Tried and True

Estrada was a crazy, fun, college girl who assembled her wardrobe by collecting anything she could get her hands on. She made bras out of nuts and bolts and mini skirts out of bottle caps.

One day she rescued a shower curtain from her mother’s trash and made it into a mini skirt, sewing the words, “Stop Staring!” across the behind. At first the gesture was meant as a joke, but the name stuck.

People started remembering her as the “Stop Staring! girl,” and paying her to create clothes on a personal level.

“It was a creative outlet for me,” Estrada said in a phone interview.  “I never thought of it as a career, though.”

After switching majors, colleges and career paths, Estrada found herself designing under her fame name, “Stop Staring!” for stores in the Los Angeles area, and becoming wildly successful in the process.

“God had a different plan for me,” Estrada said of her career swap from accountant to designer.  “There are so many miracles that happened.  There’s no way all this could have happened on my own.”

Stop Staring! is a collection of timeless and classic designs made for every age and every body type, sizes 0-18.

The designs were originally inspired by the 50s retro, rockabilly era.  Over time, though, Estrada’s beautiful styles have become much more contemporary and mainstream.  The line has been featured in top fashion magazines like Vogue, Allure, Seventeen and People, and celebrity stars Paris Hilton, Eva Mendes, Zooey Deschanel, Ashley Greene, and other A-listers have been spotted showing off Stop Staring! styles.

“When times are tough, I believe the strong survive,” Estrada said.  “When the economy is tough they [buyers] are always going to choose what is tried and true.  Fame and fortune is not the goal for Stop Staring! My goal is to create a beautiful mark in this world so that when women walk out of a club or a restaurant they get the right kind of attention.”

You will be able to meet Alicia Estrada and experience her collection on the runway during Phoenix Fashion Week, October 1-3, 2009.

Article written by Emily Timm for Phoenix Fashion Week.

VMarie: Elegant Meets Bold

Never underestimate the small town kid.

Reigning from Natalia, Texas, a place where the population is the size of most Arizona high schools, Rickie Gonzales has made a huge splash onto the fashion market in Arizona.

Although he was able to sew by hand at age 12, Rickie officially caught the “fashion bug” after putting on a fashion show for his friends on his birthday three years ago.  In 2006 he began professionally selling and designing under his label: VMarie.

VMaire has shown several times at Phoenix Fashion Week, Scottsdale Fashion Week, and many other prestigious shows around the valley.  His clientele features fashion-forward women who are looking for clothes to accent a unique and stylish wardrobe.

His drive originates in the memories and love for his late twin sister, who passed away in 2004.  Many of his designs are also inspired and molded by the elegance and re-birth of the butterfly.  He has a passion for using colorful chiffons and satins in his work.

One of his most renowned and signature styles is the green and black “under cleavage” dress. It is one of Rickie’s favorite designs that transformed during the re-working of a skirt.

The fashions from VMarie are constantly pushing the limits while still celebrating the curves of a woman’s body.

Being named one of the hottest new designers in Arizona, VMarie often wows the crowd, a reaction Rickie loves to receive. With all the momentum and buzz growing behind VMarie, Rickie plans to open a new studio soon.  “I want to blow everyone away at Phoenix Fashion Week in 2009,” Rickie said.

Rickie’s Spring 2010 line is titled VMarie: 2059 Me Against the World.  “The 2010 line will be the future, but it will be wearable,” Rickie said.  If anyone can pull this off, Rickie Gonzales is the one.  VMarie Fashion is definitely here to stay and is prepared to amaze and astound this year’s buyers at Phoenix Fashion Week 2009.

Article written by Megan Marvin for Phoenix Fashion Week.

Old Hollywood Moves Fashion Forward: February 2009

Old Hollywood Moves Fashion Forward

Iconic Style Landmark- Hotel Valley Ho

To Be Official Venue Of

Phoenix Fashion Week’s 5th Anniversary

October 1-3, 2009

Phoenix, AZ. February 2009 – The legendary Hotel Valley Ho has signed on to host the 5th anniversary of Phoenix Fashion Week taking place October 1-3, 2009. Touted as the “Hub of Hip,” the landmark space was a coveted hideaway for Hollywood’s elite in the mid 1950’s and after a re-design in 2005, it still stands as the place to see and be seen for the who’s who of Valley hipsters.

The classic mid-century design and lighthearted ambiance makes this downtown Scottsdale urban resort an ideal partner for Phoenix Fashion Week. “As a staple of design and style in the Valley for over fifty years, we are so proud to be holding our 5th anniversary Phoenix fashion week at Hotel Valley Ho,” says Brian Hill – Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week. Displaying all glass mod rooms, cozy lobby sitting areas and a rooftop with breathtaking views of the valley, the retro chic manicured grounds of the Valley Ho are perfect to house Phoenix Fashion Week’s three day glitzy fashion extravaganza. Featuring an opening pink-carpet charity event, three days of fashion shows, complimentary fashion seminars, designer sample sales, style villa and nightly after parties, Phoenix Fashion Week will take over the swanky hotel for three days utilizing virtually every space.

“Hotel Valley Ho has long been a supporter of fashion and design, dating back to hosting poolside fashion shows in the 1950’s.  As with fashion, the hotel has evolved and reinvented itself as a haven for the fashion elite.  Partnering with Phoenix Fashion Week is a way for us to further our ties with the fashion community while continuing with our history of being on the forefront of cutting edge style.  We look forward to being the official venue for this year’s Phoenix Fashion Week.” Says Jesse Thompson, Director of Marketing Hotel Valley Ho

Phoenix Fashion Week is the leading fashion industry event in Arizona.  The organization’s mission is bridging national and international designers with premier retailers and prestige fashion media. Phoenix Fashion Week’s ultimate goal is to garner global exposure for Arizona’s fashion industry. Through educational fashion seminars, year-round fashion events and charitable partnerships, Phoenix Fashion Week is gaining rapid acclaim for its community service efforts and for infusing world-class innovation into the valley. For more information log onto