For fashionistas and industry insiders, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City is the pinnacle of the domestic fashion calendar, and top designers including Michael Kors, Tracy Reese and Vera Wang will showcase their Spring 2012 collections September 8-15 at Lincoln Center.
Unless you're an invited guest or a crafty crasher, New York's Fashion Week is an exclusive, invite-only affair. So it's a welcome departure that other cities have developed Fashion Week extravaganzas that spotlight local designers and offer the general public the chance to be local A-listers.
Here are a few upcoming Fashion Week events across the country worth kicking up your heels for:
The City of Brotherly Love will be abuzz with a series of independently produced fashion and style events collectively called the Philadelphia Collection. With more than 75 events – a mix of ticketed runway shows and red carpet parties, along with free in-store events, trunk shows and panel discussions – the multi-week fashion fest is intended to boost the city's retail economy.
For more information: www.thephiladelphiacollection.org
Move over Manhattan -- Brooklyn is New York City's new fashion hot spot. Established in 2006 by the nonprofit BK Style foundation, the weekend showcases emerging and student designers, and benefits charitable organizations. The trendsetting event was even featured on The Real Housewives of New York, when cast member and proud Brooklyn resident Alex McCord walked the runway for designer Loris Diran.
For more information: www.bkfashionweekend.com
No cowgirl will get the blues at this leading Southwestern fashion industry showcase. The four-day event kicks off with the Fashionably Pink Charity Fashion Show, which features more than 30 celebs and breast cancer survivors, and benefits the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Phoenix affiliate. All events are open to the public, and the impressive lineup includes 35 designer and emerging designer runway shows, shopping events, boutique appointments, and fashion education seminars and workshops led by top industry experts.
For more information: www.phoenixfashionweek.com
This five-night celebration has launched the careers of up-and-coming designers including Carol Hannah Whitfield, a season six finalist on Project Runway. This year's event will feature more than 30 high-end runway shows, an emerging designer competition, a spring bridal show, the Rock the Runway Model Competition, interactive entertainment, chic after-parties and press events. Previous charitable partners have included the Center For Women and Lowcountry AIDS Services.
For more information: www.charlestonmag.com/fashionweek/main
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