Austin Fashion Week was started in 2009 as the brainchild of local event producer Matt Swinney and Launch787. Seeking to establish Austin as a credible capital for fashion industry talent, Swinney created an event that started as primarily a local retailer showcase.
In July 2009, a series of over 80 events featuring local designers was held, dubbed the first Austin Fashion Week. The week was capped off by a stunning first annual Austin Fashion Awards, giving out Golden Boot hardware to deserving men and women in the local industry. Highlights included a Corey Lynn Calter pop up shop, a full collection from Project Runway alum Kayne, and mini-collections from graduating University of Texas designers.
2010 emerged with a grand Kickoff event held at venerable Austin-based advertising agency GSD&M. This raucous event featured a live performance by 1980 pop icon Tiffany and helped to raise money for Dress For Success. The week continued with over 100 showcase events featuring local designers and was again capped off by the Austin Fashion Awards. Highlights included the first iteration of the AFW Mash Up Teams, along with runway collections from Betsey Johnson, Project Runway winner Chloe Dao, Twelfth Street by Cynthia Vincent, Robert Graham, Celestino, Line & Dot and Boudoir Queen.
2011 took Austin Fashion Week to a more global fashion environment. With the addition of the Driskill Runways, full 20 – 30 piece collections for VIP guests, media and buyers became the focal point. International designers Colunga, James Tudor, League of Rebels, Tikini Hut and dozens more designers wowed the intimate Driskill crowds. The Austin Fashion Awards featured major labels Wren and Rory Beca and local talent Linda Asaf, Gail Chovan and 81 Poppies.
2012 featured global partnerships with brands like Circuit of the Americas (US Grand Prix), Diageo, Perrier, San Pellegrino and more. Almost 30 runway shows featured designers from Buenos Aires to St. Petersburg Russia. Garnering national press from Elle Magazine, Fashionista.com, New York Times and more, designers like Margarita Saplala, Kendra Scott, Ross Bennett, Nikki Poulos, Nzimiro Oputa, Ashley Zaba and countless others wowed crowds throughout the week.
2013 opened with NOIR — a seated dinner catered by Shawn Cirkiel and Steven Cak featuring an all black-clad audience and an all-white runway with each custom look sold with proceeds benefiting the Arc of the Capital Area. The first hair & makeup show — a spin off of the popular Mash Up Team concept — was featured at ENCORE with a theme around French Contemporary Fashion. The AFW Runways moved to iconic music venue La Zona Rosa where designers from all over the world gathered. Shows from Crowned Bird, Daniel Esquivel, Isabella Rose Taylor, Ross Bennett, L.A.M.B., Raggdahl and more were featured. The week closed at the Austin Fashion Awards with 2-catwalk runway shows from Stephen Moser, Gail Chovan, Dawn Younger-Smith and Kendra Scott.
Please use the links in the “history” section above to view images, see past Award Winners and honor the work of Austin Fashion Week over the last 5 years.
We truly hope you’ll join us for events in 2014 as Austin Fashion Week continues to help expand the reach of Texas, and specifically Austin, as a global fashion capital.