Posts Tagged ‘ Jacqueline Valle ’

PHXFW Rewinds: Roberto Mantellassi: Fresh, Unique Quality without the Price Tag

New designers are regularly introduced to the fashion world, but the few unique designers strong enough to stay in the limelight are the ones that stand out from the rest.

Roberto Mantellassi designs is a collection that some would describe as “a breath of fresh air.”

Roberto Mantellassi is a young designer, living in a small town outside of Florence, Cerreto Guidi. Mantellassi started in the leather business when he was 14, and since has developed his own line of unique bracelets, handbags and belts.

Mantellassi exudes creativity in his handmade designs and exclusive style by combining fine leather with Swarovski crystals and metals. His designs fit with the likes of Gucci, Prada and Michael Kors, but are about half the price and yet, equal in quality.

“There is definitely a place in the market for something fresh and unusual,” Linda Fontana, the Vice President of the Roberto Mantellassi collection in North America said.

Mantellassi is a conservative designer whose designs transform the uptown feel and sophistication into a hip, elegant and stylish collection for any age.

“Someone who is a Cartier person, or someone who buys fine jewelry, you often don’t find them putting on a leather bracelet or skin bracelet,” Fontana said. “But they love to combine these pieces with these precious jewels because the combination of the two is so fresh and fun.”

Roberto Mantellassi is featured at the Bellagio and the new Aria Resort in Las Vegas.

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.

Rising Model, Lauren Teter

People always think that models are really catty and mean, but that is totally wrong,” Lauren Teter said.


While there are many misconceptions about models, the one mentioned by Teter seems to be common and untrue.

Last year was the start of Teeter’s modeling career, followed by a string of accomplishments—including signing with Ford after being an emerging model with Phoenix Fashion Week for the first time.

“It’s hard to pick a top three because I loved all of the designers I walked for,” Teter said.” But if I had to pick it would be Bri Bridge, Briana Linea and Encolor.”

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Teter is a freshman at The University of Arizona studying pre-business. She purses modeling on the side, hoping to participate in new events and shows, as well as always being a part of the fashion world whether it’s through business or modeling.

“I love the fashion world, it is a crazy industry and you always have to remember to follow your dreams,” Teter said. “It has evolved so much over the years and is constantly changing. The fashion industry sets styles for the world. It is so cool to be a part of that.”

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Artist

At some point in time, those who are passionate about fashion often realize it is something they would like to pursue as an art form. The beauty of fashion truly lies in the eye of the creator, and the rest is left to the admiration of the audience.

Some people follow their dreams by going to fashion school, while others, like Shantidas, find their true passion in a sewing class at age fifteen. Her life-changing, teen discovery lead Shantidas to study abroad in Milan, where the true art of style and fashion lies.

“It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done.” Shantidas Contu-owen, Designer of Shantidas said. “The style and the atmosphere in Milan are extremely different from here (US).”

Shantidas describes her style as “high-fashion, prêt-a-porter,” and for women aged 18-30.

While the use of different types of draping and fabric give the line a romantic, sophisticated look, the line itself is also a bit edgy. Shantidas’ true infatuation is custom design with a little bit of couture.

“My ultimate goal would be to have dresses and designs on red carpet affairs, celebrities who are doing events in the public eye.” Shantidas said. “I really love working on specific details tailored to a woman’s body.”

While Shantidas is truly inspired by just about anything, from the likes of nature to designers like Donna Karen and the early Gianni Versace, her designs reflect a beauty of individuality and sophistication.

In the end, she wants people to feel as if their dressed in their own skin as opposed to just wearing a dress that is draped over their skin.

You will be able to meet Shantidas Contu-owen and experience the Shantidas collection on the runway during Phoenix Fashion Week, October 7 – 9, 2010.

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.

SJ Couture for the Bride to Be

“Here comes the bride, all dressed in white,” is a tune every little girl can giddily recite from the first moment she discovers the magic in weddings and marriage. While every little girl grows up envisioning their perfect wedding, every woman knows the real magic is in the perfect wedding dress.

