Aspen is still aglow from the impact of the 4th annual Aspen Fashion Week that took place March 11-14.
The goal of Founder and CEO of the event, Lisa Johnson and the AFW official Industry Partner, SnowSports Industry of America, is “To celebrate what we all love by bringing together the support of the snow sports industry, our local partners and leaders in fashion design and philanthropy for a four-day experience for consumers and media to enjoy Aspen Fashion Week .” And enjoy we did although, my schedule only allowed me to be there for a small part of the whole.
With the one and a half days that I had to devote to the event I packed it in beginning with registering at The Store in the Bentley Lounge of The St. Regis Aspen, the official host hotel of AFW. I was going to have a big day and I needed to make sure that I was organized for it. My schedule entailed picking up credentials before hiking up Aspen Highlands Bowl with a posse of girlfriends, followed by an Engagement Luncheon at Cloud Nine and finishing with attending the opening cocktail reception for AFW. A day in the life of Aspen Real Life.
Walking into the lounge, although tempted, I passed on The Downhill Snapper, a glorified Bloody Mary with fresh Basil, dill, cracked pepper, tabasco and fresh lemon and lime juice. I bee-lined it to Valerie Plotnikova, a perfectly coiffed woman from California who was representing the official Beauty Partner of AFW, Sunday Riley.
Sunday Riley is a biochemesit who is paying close attention to today’s world of ecological concern and is using Green Technology in her facial products that are oil and paraben free. Valerie sat me down in a chair and gave me a mini eye facial before I hit the bowl. As she massaged around my eyes I dreamed of a life filled with weekly massages and spa treatments. I am certain that it would make for better mothering.
Social Media Gals:
I took off for my day and returned early evening to meet up with my #Dragongirl friends, a group of five women from Colorado making waves in the Digital World; Holly Resignolo of MTN Town Magazine, Nancy Kenney of Green Girl Media, LLC and Kim Hull, a Social Media Maven on Twitter who has it all figured out. Her Twitter handle is @FreeToSki, which says it all. The only missing link was Kristen Lummis of The Brave Ski Mom.
We bonded offline and headed over to the opening reception where we drank Prosecco and watched fashion presentations. The first show was presented by CrOp; eco-friendly, socially conscious clothes designed by David Peck. CrOp produces all garments in America, using the most sustainable fabrics and practices possible.
It felt good to be back in the fashion world for I have somewhat lost my sense of style from when I worked for Seventeen Magazine in New York City as a Merchandising Editor. The colors of the CrOp fabrics included beautiful blues and oranges. The styles however, were better suited for the streets of Miami rather than up here in the mountains.
The other designer presenting was ISAORA, “Snowboard-inspired apparel designed with an elevated aesthetic”, and elevated it was with the models standing motionless on top of large white cubes while dressed in ski masks with zippers over their eyes, something that could prove useful for shutting out the chaos of my house. I appreciated the creativity and the drama, albeit somewhat menacing.
The next morning over a breakfast of egg whites, fresh fruit, oatmeal and Red Snappers, yes I gave in to one at 8 in the morning, we watched a demonstration presented by Black, Starr & Frost, jewelers around since 1810 and STYLE 2020, profile consultants who give a personalized, in-depth consultation to help you define your specific style and image goals. As I watched the presentation I came up with the idea to get stylized by STYLE 2020 and give my readers a taste of what it would be like to have your own fashion consultants. You’re going to love this video that will be posted next week.
The day continued with shows presented by designers; Skea, Pajar Canada, Neve Designs, CrOp by David Peck, Authier, KJUS, Krochet Kids, ISAORA, Roots Canada, Marmot and Flat Fitty as well as Obermeyer, Helly Hansen, FERA, SKEA, Dale of Norway, Killy, Krimson Klover. Fortunately, the weather was gorgeous as were the models who flirted and cajoled the photographers as they walked down the runway of The Snowstage, built over the skating rink at CP Burger. My kingdom to be given the means to have a master closet filled with Neve, KJUS, Krimson Klover, Pjar and Authier!
Aspen Fashion Week Charity Partners:
What I was most interested in were the Charity Partners of the event, “Leading Fashion for a Cause,” and I made a point to attend “Off the Rack,” a discussion with The Feed Foundation, Krochet Kids International and The Empowerment Project, moderated by Aspen Institute’s Executive Vice President, Elliot Gerson, a Graduate student of Harvard, Oxford AND Yale.
The organizations spoke of philanthropy through fashion and about their commitment to raise awareness and help change the world. Gerson introduced Lauren Bush Lauren, co-founder of The Feed Foundation (Fighting Hunger and Malnutrition around the world), as the pioneer of this new movement. Over the past five years, FEED has donated $5 million to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme’s school meal programs by providing more than 60 million meals throughout 62 countries.
Also part of the panel discussion was Kohl Crecelius, CEO and co-founder of Krochet Kids International. KKI empowers women in Northern Uganda, and now Peru, to rise from poverty by providing them with a job, an income and an education. KKI has sold more than 34,000 hats and employs upwards of 160 women to fashion the hats made of beautiful colors and patterns.
Veronika Scott spoke of The Empowerment Project where homeless females in Detroit are employed to fabricate and sell self heated coats that turn into sleeping bags. A program that incorporates a sense of pride into their work.
The other panelists were David Peck of CrOp and Michael Budman, co-founder of Roots Canada who were also giving back through sustainable fashion and social environmentalism.
It was an inspiring two days, and exhausting to boot, and by the time I finished I felt nicely satiated with fashion, delicious food and wonderful bonding with my Dragongirls and my new designer friends. The best part of it all? They all came to us.
Sitting around the campfire wearing cozy KKI.