The Bay Area is known as a mecca for independent fashion designers and to prove the point, last Saturday fashionistas of all types attended the Bay Area Guide to Independent Fashion Festival. Held at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the one day event offered local designers of clothing, jewelry, and accessories an opportunity to showcase their wares in two runway shows and a bazaar.
This first time event was a big success with over 400 people in attendance, 40 designers exhibiting their works, and half-a-dozen local designers including Cari Borja, Erin Mahoney, and Sarah Zins, participating in the runway shows. Co-sponsored by Oakland artist Letitia Ntofon and YBCA's Cicely Sweed along with Bay Area Now 5, the festival's goal was to point up the fact that fashion is not just about big corporate designer labels, but that fashion is also about individual style and diversity.
Among the day's lineup was a panel discussion titled Fashion and Politics Do Mix. Designers Erica Varize and Irene Hernandez-Feiks joined UC Davis Textiles and Clothing professors Leslie Rabine and Susan Kaiser for a lively discussion about, among other things, the unique influence San Francisco has had on fashion from Levis jeans in the 1800s to the hippie, anti-Vietnam subculture of the 1960s.
Designers exhibiting their wares included the sculptural headwear of milliner Jasmin Zorlu, earthfriendly foot fashion by Rock n Socks (made in USA from regenerated cotton yarns) and stylish bike riding attire by JoyRider.
Congrats to all and we look forward to more Indie Fashion next year!
(Photo Credit: Jay Krause)