Now in its sixth season, New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) showcases fashion designers from throughout the Gulf Coast. "I thought there was a void in the city when it came to fashion and industry," says NOFW Executive Producer, founder and self-proclaimed "jack of everything" Tracee Dundas.
From March 13-19, NOFW (www.fashionweeknola.com) holds more than 50 runway shows, as well as events including an emerging designer competition. "Young, virtually unknown designers are showcasing, typically for the first time, on a runway and exhibiting their collection," Dundas says.
There's also an expo where designers sell their garments to local stores. "Boutique owners and buyers can come look at merchandise and potentially create a wholesale component," Dundas says. The Fashion Industry Career Fair fosters business relationships within the New Orleans fashion community.
Dundas feels the pressure of planning such a major event.
"Making sure we do bring a "wow" factor ... that gets me nervous, but at the end of the day it comes from the designers and their aesthetics," says Dundas, who does not see the designers' collections until they hit the runway. "That's what I love about what we're doing," she says. "We're not trying to be New York. We're marching to our own beat with the designs and what we're creating."