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The Voice of Southwest Louisiana March 2018 Issue

The Voice of Southwest Louisiana News Magazine March 2018

SWLA feature story FWLC

SWLA feature story FWLC Regina: Is there any room for fashion in this type of environment? Branden: “Certainly! There is room for fashion in this type of platform, but it must be embraced in order to provide the people the truest experiences of the arts world that exist here in Lake Charles.” Regina: What can fashion bring to the arts community that will be different? Branden: “Fashion is opportunity. The stage is set. There are plenty of boutiques to showcase fashion here in the Lake Charles area. Without building an infrastructure and gaining more support from the community, we jeopardize stability for a much needed foundation to lasting success for a fashion industry here.” Branden knows and understands that community support and getting more businesses and vendors involved in sponsoring FWLC enables it to grow and last for generations to come. Fashion is not all about notoriety. It is about the future. Regina: If the community embraces the fashion arts here in Lake Charles, more openly, what will that look like in ten years? Branden: “When I look at my granddaughter, I see the future of fashion already taking shape. She draws and now wants to sew and design. Supporting fashion now will create many bright openings for young talent to come to Lake Charles from national and international scenes.” Regina: What does it look like in ten years if fashion is not openly embraced by the city? Branden: “It looks bleak. We all stand to lose a valuable enriched experience of life and art.” Julie Branden –CEO and Founder of FWLC FWLC is not just an event…It is a platform! Jeanne Claire Benton – FWLC17 Designer of the Year Award. FWLC is opening doors, previously closed, to local homegrown fashion talent and artists to grow their craft, display their competitive skills and to compete on the world stage. “Many may not realize 18 March 2018 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM Volume 5 • Number 8

that we have extreme local talent here. Designers are here such as Reignwear, James Porter, and Indrea Gordon. Ann Monlezun, Fashion Style Icon FWLC 2016, introduced fresh new talent to the industry the first year. Five models from here have gone on to sign with nationally recognized agencies. Seven of the models who walked as first-time talent in FWLC have gone on to walk abroad showcasing on world stages in Milan, Paris, New York, California and Atlanta. To work hard as professional models and be a part of FWLC has proven to be a recipe for a lasting future in the arts for anyone who joins the action. You automatically imagine the colors, musical sounds and the creative styles when you think of fashion. What you do not see is how FWLC brings together every creative outlet on the local arts scene. The hair and beauty industry, makeup artists, culinary artists, designers, boutique owners, florists, decorators and many other art forms fuse together to paint an unforgettable picture to be remembered as FWLC. One might even venture to say that this is something no other local art form can do quite as well. Regina: Your intention is to take Lake Charles’ fashion scene to the next level. How can the people of Lake Charles take Fashion Week to its next level? Branden: The easiest way for people to help is to simply buy a ticket and come to an event. Every ticket owner to any event is a sponsor. Purchase ad space in the full color magazine layout of the show. We gave out 10,000 copies of it last year and we plan to expand and double our distribution this year. This participation will ensure that fashion is around lending to the richness of the city’s arts landscape for many years. FWLC is doing its part to set the bar for greatness in other parts of the state of Louisiana as well. Beyond the 5-Parishes represented in SWLA, Brendan notes that Acadiana has taken FWLC’s que and presented its first fashion show in 2017. They are now gearing up for a second major fashion event in 2018. The sound of enchantment was heard in her voice when I asked, “Is fashion fun?” “Absolutely! Fashion is an expression of life’s art. Fashion is living art! It is art in motion all around us every day.” Fashion Week Lake Charles joins in supporting the cause of bringing awareness of Juvenile Diabetes through donating the proceeds of its annual auction. Participation in the events helps to support this worthy cause. FWLC 2018 is gearing up for April 19-22, 2018. Don’t wait until then to have some fashion fun! Learn how to partake in a myriad of events leading up to the main event by visiting www.fashionweeklc. com for more details. Volume 5 • Number 8 WWW.THEVOICEOFSOUTHWESTLA.COM March 2018 19

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