The W Hotels Scout Out The Next Big Things
For any budding fashion line, finding funding is nothing short of a godsend. “It was the best Christmas gift,” Mara Hoffman raved about being selected for the W Hotels’ Fashion Next program. “I found out in December right before everybody headed off for the holidays.” Along with fellow colleagues Tess Giberson, Mandy Coon, Frank Tell, and Michael Angel, Hoffman toasted their selection in a penthouse last night at the W’s Times Square location. There was much to celebrate: The lucky few won a coveted sponsorship of their Fall 2011 show at the Box in Lincoln Center.
Going two seasons strong, W’s fashion director, Amanda Ross (above, with the designers), once again spearheaded the effort. “We wanted a group where each designer had their own sense of style—it’s a mix of sophisticated and bohemian—but were at similar points in their careers,” Ross explained. Young labels hoping to win Ross’ eye for the next installation will have to catch her hop-scotching around town for New York fashion week. Aside from styling for her friend of 20 years, Gregory Parkinson, she’ll be fitting in “as many shows as she can.” “I just hope there isn’t a snowstorm,” Ross said, half-jokingly. “Otherwise we’ll all have a tough time planning what to wear.”
A slushy winter or not, it appears New York is still the place to be. “I’ve been coming here off and on for the last 12 years,” said Texas native Mandy Coon. “As a young designer, it’s the most comfortable because the community here is open to new ideas.” Would she ever decamp to a designer-luring European city, like London or Paris? “I wouldn’t,” Coon declared. “For me, it’s all about this city. There’s a lot of momentum here.”
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