Anthony Simons, 43, is the organizer of the first Charlotte Fashion Week, scheduled for Sept. 18-20. Simons, who moved to Charlotte from New York City in 2002, says he hopes the event's mix of fashion, fame (former Charlottean and “Project Runway” designer Carmen Webber is scheduled to participate) and education will help gel the growing Queen City fashion scene.
Style Editor Rachel Sutherland
Why Charlotte? Why now? It's needed to keep pace with the growth of Charlotte and all the folks that are moving here, and the diversity. … Me having moved here from New York City, I thought it would be great to have a place to go and get dressed up, and this could be it. I don't want to just be on the curve, I want to be ahead of the curve.
What kind of response have you received from the Charlotte fashion community? Really positive from the folks who have reached out to me. I haven't gone out on a limb to reach every boutique or fashionista in Charlotte, and the great thing is that my phone hasn't stopped ringing. There's been great word of mouth.
How many designers will be participating? Nineteen. When I first started planning, I had three. I didn't know where the other ones would come from. They are from Charlotte and a couple different cities: We've got models and designers traveling in from New York City to participate.
What is the motivation behind the workshops? It's about getting those designers to understand what they need to get their business to the next level. A lot of them are missing that. Help educate them … create some opportunities.
Tell me about Carmen Webber's involvement. (Carmen)'s really excited, and excited about doing the workshops (Admission to Webber's Saturday seminar on customizing T-shirts and breaking into the fashion business is $35 in addition to CFW tickets). The folks here will be able to hear about getting into the business from someone who's done it, in the renegade, reality-show way.