Local Designer Alma Primero Wins Fashion Design Challenge on Steve Harvey Show


alma steve harvey imageThere is a massive amount of talent here in Arizona, but many times, they don’t receive the exposure or recognition they really deserve. Phoenix Fashion Week, along with many other local groups, have been working hard to change this, but it’s incredible to hear a national talk show, The Steve Harvey Show, chose local PHXFW Established Designer Alma Primero as one of only three fashion designers/moms to be featured on a recent ‘Fashion Design Challenge’ episode!

I had a chance to catch up with Alma after her big win on the show to talk about her experience, as well as what she has up her perfectly tailored sleeve for 2013!

Explain for our readers how the Steve Harvey show opportunity came about?

“It came about at a charity show I was doing in Litchfield. I had told my friend Amelia Walsh to be a part of and that day we caught up, and she told me about the opportunity. They had reached out to her but they wanted mom designers, and she is not a mom so she connected me since I’m a mom, and I’m so grateful to her! She is one of my good designer friends in the business, and we always try to look out for each other for opportunities!”

What was your time like on the show? 

alma show 1

Alma backstage with her models wearing her winning design.

“It was an experience I will never forget! It was tough, as I only had a couple of days to make my designs. It was a Project Runway-style challenge, and I was challenged like I’ve never been before.  I had my adrenaline going and lots of energy drinks and hardly any sleep, but it was all worth it. They picked two from Chicago and myself from Arizona, so that alone was huge for me. It was very exciting that I was one of their first picks to be on the show. For me, that is amazing to get recognized by someone like the Steve Harvey team. They were so good to all of us..even Steve Harvey’s daughter told us they hand picked all of us because they knew we all were capable of creating a Steve Harvey dress. This meant so much to me…it’s just an amazing feeling to receive acknowledgement from someone so high up in the industry. As a designer, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m going in the right direction. This solidified for me that I am doing something right and it’s only a matter of time before I accomplish all my goals,  if I keep pushing and working hard. At the end, they picked all of us to design for them, so I was super excited and couldn’t believe that my designs will be sold nationally under the Steve Harvey Brand. This is unbelievable for little old me from Arizona, it’s an awesome dream come true!”

What inspired your designs featured on the show?

“The theme was spring from day to night and the customer the Steve Harvey brand is designed for, which is the working woman that wants to look stylish but needs designs to work for several occasions and for a variety of age groups. I wanted to produce a design that was chic and would stay trendy, a design that could also be worked into different wardrobes, as we all have different ways of styling a dress. It is a dress to work into your existing closet for the workplace and then by adding a few accessories, to work for night.”

Your designs will be featured in a major national retailer, K&G Fashion Superstore. What are your next steps since being on the show?

“We were told we will begin on the mood boards for fall  in January 2013 and go from there.”

There has been so much press and buzz since you were on the show, including a recent interview on Univision. What has all of this support meant to you?

“I feel so blessed to have everyone’s support: my family,  friends, and the public. It means so much to me to have people interested in my work and for an emerging designer like myself. My Latino community has always been big supporters of what I do and embraces me with open arms, so I always like to do something special in my designs to represent my Hispanic roots to show them my love back. It’s been many years, and I started out in the Hispanic community doing fashion shows and being involved with my community. I make Quince, Wedding, and Prom dresses in my boutique in my West Phoenix community at El Palacio Bridal & Tux, so that’s where my roots are, and I don’t intend to leave. I hope to make a difference in my side of town, one day creating jobs and more opportunity for others to fulfill their dreams as well.”

Alma's 2010 Coleccion debuted at PHXFW

Alma’s 2010 Coleccion debuted at PHXFW

How do you feel your involvement with PHXFW over the years prepared you for this opportunity?

“I feel it has prepared me to be more of a perfectionist and always have a backup plan. The interviews with Lauren have helped me to be ready for the new interviews I’ve had recently for the show. Preparing my portfolio and presentations of my brand is an important thing I took from PHXFW because I run my entire brand myself. I took a lot of tools, and I apply them now in the business part of my brand. I never forget what Brian Hill says,  ‘if you’re in an elevator, what is your 3-minute pitch for your brand?’ That is something you think is small, but it has help me a lot with pitching myself and having people take a second look and give me a chance.”

What are your future goals/plans?

“I will start on my new line inspired by two amazing Mexican women, Maria Felix and Frida Kahlo. I will also work on some Private Label for a client out of LA that contacted me after the show and wants me to be their freelance designer for their brand! I am also currently looking for interns to work with me on all my marketing and social media because I have no time for it, and I want to create a strong team that could help me take my brand to the next level and produce sales. If all works out and I get a store or two locally or in LA to take on my brand, I will be putting my line in a showroom in LA that recently contacted me that would like to take my brand on. That is some of what I will be doing this coming year.”

Where do you see your brand going?  

“I see it going into small boutiques, and I feel my brand will make a statement when it hits in bigger stores, as the new collection will be something every women will want. I have learned a lot in recent years as a designer within myself and what the consumers want in my market and every line is a trial, but this line will be very memorable and my best work yet. This is the first line I’m starting a year in advance, and I just have so much inside that I need to release.  I’m a more well-rounded designer now, and I feel I will get there, it is only a matter of time, as all the results have proven I’m headed in that direction. I will also be connecting with more stylist that dress celebrities!”

Thank you Alma! No doubt you should expect to see MUCH more from this local talent!

Click HERE for a sneak peek video clip into Alma’s time on the show…stay tuned for a link to the actual episode soon!

For additional information about this talented local designer, visit her website, Like her on Facebook and find her on Twitter to follow her story!

Article by Lauren Pfingstag for Phoenix Fashion Week, Images Courtesy of Alma Primero and The Steve Harvey Show

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

http://www.phoenixfashionweek.com

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