LAFW Producers: Mike Vensel of CONCEPT

Meet The Producers of LA Fashion Week: CONCEPT

by James MacLean

As one of Los Angeles’ most established productions, Mike Vensel’s CONCEPT is, without a doubt, one of LA Fashion Week’s most respected series. Last season, the venerable Women’s Wear Daily had extensive coverage of their shows, along with the LA Times and Racked, among others. With media outlets such as Vogue, Elle, E! News, People and Style.com in attendance, CONCEPT continues to be a powerhouse in the LAFW continuum, even as it maintains a low-key public-facing profile.

What’s the history behind CONCEPT? When and how did it come about?

CONCEPT was started in 2010 because I felt there was a lack of good options for designers to show. I had produced other shows in the past and decided to make a show that fit the needs of designers, press, buyers and attendees; one that focused on the fashion and also incorporated art, music and more.

[quote]I decided to make a show that focused on the fashion and also incorporated art, music and more.[/quote]

mike-vensel2What sets CONCEPT apart? Is there a “vision” or perhaps a mission?

CONCEPT is focused on providing the most streamlined, carefully curated shows. We have always incorporated alternative ways to show collections along with runway shows. Our vision is to have a solid platform that allows designers to show the collections in any way they see fit. We work with the designers to help execute their vision on a blank canvas.

[quote]CONCEPT is focused on providing the most streamlined, carefully curated shows.[/quote]

How have you seen LA Fashion Week change over the past several years?

Fashion Week in LA is always evolving. Each year it seems there are new producers, new designers, new models, new venues. These changes keep everyone on their toes and keep things interesting.

[quote]Fashion Week in LA is always evolving.[/quote]

What can we expect in the next few years? In the next 10?

I think the only thing to expect is that it will continue evolving and changing. I don’t foresee any major shifts or changes but anything is possible.

What are your greatest challenges each year to continue the momentum / growth ?

The greatest challenges for me have been securing sponsors; without sponsors there are always some financial limitations that limit growth.

How is LA Fashion Week unique from other global or U.S. shows?

LA Fashion Week is smaller and more focused on LA designers; occasionally we do feature international designers.

[quote]LA Fashion Week is smaller and more focused.[/quote]

Do you see the corporate partnerships as a “good thing” for LA / LA Fashion Week’s shows / visibility?

I think corporate sponsorship is usually a good thing, as long as it doesn’t reduce the quality of the shows as a result. A car in the middle of the runway or giant logos all over wouldn’t be ideal, but if it’s handled in the right way, it can be great.

[quote]Corporate sponsorship is usually a good thing, as long as it doesn’t reduce the quality of the shows.[/quote]

What do you enjoy most about being a producer of LA Fashion Week?

I love working with the designers, helping to execute their visions and seeing the clothes. After all, ultimately it’s about fashion.

[quote]After all, ultimately it’s about fashion.[/quote]

What is your favorite city, color and accessory?

I love Los Angeles. It’s my favorite city. I love wearing black and my favorite accessory would be my hat; it’s become my trademark.

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Concept Shows Website

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