The first annual World Fashion Week – World Fashion Awards will premiere next year in Los Angeles. Organizers hope a full week of global glamour in L.A. will give the event Academy Award–like status and star power. (Future ceremonies will be held in other cities around the world.) Globally respected fashion designers, models, celebrities, and government leaders will “join forces in a celebration of diversity and world cultures expressed through fashion,” according to the group’s Web site.
The event—the brainchild of Spanish fashion producer Paco DeJaimes—aims to unearth global talent (established designers, not rookies), celebrate different cultures, and promote trade opportunities. The event doesn’t threaten anybody else’s fashion week, either; in fact, DeJaimes claims his is an “extension” of all others, according to Mariana Santangelo, director of international media for WFWWFA. “This event takes place at the closure of the fashion calendar,” she explains.
The seven-day affair will offer awards, exposure, and sales opportunities to collections and designers. Participants should be sponsored by their country’s tourism office and be prepared to promote their nation’s fashion industry. During the week, each country will share 60 minutes of runway time with its native designers, as well as a showroom office and exhibitor space. One important criterion for entry: Wares must have hit a country’s runways before they set foot on this one. Names of participating designers were still under wraps at press time, but Santangelo calls the list “impressive.” So far, three fine jewelers are on it.
“The great aspect of this event is that it’s a platform for designers to express themselves as artists and to celebrate fashion as an art form,” says Santangelo. “Sometimes fashion is only seen as trends, and what’s not seen is the value of designers as artists. [WFWWFA] stresses the fact that fashion builds bridges.”