Madison Buyer and Phoenix Fashion Week: A Natural Partnership

It’s no secret the fashion industry is highly competitive. Emerging designers must work their way up and many times do not receive the support they deserve. However, organizations such as Phoenix Fashion Week and now Madison Buyer, have become known within the industry as providers of assistance and a platform to showcase these designers’ talents. I had the opportunity to catch up with Shawn Madawi, Co-founder of Madison Buyer, via email, before their big trip to Las Vegas for the largest fashion tradeshow in the world, MAGIC, taking place this week.

Explain for our readers what Madison Buyer is.
“Madison Buyer is an online collection of fashion designer portfolios designed to extend brand awareness beyond the show floor.  Both social and searchable by product categories, price points, tags, and events, Madison Buyer provides retailers the opportunity to browse and target designers before the show, and revisit portfolios after.  It’s a simple and efficient tool for discovering new and independent designers”.

What is the story behind why it was started?

“Initially my intention was to open a boutique and stock it with my favorite Brazilian inspired designers.  I enlisted my business partner’s help but we couldn’t find the designers I was interested in.  We realized we were missing out on up-and-coming designers because we didn’t know a specific name to Google. And it was even more difficult to navigate the many trade show sites to determine which one(s) we should attend. Did we really HAVE to go to Brazil? Didn’t anyone exhibit here in the US?  Where? Vegas, New York, L.A., Miami? So we decided to try making the process a little easier by providing one place to search for designers by criteria such as categories, price points, tags, and trade shows”.

What does your company offer to designers and buyers?

“Designers create a portfolio that lets their audience know who they are, what they do, and where to find their brand.  They can create a searchable profile with tags, price points, pics, video, and upcoming events, making it easier to be found by the people

Designer featured on Madison Buyer

who seek exactly what they design. On the flip side, retailers can look for designers whose product lines appeal to their customers.  Once retailers have signed up they can discover designers they may not have been familiar with, targeting the right designer fit before the show, and revisiting those they may have missed after the show” 

Why did it make sense for you to partner with Phoenix Fashion Week?
“We meet Brian Hill last year at POOLTRADESHOW and he has been keeping us updated on what PHXFW is doing.  We really enjoy working with fashion communities outside of large markets because we get to meet a lot of emerging, talented designers.  The fit was natural as we share the same passion in providing affordable tools to help designers succeed.  We are continuously impressed with the progress Brian and his team have made in putting PHXFW on the map.  But even more so by their commitment to educate emerging designers on properly showcasing and launching their line”.

We are excited to hear about your debut at the Magic show this year! How did this come about and why is it important to Madison Buyer?

“Yes, it is very exciting for us! We’ll be situated on the concourse at WWDMAGIC.  Being a part of WWDMAGIC is an amazing opportunity for us to collaborate and connect with the very people we built this for…designers and retailers.  In addition, we get to work with Macala Wright, founder of and Why This Way.  We’ve learned so much from her and every time we see her we learn something new!  She really has been the engine driving the tech and fashion train and we are very lucky and grateful she brought us along for the ride”.

What does the future look like for you? Plans?

“The long-term objective is for Madison Buyer to become a fashion hub for the business side of fashion, with a solid representation of apparel & accessory designers across international borders, and across genres as well–such as outdoor sports or vintage wear.  Our goal is to have retailers check out Madison Buyer before heading to market week or trade shows, and for designers to have Madison Buyer as one of their top resources for promoting their product”.

Thanks Shawn!

For more information about Madison Buyer, visit If you are attending MAGIC, don’t forget to stop by their booth on the concourse and tell them PHXFW sent you!

We love feedback! Post a comment or question about this article and you win a free PHXFW t-shirt!

Article by Lauren Pfingstag for Phoenix Fashion Week

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

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