Mapping out the new fashion capital

Michelle Long, the publisher of Advant Garde Magazine models at the Provasi Collection Showroom during OC Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fard)

Michelle Long, the publisher of Avant Garde Magazine models at the Provasi Collection Showroom during OC Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fard)

OC designers and consumers are building a fashion empire

It’s not surprising that of the $177 billion spent on fashion in 2009, $37 billion came from Orange County, while Los Angeles reached it’s $40 billion mark.

“Of course the economy was booming,” Kathryn Marino, president, owner and producer of Fashion Week said. “Orange County is on its way to being the new fashion capitol.”

OC Fashion week is somewhat different than that of a larger city’s show. Everyone from the auto industry to well known Laguna Beach artists have participated. It is a way of bringing multiple markets together in a nonprofit event to raise money that goes back into the fashion world.

OC Fashion Week's day 4 held at the Provasi Collection Showroom in Laguna Niguel.

OC Fashion Week’s day 4 held at the Provasi Collection Showroom in Laguna Niguel. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fard)

“I loved creating a space that set the tone for the night — old world European elegance and romantic opulence juxtaposed by Vivian Westwood’s edgy fashions,” said Gina Marie Fard, interior designer who sponsored day four of OC Fashion Week. “As I’ve always said, luxury comes in many forms, and the beautiful thing about OC Fashion Week is its ability to bring together a wide variety of people and themes all representing Orange County’s diversity, beauty, and talent.”

Marino said she sees Orange County’s fashions hold the same prominence as other cities considered the fashion hot spots.

“The difference in OC Fashion Week is what else brings it to life, like the ambiance and experience of walking into a showroom, it sets us apart and I believe Orange County will be landmarked as another fashion capital like Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Madrid…,”   Marino said. ” We take all local artisans, craftsman and architects to build a show.”

Fard agreed, saying she was excitedly awaiting 2015.

“I strongly believe we are in “The Pursuit of Fashion” and can hardly wait for 2015,” Fard said.

Marino wants to go global reaching out to the international market in the near future but wants to promote buying local brands such as Wet Seal, Quicksilver and St. John Knits.

“We will see diversity next year,” Marino said. “And continue to see the level of the spirit of competition.”

Marino invites those with a fashion sense to join their apprentice program. This program enrolls students into the fashion world through these apprenticeships, starting this  October. She said that recently, one intern was picked up by Vogue.

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