I just had the opportunity to interview Little Rock Fashion Week’s creator, Brandon Campbell. Little Rock Fashion Week starts today July 11 and goes through July 16. With parties, “experiences”, (aka shows), and more entertainment than one could ask for, this year will hopefully be just as exciting as Brandon aims it to be and will help put Little Rock on the fashion radar.
So, let’s check out what Brandon’s up to and how this year Little Rock Fashion Week will be something that you don’t want to miss!
Q: So Brandon, what in the world do you wear to these parties and how do you decide?
BC: I normally dress like what one would who is attending a fashion show or party, (I have someone pick something out for me), but this year I’m going by the colors of the Experiences, the Young and Fabulous Experience Friday night and the Posh Expression Experience Saturday night. Both at the Statehouse Convention Center, and starting both nights at 8 p.m. I am also going to be dressed by Greenhaw’s.
Q: Why are the shows called Experiences in your own words?
BC: Fashion week is not a fashion show. We are giving you an experience that you have never had before. That is what we are giving you. It is entertainment.
Q: What is appropriate fashion show etiquette?
BC: People should always arrive on time. As this is an experience that we want everyone to get the most out of, we ask that people do not walk around while the models are on the runway and to be respectful of the time and energy that the people who have organized LRFW have put into it. Be aware of what is happening on the runway and try not to distract from that.
Q: What should people expect from 2011 LRFW?
BC: People should expect the unexpected! Expect what you think you won’t get, because you’re going to get it. There will be Fashionment from the beginning to the end. We are reinventing fashion trends and how fashion production is done.
Q: How has LRFW changed from the first year?
BC: In 2009, we were making history, in 2010, we enhanced the fashion experience of the South, and in 2011, we are reinventing fashion trends and the way fashion productions are done. We are going to force you to think outside of the box!
Q: What is the most anticipated show/experience?
BC: The Posh Expression Fashion Experience on Saturday, July 16, at the Statehouse Convention Center. From the clothing lines that will be shown, to the people that attend, it will be an amazing event. Peter Bailey, host of NBC Miami Nitecap, will co-host the event along with KTHV’s Ashley Blackstone. Special guests will include: Karyn Wulbrun, E! Entertainment’s Executive Director of Talent and Judy Yaras, Executive Director of the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Also in attendance will be Miss Arkansas International 2010, Christina Stengal, Miss Teen Arkansas, Toni Findley, Miss Arkansas International 2011, Rene Stone, Miss Teen Arkansas, Blanche Murphy, Miss Arkansas USA, Lakynn McBride, and several other local and regional celebrities.
Q: What are you most excited about for 2011 LRFW?
BC: The benefit it will have on the people of the community and the creative industry in Arkansas.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about putting LRFW together?
BC: Time. You always feel like you don’t have enough time. Like with any production there are so many different elements that play a part in a successful event that you are always working against the clock. You are working with hundreds of different people all at once and it’s networking, interviewing, and being a servant to people to help give them what they want and need to help their dreams come true. And that is why I don’t call it a fashion show. Because there is so much more to this experience than having someone walk down a runway.
Q: Who is your favorite designer?
BC: NaJo, (Natasha Rawls from Little Rock. Her line is named after her two sons Nathan and Jordan). Her look is very eclectic. This is a woman that is going to be trendy and put clothing together in her own way. She goes out of what your expectations are. Like the friend you can’t anticipate what they will be wearing or what they will show up in, you never know what you are going to get each time you see her. She is always exciting, inspirational, and a great person, which makes it exciting to see her on an everyday basis.
Q: What designer do you want to see become big?
BC: All of them.
Q: Where do you get fashion inspiration from?
BC: From the City of Little Rock. I think my style is a lot like little rock in the way that it is simple, but neat, with a little bit of flash. It represents my personality and style.
Q: What is your favorite fashion trend right now?
BC: Animal print. And NaJo was a year ahead of the curve, she was using animal print a year ahead of the curve, her collection was pushing it forward, and that adds excitement to it! And bright color!
Q: What is your least favorite trend right now?
BC: Leggings. Leggings are not meant for every body type. To wear leggings without a shirt over them does not fit everyone. To see all of these different body types that maybe shouldn’t be pushing their envelope in that way, I think that they are meant for a certain way to wear and for a certain body type.
Q: What is the one clothing item you can not live without?
BC: My hat. When I go out I have to wear my hat. My Kangol, my fedora, I have to have my hat.
Q: What do you think about leather in summer?
Q: Do you think there is a thing as too short for women?
BC: Yes, if you are wearing too short of a skirt and showing everything underneath, that is when it is too short. I like women to leave things to the imagination. Let the person think, let them be creative…
Q: How has LRFW changed from when it started to now?
BC: Little Rock Fashion Week is bigger, it is more, there is a greater length in which it occurs and more experiences each day. We have people from all over the world contacting us and wanting to talk to us more than just about Arkansas and the City of Little Rock. Our influence has surpassed the city itself. So, I think that maybe we might need to change the name of the city to Big Rock.
Q: How do you anticipate LRFW to grow?
BC: Keeping true to the brand, it’s fashionment. What we produce and how we do it will only get better with time. We will continuously give people a truly unique experience and stay true to what our goal is. I never thought that Little Rock Fashion Week would be big locally, I thought it would be big internationally, and now it is materializing.
Q: Have you seen a lot of success through the designers that have shown at LRFW?
BC: A lot of the designers have had their clothing lines go to local boutiques as well as national stores. Their lines have been featured on television and networks wanting to show their clothing and they’ve gained clients beyond this border and region.
Q: How do you feel about Kate Middleton’s style?
BC: I wonder if Kate’s style is style or manufactured style. But then I realize, she is a simple every day girl who enjoys the simple every day things in life. She is someone that people can relate to. That is why she is who she is, she is endearing, because she is true to who she is, which must be why she is married to a prince. :)
To find out more about Little Rock Fashion Week, visit: