So, who works on Austin Fashion Week? Please feel free to email any of the following people if you need information:
MATT SWINNEY, FOUNDER
Matt Swinney is the founder of Austin Fashion Week and runs many of the day-to-day operations.
A native Austinite, Swinney’s entrepreneurial spirit began with a series of real estate magazines followed by the 2004 launch of popular local lifestyle publication, Rare Magazine. After starting Austin Restaurant Week in 2007, Swinney’s passion for event production swelled. He sold the magazine in 2009 and began Launch787 Enterprises, the holding company for Austin Fashion Week.
In addition to Austin Fashion Week, Swinney owns and operates Modern Home Tours, LLC, the producer of Modern Home Tours in 25 U.S. and Canadian markets along with the Outdoor Living Tour, Lake Homes Tour and Smarter Spaces Tour in Austin, Texas.
Swinney is married to Kara Swinney and they have 2 beautiful children, Sadie (5) and Cashion (3).
Questions about Sponsorships should be directed to Matt Swinney.
JAMES LEASURE, PARTNER
James Leasure is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and photographer with a great love for modern fashion and design. After successfully leading his first venture through the dot-com bubble and out of the other side (mostly) intact, James emerged with a love of small companies and their unique challenges. With varied partnerships and interests ranging from modern architecture tours to not-for-profit boards to software to a photography gallery centered on philanthropic art, James has found that Austin Fashion Week, perhaps more than any other, reflects his skills and passion for emerging trends and amazing opportunities.
James and his wife, philanthropist and motivational speaker Courtney Clark, and his son, Anthony Gilbert, split their time between Austin, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their traveling entourage includes dogs, cats and a parrot.
COURTNEY CAPLAN, PRINCIPAL, CAPLAN MILLER EVENTS
Courtney Caplan is President/Owner of Caplan Miller Events – an event production and design firm located in Austin, Texas. Courtney and her team handles Austin Fashion Week’s event design & production and sponsorship coordination.
Caplan attended the University of Texas at Austin, and got her start in event planning at Austin’s historic Driskill Hotel where she served as Director of Catering prior to opening Caplan Miller Events.
Today, Courtney oversees client relations for Caplan Miller Events and continues to provide personalized, comprehensive planning and production services for weddings, benefits, parties and meetings. Her extensive experience in high-end event management, meticulous attention to detail and solid relationships with local and national vendors assure clients that their business is in good hands.
Courtney’s most recent accolades include planning the wedding of former University of Texas football star and current Cleveland Browns quarterback, Colt McCoy. She also worked with producers of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” to create a dream wedding for an Iraq war veteran.
For any event production questions, please contact Courtney Caplan.
DANI LITTLE, EVENTS MANAGER, CAPLAN MILLER EVENTS
Dani is the Event Manager at Caplan Miller Events. She facilitates communication between planners, clients and vendors; and works in partnership with Courtney Caplan on Austin Fashion Week event production. Dani also handles Sponsor Coordination for Austin Fashion Week.
Ambitious from the start, Dani always knew she wanted to be an event planner. She completed more than a thousand internship hours — including time with Caplan Miller Events, as well as Austin food gurus Crave Communications and upscale floral and décor providers Merveille Events — during her time at Texas State University. Her passion for events comes from the gratification achieved when a client’s vision becomes reality. And she thrives on staying busy, relishing the research-to-execution process that goes into planning each event.
Prior to starting at CME, Dani worked on the events team at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch, in San Antonio. There, she learned first-hand just how many elements must be organized in order to put together a successful event. Her responsibilities ranged from welcoming guests and waiting tables, to ordering supplies, to providing design input and managing clients’ contact with vendors.
For any AFW sponsorship questions, please contact Dani Little.
ERIKA STOJEBA, PRINCIPAL, ES CONSULTING
Calling many places home, Erika Stojeba began her career in New York City working in marketing, public relations and events in the fashion industry. Her experience goes wide and far working among internationally celebrated designers such as Giorgio Armani, John Varvatos, Vera Wang, Donna Karan, Jeffrey Chow, Y&Kei to name a few.
With a move to Austin, Texas, Erika was been able to continue her work in fashion, most notably runway production, as well as adding a deep understanding and knowledge of social, corporate and concert event production. Her work in the local luxury wedding industry and high energy SXSW Festival has rounded out her love of event design and production where she leaves an unequivocal mark on each event she touches.
Erika handles runway design and production for Austin Fashion Week, working closely with each designer making sure their experience is both authentic and enjoyable. It is with great passion and a humbled spirit that Erika wakes up everyday loving what she does, where she lives and all the people she gets to meet along the way.
For any backstage runway questions (designers, models, etc) please contact Erika Stojeba.
KRISTEN CHIN, FOUNDER, POM PUBLIC RELATIONS
Kristen Chin is the Principal and Founder of POM Public Relations, a fashion, lifestyle and event PR firm based in Austin, TX. After spending seven years specializing in regional and national media relations, she established this new venture in the fall of 2010 and has worked with cleints like BlueAvocado, a sustainable lifestyle accessories company, MOSS Designer Consignment, By George, Co-Star, Maya Star, Blue Glue Bikinis, Rare Trends, and Mirror Mirror salon; designers such as Gail Chovan, Megan Summerville, and Deborah Main; and events like Vintage Glamporium and The Austin Modern Home Tour.
Prior to launching POM PR, Chin was an Account Supervisor at B|W|R Public Relations in Los Angeles, where she worked on a wide range of corporate entertainment, hospitality and special event clients such as Nintendo, Wynn Las Vegas, Makar Properties’ St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, General Motors “Style” fashion show (styled by Rachel Zoe), the opening of De Beers/Rodeo Drive, Fred Segal Beauty/Smashbox Cosmetics designers dinner, the Entertainment Tonight/ People Magazine post-Emmy party, the opening of Wolfgang Puck’s Cut, Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy Party, the unveiling of the Tesla Motors Roadster, and the opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) at LACMA, to name a few.
Chin has handled media relations including press and photo credentials for Austin Fashion Week since its inception and she continues to enjoy working with the talented designers, creatives, and retailers who participate each year.
Press inquiries should be directed to Kristen Chin.
SARAH POST, ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, POM PUBLIC RELATIONS
Sarah Post is an Account Executive at POM Public Relations, a fashion, lifestyle and event PR firm based in Austin, TX. For Austin Fashion Week, POM PR distributes press releases, arranges interviews for secured editorial coverage, handles media credential applications, determines red carpet placement, organizes an official photography team, and manages social media accounts. Post oversees press check in at major Austin Fashion Week events and coordinates the red carpet.
Please contact her if you would like to be added to the media list to receive press releases and information on applying for media credentials. You may also contact her with requests for images or if you would like to volunteer for Austin Fashion Week’s official photography team.