Women today can choose from high-end designers to local bridal boutiques. But here in Phoenix, there’s one line of bridal couture that separates itself from all others, drawing its inspiration from the elements in an English garden.

“The dream of creating a wedding gown that was unique and different,” Sim and Jeanne Hankerson, Designers of SJ Couture, said about what inspired them to create a bridal line.

The line can be described as exquisite, luxurious and whimsical, offering any type of bride, traditional and non-traditional, their dream wedding gown on the  special day.

Though SJ Couture is still young to the fashion world, its daring and creative designers know exactly the type of women who are made for SJ Couture.

“An independent, confident woman who embraces her femininity” is the ultimate SJ Couture bride, according to the Hankersons.

While the Hankersons speculate on expanding into fine bridal footwear, they plan on increasing development to a more global scale. Fashion meccas, like New York and Paris, will soon be seeing SJ Couture in their storefronts. For now, though, the excitement of debuting at this year’s Phoenix Fashion Week will prove possibilities of future fashion weeks to come.

You will be able to meet Sim and Jeanne Hankerson and experience their collection on the emerging designer runway during Phoenix Fashion Week, October 7 – 9, 2010.

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.

Mary Jane Smokewear Hits First Runway with PHXFW

On Thursday, i CRAVE FASHION kicked off with a unique collection, Mary Jane Smokewear.

Mary Jane Smokewear became a collection when partners JP Avila and Zack Maita had some free time to mess around with designs that were creative and could appeal to those fond of the product Mary Jane.

JP Avila and Zack Maita

The line includes t-shirts for men and women sporting catchy slogans, like “got purple” and “I Amsterdam,” or booty shorts for women with the logo on the backside.

“It’s really something that everyone likes.” Avila said. “The reaction we get is old people, young people, and just about anyone. We’re trying to get Mary Jane culture into the mainstream.”

Mary Jane Smokewear started selling at First Fridays, in downtown Phoenix.

The heightened response from the art walk encouraged the designers to take it to the Cypress Hill Smokeout Festival. Mary Jane Smokewear blew out their sales, making over 100 sales in 2 days at the Festival.

“We felt like we had a good head steam and expanded our designs and decided to go for it by devoting more time to it,” Maita said.

Mary Jane Smokewear, founded in 2009, had their very first fashion show at the Crave Café and Lounge Thursday, April 15, and is planning on joining Phoenix Fashion Week at the end of September.

“We want exposure.” Maita said. “We want to sell stuff and make it big. There are some other marijuana lines that are worldwide. We want to compete with them.”

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.

Photos by Mikel Florman Photography.

Black Russian Label: Redefining the Face of Fashion

Joanna de’Shay is an emerging designer with strong wind at her back and an eye for direction.

With a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and soon a second Master’s in Fashion Design, de’Shay’s dream to drive her design company, Black Russian Label, into flagship storefronts in London, New York and Paris is one we foresee coming to life in the near future.

Joanna de’Shay

Black Russian Label’s Spring/Summer 2010 Collection is titled “Salute to Denim.”

“Salute to Denim” is inspired by military uniforms from around the world, and features 100% denim designs accented with leather and zipper detail. The label has a design aesthetic that will make women feel beautiful while still saving comfort. All Black Russian’s denim is designed to fit women’s natural curves.

de’Shay feels that designers should attribute their collections to the consumers needs.

“See, it’s not about being a character, but more about creating a product that women need and want,” de’Shay said in a phone interview.  “Your clothes have to fill a need in the marketplace and say to a woman, ‘I am listening and I hear what you need.’”

de’Shay sets herself and Black Russian apart from other designers because of one key asset: she isn’t concerned with trends or hoping on the most popular design bandwagon. de’Shay is unique in her sense of style and radiates it in her collection.

“The thing I love about fashion is that it allows you to be whomever you choose to be for that occasion,” de’Shay said.  “So my style is completely contingent on my mood.”

You will be able to meet Joanna de’Shay and experience her collection on the runway during Phoenix Fashion Week, October 1 – 3, 2009.

Article written by Jacqueline Valle for Phoenix Fashion Week.