my upcoming 2017 Collection with RAW, but Canada is sure sounding like an interesting journey!
Be sure to subscribe to my Blog to keep up to date on all my future blog post, and don't forget to follow my work on social media!
Thank you for taking the time to read about my RAW experience! I look forward to seeing you soon!
Special thanks to RAW San Francisco, all of my lovely models, my wonderful and talented Hair Stylist, and my amazing Make-Up Artist!
Thank you to the amazing photographers that covered this event:
Andreas Zhou, Duy Ho (Lead Photographer) www.duyhophotography.com, and Jennifer Michelson (Asst. Photographer) www.agirlandacameraphotography.com.
Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!