AUSTIN--Style setters were out in full-force at South by Southwest this week, as the festival premiered its newest fashion-focused endeavor, Style X (pronounced, “Style By”). With tons of designer showcases and a runway show chock-full of SXSW musicians-turned-models, Style X is certainly living up to its reputation as the first event bridging the gap between fashion and music, with a sharp focus on emerging talent.
Style X kicked off Wednesday night with an introductory “Shop Hop” that allowed participating designers, boutique owners and media outlets to mix, mingle, and get a feel for the impressive talent gathering in the Lone Star State this week.
“I love the vibe of Austin,” said Style Bop attendee Stephanie Coultress, owner of the über chic hometown boutique, Estilo. Delighting customers with lines like Halston, and treating them like lifelong friends when they visit the shop, Coultress and her store are testaments to the community-focused approach and forward thinking style Austinites appreciate.
As Style X opened its doors on Friday for the first full day of designer showcases, fashion front runners swarmed the Austin Convention Center, hoping to get a glimpse of the latest and greatest talent from around the country. Among those setting up shop were Manhattan based denim company XRAY jeans, Bed Stü Footwear, manufacturer of gorgeous leather boots and shoes, and enough accessories lines to keep us occupied for hours – feather hair clips from By Samii Ryan, anyone?
Rounding out the evening was a runway show featuring SXSW musicians modeling garments and accessories from designers presenting their work this week. Looks from Atlanta street wear brand Fresh.i.am, jewelry from New York’s Good Wood, shoes from Keds, and even a quirky fur hat-scarf-gloves combo creation from SpiritHoods were on display. The show was a far cry from the big-scale productions seen in fashion capitals around the world–and that was exactly the point. Style X’s co-founder and executive producer, Joah Spearman, made it clear that this “is not New York fashion week,” and the purpose of this event is to focus on up-and-coming brands, not who sat in the front row and who didn’t.
With a successful first day under its belt, and appearances by industry bigwigs still to come–ahem, Chloe Dao of Project Runway–Style X is shaping up to be the perfect platform for those young brands and designers looking to share their craft with the world.