By Lindy Faulkner, Retail Manager.
For the third year in a row, Eclectic Eye partnered with Memphis Fashion Week (MFW). This partnership gave us an amazing opportunity to showcase our current collection of beautiful eyewear to the community and more. This fun, full-week event was a great way to see spring and summer offerings from local, up-and-coming and established designers.
Memphis is a city of hard-working, driven individuals who love the social and economic climate that Memphis offers, and MFW brings this full circle by allowing the community a chance to see what is offered by local designers and independent-owned boutiques in the city.
VIP PREVIEW PARTY
To kick things off, we went the VIP Preview Party at Jay Etkin Gallery. This space is in the heart of the historic Cooper/Young neighborhood, just a few blocks away from our Midtown, Memphis boutique, and represents artists from all over the globe. This is a meet and greet event, and most people take the opportunity to chat with others and have their picture snapped by local fashion publications and bloggers.
Freeze models showcasing the Emerging Memphis Designer Project (EMDP) looks are the highlight of the evening. These stationary beauties also showcase local boutiques’ retail products. For example, Found styled the models with beautiful vintage jewelry and accessories to accompany each piece perfectly. That’s where Eclectic Eye comes into play. I’ve always had a good eye for accessories and I think they’re a great way to add character to any kind of outfit for any occasion. I often visit sites like https://jewelrytalk.com/jewelry-101/ to see what’s trending and if it’s a trend I want to look out for and part take in. This gives me an idea of what to look for when I come to events like these. In addition to the accessories, eyewear is also styled to complement the clothing. We brought some of our favorite eyewear for the models to wear and it enhanced the looks offered by the designers.
It even has the ability to make a difference to the overall clothing style and appearance of men too. You see, some men may forget about accessorizing their outfits and just focus on the clothing part of it. It just slips their mind that if they decide to wear cargo shorts from somewhere like Unionbay (check here for more information), that a pair of stylish eyeglasses, sunglasses, or a watch can enhance their overall appearance as well as their fashion sense. Judging from the reaction at this fashion show, it’s definitely worth considering.
We enjoyed lovely cocktails from Alchemy and conversation with some of the best in Memphis. We left with excited smiles and anticipation of our eyewear being featured on the glamorous stage of MFW, along with the beautiful clothing and accessories provided by Sachi, 20Twelve, Found and Brave Design via Spruce Shop.
FRIDAY RUNWAY SHOW
Eyewear comes back into focus during the first runway show of the week, which took place on Friday at Memphis College of Art’s Rust Hall. The focus of this night is the EMDP designs, as well as to get a look at what the 2014 Emerging Designer winner has done with their collection since winning. 2014 winner Tara Skelley showcased her beautiful Dilettante Collection and blew everyone away with the final outfit.
The freeze models were again our main focus on Friday. We had to consider each outfit and face to determine what would be the most fitting tribute to each garment.
SATURDAY RUNWAY SHOW
The second night of MFW is always for the best of the best. This is when well-known brands are showcased because of their representation in local boutiques. It also gives Memphians ideas on how to achieve runway looks while also “choosing 901.” This event was at one of Memphis’ best venues: the Memphis Zoo. Any Memphian knows that the zoo is one of our prized possessions and to have a fashion event at its Teton Trek was just amazing.
We again worked to supply eyewear to the freeze models, but amped it up to show how easily you can integrate high-end, independent, eclectic eyewear into your everyday look. During the runway show, we saw new lines from Anne Barge bridal, Waverly Grey, Faherty Brand and Diane von Furstenburg. The fashion that came down the runway were pieces of art that created a dialogue for what works for the Memphis market.
These events are a great networking opportunity, but primarily, it’s a chance to see what our market wants and responds to. We stepped away feeling humbled to have had the chance to show attendees what makes us different from the numerous other eyewear retailers (online and local) in our market. We stay on trend because of what Abby Phillips and Memphis Fashion Week does for our city.
One of the best takeaways from our sponsorship with MFW has been introducing the craftsmanship of an independent eyewear line to someone who started out interested because of something that looked fabulous on a freeze model. Styling the models in something different than expected, having people ask about the design or fit of the eyewear, that’s why we do this.
Put simply, Memphis Fashion Week offers local retailers a chance to get the community interested in handcrafted, expertly executed fashion that is meant to dazzle and impress in our special home that is Memphis.
We’ll see you there next year!
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