Make sure September 21st is marked on your calendar for the beginning of DC Fashion week. Founded 14 years ago and 25 shows later, DC Fashion week is celebrating its silver anniversary. I sat down this week with the creative and charismatic Ean Williams, founder and visionary behind the successful organization that produces these fashion weeks, to learn more about the upcoming event and its history.
DC has a fashion week twice a year in the months of February and September and usually held the third week of these months to follows the premier U.S. fashion week, New York Fashion Week. The September date is always picked in coordination with H Street Festival, as both organizations promote creative platforms and contribute to DC’s ongoing “renaissance.” The month of September has also coincidentally been dedicated to ‘made in DC’ products as part of a public-private partnership introduced by Mayor Muriel Bowser called “202 Creates.”
I know DC and fashion aren’t always words that are synonymous with one another, something Ean and I laughed about because we obviously disagree and know that DC really is one of the best locations for fashion. With the diplomatic presence and diverse representation of industries, DC has the potential to be the international capital of fashion.
This fall 21 fashion houses will present collections during DC Fashion Week and while some of them are DC-based, many are from other countries. In fact, 10 designers will be from Estonia, which is a record according to Ean.
Designers are incentivized to show their collections in DC because of the international exposure, but also because it is much more economical than participating in New York Fashion Week. In general, a fashion week experience provides great value as it is a platform to let the fashion industry know what’s coming up and all of the media outlets and buyers are present. In DC designers also have the chance to expose their collections to Ambassadors, Members of Congress, local elected officials all attend. He hasn’t heard from the Hillary or Trump campaigns yet, but they are invited and his ringer is turned on.
Next week, Ean will be showing his collection, Corjor International, inspired by Beyoncé and called “Black Lemonade”. The colors of his collection include black, white and yellow. Also named after a cleansing drink by the same name, the collection was an opportunity to cleanse his mind and create something fresh.
The emerging designers show is the hottest one to see, it always sells out first and is a big attraction for millennials. Additionally some DC designers to look for include, KAS Collection, Heydari, Lela Desire.