It was a very proud day for everyone here at Àtiz when we were selected as an emerging designer to be featured in Phoenix Fashion Week. We are all really looking forward to getting to show off our new collection and to show the world the beautiful things we have to offer it.
But first things first: it was off to boot camp. No, we did not draft designer Swati Padmaraj into the army. Leading up to Phoenix Fashion Week in October, however, there is a series of boot camp sessions intended to prepare all fourteen of the selected emerging designers to “go to market.” So in early June, Swati was off to Phoenix for the official announcement of Àtiz’s involvement in Phoenix Fashion Week and to have some on-the-ground training. Though it was Swati’s first time in an official press conference, and thanks to her media training from the expert team of specialists at Revel Creative Group, she found the flurry of cameras, reporters, and questions exhilarating and handled it like a pro. It is also nice to get a little media exposure for something that we are all so passionate and excited about.
The first boot camp session was held in the conference room where the actual fashion week will take place. It was invigorating to be in the space of Àtiz’s upcoming show: it filled everyone with a sense of optimism and the promise that the future holds for us. Buyers from the local boutiques (such as Julie Kent from Here on the Corner, Kim Kendall from Clothes Minded, Allison Olson from Allie Ollie, and Maria Ward from The Velvet Boutique) came out to discuss the do’s and don’ts of the fashion industry.
In addition, Swati got the chance to visit and talk with the students at the Art Institute of Fashion in Phoenix. Swati felt wonderful getting the chance to sit and share the wisdom of struggle and success with the eager students. She saw herself reflected in the hopeful gleam in each and every one of their eyes.
Overall, one thing that really stood out to Swati was the feeling of camaraderie amongst the designers. In spite of the stereotype of the fashion industry as a pool of competitive piranhas, waiting for the chance to devour each other in order to get ahead, there was a very sincere sense of friendship and goodwill between designers. Swati finds these relationships to be essential to what she does. The support of her friends and family are a part of that, and is very critical in her journey to success. As always, her husband Raj came with to support her. The shimmer of pride on his face as Swati walked down the runway with her model was immeasurably uplifting. As Àtiz drives toward success, Swati cannot wait to share this wonderful future with her friends, family, and everyone else who helps her get there. And Phoenix Fashion Week is just one stop on that road to accomplishment. Look for it in October!