Oakland Fashion Week’s Industry Forum Sheds Light on the Exciting Events and Changes to Come

by Yang Qu

A modern art studio, the Imagine Affairs Art Lounge, provided the perfect space for a close-knit and involved industry forum on a Thursday night. Panelists included representatives for a talent agency, a showroom, and other boutique owners. Of course, Viscera was there as well, a feat in itself for a relative new-comer. As an intern, I was fortunate to have been able to listen and learn from a panel comprised solely of talented and knowledgeable women.

While there were several questions and comments bounced around by the panelists and audience, focused on branding and emphasizing customer experience, what drew me in was the discussion of Oakland Fashion Week’s inaugural run and the implications it held for the area.

Oakland Fashion Week, to my understanding, really stemmed from the idea of revisiting roots--by rebuilding a vibrant art and fashion scene upon the strong foundation that already exists, replete with emerging designers, boutiques, and producers. The vision of a garment district where a designer would be able to walk across the city to their manufacturer was dangled from a gold thread just beyond reach. It is a grand dream, indeed, one that may require copious amounts of work but is in no way unattainable.

It may sound like a formidable task for any casual observer of fashion, and I completely agree. Even with experience coordinating and participating in the bi-annual fashion shows at UC Berkeley, I am continually awed by those in charge of fashion weeks for the hours of work they undoubtedly put into the events. I am especially impressed by the committee of Oakland Fashion Week for the conception of a well-formed idea. Hosting events dedicated to helping emerging designers gain a wider reach and find markets for their products is not easy, but I have faith in their success.

Those interested have a range of events they can attend:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015: Industry Threads, 7-10PM
Thursday, May 14, 2015: Fashion Boulevard, 7-10PM
Friday, May 15, 2015: Sol Afrik, 7-10PM
Saturday, May 16, 2015: Splash - Swim&Resort, 12-4PM
Saturday, May 16, 2015: Exclusively Yours, 8-11PM
Sunday, May 17, 2015: La Mode Du Jour, 12-5PM

More information can be found on their website: http://www.oaklandfashionweek.com/