Tucson Fashion Week designers tell us about themselves, their brands
2016's Tucson Fashion Week kicks off at the Rialto Theatre on Thursday, Oct. 13. The evening saw fashions from Harley Davison accompanied by a live band, Abel Gallegos, Anine Paulsen, Christopher Pape, Estéban Osuna, the Kayzrly line by Kimberly Loyd and Cesar Padilla.
As residents here in the Old Pueblo, we know Tucson Fashion Week is a pretty big thing in the local arts community. But who are the designers behind the show? What do they—and their brands—stand for? The Daily Wildcat asked a handful of local and national TFW designers to find out.
Monica Hansen, Monica Hansen Beachwear
After Monica Hansen’s professional modeling career came to a close, her natural talent for fashion caused her an easy transition from model to designer. She has always been up to date on the most recent trends and knows what fits best. Finally, after two long years, Monica Hansen Beachwear became a reality and the first line was released at the beginning of 2016.
Hansen and her ‘90s themed swimwear line will be making their first debut into Tucson this weekend at TFW. Of course, Hansen is looking forward to the exposure and feedback that she’ll receive from the exciting release.
To learn more about Hansen, check out her full bio here.
Quinlan Wilhite, QMULATIVE
Quinlan Wilhite never thought QMULATIVE-labeled stickers and Arizona-shaped pocket t-shirts would gain him access to Tucson Fashion Week, but luckily, it did.
After two internships at clothing companies in California, he had found his passion. His love for fashion grew through art, cars, music, skateboarding and architecture, so he knew it was time to step it up and bring his dreams to life.
His grandmother taught him to sew in 2013. Since then, he has been taking sewing classes at Pima Community College to increase his skill for his new garment line, which will be presented at TFW.
To learn more about Wilhite, check out his full bio here.
This year’s TFW will be home for many talented designers including the New York City pop culture icon Richie Rich. He will be displaying his clothing line, The Richie Rich Project, which has been modeled by some of the most well known names in the entertainment industry including Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson, to name a few.
With a brand as iconic as The Richie Rich Project, the new line being displayed at TFW is definitely something to keep a lookout for. The clothes will play homage to Richie’s fashion roots — a representation of his bright, one-of-a-kind personality.
To learn more about Richie Rich, check out his full bio here.
Special guest and featured runway designer Shahida Clayton will showcase resort wear, spring and summer 2017 and elegant evening wear pieces at TFW.
A local Tucson designer, Clayton said Tucson is the perfect place to showcase her work.
“I’m so proud to be here [where] we have such a small community, especially for the fashion,” Clayton said. “I’m really happy to be here because I usually do fashion shows in [Los Angeles] and New York.”
To learn more about Clayton, read her full bio here.
The ever-so talented Henry Picado will be one of the many high-end designers taking part in TFW. His well-established brand, ESTE & CHLO, has had runways in major fashion capitals like Paris, Milan and New York. The designer’s appearance at TFW will be his first in Tucson.
“I am very excited to finally arrive in Tucson and see how the whole show turns out,” Picado said. “I am honored to have been invited by the organizers to display my collection and hope the audience is pleased as I am with it.”
To read more about Picado, read his full bio here.
When looking for high-end couture in Tucson, one needs to go no further than Sydney Duncan’s (W) Boutique. Duncan has been the owner and operator of the small storefront for 20 years and strives to provide her customers with good quality, trendy products from top designers.
(W) Boutique has participated in TFW every year since it began and will be exhibiting some of its fall merchandise at Etherton Gallery.
“We love fashion in every form at (W) [Boutique] and feel it is a fabulous way to express your personality and grace no matter what your style,” Duncan said.
To learn more about (W) Boutique, check out its full bio here.
Abel Gallegos, a TFW designer, said that fashion exists as an extension of the self and as a powerful method of individual expression.
A first-year designer at TFW, Gallegos looks forward to premiering his designs.
A strong focus for Gallegos, which remains extremely prevalent throughout his collection, is his consistent design of non-gender-based clothing.
To learn more about Gallegos, check out his full bio here.
Debuting her designs at this coming TFW, emerging designer Anine Paulsen said that fashion has always been a big interest of hers.
Paulsen’s collection draws on elements from the late '90s, where Paulsen has reflected on the love of her childhood era. She has also found inspiration from the city of Tucson itself.
“There is so much color, art and life here, and that’s definitely had an impact in my designs,” Paulsen said. “There is not a single black piece in my collection, and I think it’s a very fun, romantic and girly collection.”
Paulsen said that what really makes her own fashion unique is its mix of streetwear and fantasy.
To learn more about Paulsen, check out her full bio here.
Estéban Osuna, a veteran fashion designer of TFW, will present his collection for the fourth time this coming show.
For this year’s collection, Osuna said he was inspired by seeing women in powerful roles throughout the world.
"I decided to call my collection 'Vis,' which means 'force' and 'power' in Latin,” Osuna said. “I wanted it to represent everything I see in a woman.”
In Osuna’s current collection, there are a lot of textures and colors in his designs. Osuna draws inspiration from his family as well — Osuna’s father owns a boot business and works with a lot of exotic leathers. Osuna pays tribute to this Western style throughout his entire collection.
To learn more about Osuna, check out his full bio here.
Fashion can be expensive, but for Tucson fashionistas on a budget, there’s Posh Boutique. Independently owned by Haley Ochoa, Posh Boutique has been selling gently used and new items from high-fashion designers since 2012. The shop carries products from notable brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Prada and more.
“My original plan for the store was as a pop up shop for a few weeks to sell my own high-end items,” Ochoa said.
Posh Boutique will be providing accessories for the Tucson Ladies Council Maison De Mode show at this year’s Tucson Fashion Week.
To learn more about Posh Boutique, read its full bio here.
Carlos Osuna, a designer at TFW, will show his collection, KREATE, at the upcoming TFW show.
Osuna said that every garment in his collection possesses a story behind it. This specific collection revolves around the mystifying nature of the woods and the negative stigma that surrounds forests.
“Movies have created a stigma of the woods being a source of evil and witchery, so I decided to turn this stigma into something positive and enlighten the moment by using the garments to portray sophisticated and elegant pieces,” Osuna said.
This years' TFW is particularly special for Osuna, because he will be presenting alongside the teacher who taught him everything he knows about fashion.
To read more about Osuna, read his full bio here.