"Every morning you wake up and you ask the questions: 'What are you going to eat?' and 'What are you going to wear?'" Local fashion producer Tony Harris tells me this amidst a series of iPhone dings and brief side conversations with patrons at Ocho Lounge in the Hotel Havana. He's totally right, I think, and then I quickly ask my next question because Fashion Week San Antonio is fast approaching, and this man has got a lot to do.
Fashion Week San Antonio was founded in 2009 by a local chapter of Fashion Group International. By 2012, the group disbanded and Fashion Week San Antonio was left without a captain. Enter Tony Harris, owner of Tony Harris Fashion, a public relations firm based in San Antonio. With a head full of ideas about how to change the state of fashion in San Antonio, he took ownership of Fashion Week, and it has been gaining momentum ever since.
"What we're trying to do is educate while we entertain you," Harris explains. He is excited, and rightfully so. This year marks the most impressive showing to date, and he recently received news of SA2020's official endorsement of Fashion Week. With this endorsement, the City of San Antonio positions fashion at the forefront of our vision for the future. And that's not all Harris is thinking about—he's plotting the upcoming release of the new design for his website, as well as relishing the second anniversary of his mens' sartorial blog, Beau-Tie Bulletin.
Regardless of this, we talk about the "unique flavor and excitement" of fashion in San Antonio and what this year's Fashion Week has to offer. With more national and international designers showing, fierce models from agencies around the Lone Star State and greater community engagement than ever before the Alamo City inches toward a presence within the global industry. But, at the end of the day, Harris' intentions behind Fashion Week are simple: "I think most importantly, my message, my heart behind Fashion Week is always about educating our city to become more fashion-conscious and to take our appearance seriously." It's now time to think about our clothes as much as we think about our breakfast.
Fashion Week San Antonio is packed with events both on and off the runway. The following are a few highlights and hot-ticket shows picked from the week. To purchase tickets, or view the full schedule, visit Fashion Week San Antonio's website.
Masquerade Ball: #FWSA Kick-off Party
Kick off Fashion Week with your cocktail threads and sugar skull heads at the Día de Los Muertos-themed masquerade ball. "We want to encourage people to go all out with their regalia," Harris says. "That's an effort and a talent in itself." And he means it: The event promises prizes valued at more than $5,000 for the top three best-dressed attendees. The evening includes the reading of Fashion Week's official proclamation by Mayor Ivy Taylor, tunes by DJ Jarvis and complimentary cocktails from Herradura Tequila. $20-$25, 8pm Sat, Nov 1, River Walk Plaza, Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle.
Even if you have never attended Fashion Week San Antonio before, chances are you may recognize Samantha Plasencia from your TV set. She brought national attention to the local fashion community during her stint on the 13th season of Lifetime's hit reality competition series Project Runway. When talking about Plasencia, Harris cannot help but smile. He says, "I'm very proud, because Samantha has really represented this city well." Unfortunately, after weeks on the show, Plansencia was eliminated for a gown the judges deemed "too safe."
You won't find safe anywhere on the runway of her Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Urban chic with a heavy dash of edge, her showcase promises loads of leather, sateen and chiffon. "She really possesses what's next in the industry and what's happening right now in San Antonio," Harris says. $10-$25, 4pm Sun, Nov 2, Texas A&M–San Antonio Educational & Cultural Arts Center, 101 S Santa Rosa.