Meet The Producers of LA Fashion Week: Project Ethos
Project Ethos is Los Angeles’ premiere fashion-art-music showcase, and one of LA’s most popular open-to-the-public events during LAFW. We spoke with Chief Operating Officer Brianne Bear. Read on to learn about its formation and vision for the future.
Q: What’s the history behind Project Ethos? When and how did it come about?
In early 2005, Jason Peskin met a young designer seeking help in producing a fashion show for her clothing line. Peskin owned a marketing agency with advertiser clients, venue relationships, and had experience in producing large-scale events. Inspired by her tenacity and knowing he could help make it happen, he agreed to do it, but on one condition – they needed to do something different.
Peskin and the original team behind Ethos brainstormed ideas, and came up with the concept of adding a concert, art gallery, and a few more designers. This would be an early “crowdsourcing”-like method. The thought was to do something more innovative than your typical fashion show, while combining the resources of multiple emerging artists.
[quote]The thought was to do something more innovative than your typical fashion show. Over 750 people showed up to our first show.[/quote]
When over 750 people showed up to the EL Rey Theatre in August of that same year (a rarity for an event without any “known” talent), Peskin and the team knew this was a special platform for emerging brands that needed to be developed further.
Q: What sets Project ETHOS apart? Is there a “vision” or perhaps a mission?
Project Ethos is the original and first outlet to combine emerging fashion, music and art in one showcase. Additionally, events are open to both industry and consumer, which is rare. Our overall mission is to discover and foster emerging talent in this unique environment.
[quote]Project Ethos is the first outlet to combine emerging fashion, music and art. Events are open to both industry and consumer, which is rare.[/quote]
Q: How have you seen Fashion Week in LA change over the past several years?
When IMG / Mercedes Benz ended their reign in LA, it gave way for many local producers attempting to fill the void. Some did well, and some failed. One good thing to come out of this is a climate of competition, which usually drives people to create better productions for designers. Today LA has several really great productions for every level of designer, from emerging to established.
[quote]Today LA has several really great productions, for every level of designer.[/quote]
Q: What can we expect in the next few years? In the next 10?
The hope is that LA Fashion Week can actually be a week of events rather than the current month of events. This way, more international media and buyers will feel safe to come out here again. It’s looking like that is finally shaping up to happen.
[quote]The hope is that LA Fashion Week can actually be a week of events rather than the current month of events.[/quote]
Once that happens, every year will prove to be stronger and more established in the minds of people around the world.
Q: What are your greatest challenges each year to continue the momentum / growth?
Since our events are open to both industry and consumer, we constantly challenge ourselves to come up with events that are unique and entertaining but still have runway shows that provide buyers and stylists with the latest trends. It’s a fine line.
Q: How is LA Fashion Week unique from other global or U.S. shows?
LA is the land of Hollywood, the home of entertainment. Therefore, you expect a show in LA to pull out all of the stops and to “wow” you. It’s not just about the fashion at an LA Fashion Week show: it’s about the experience.
[quote]LA is the land of entertainment. Therefore, you expect a show in LA to “wow” you.[/quote]
Q: Do you see the corporate partnerships as a “good thing” for LA / LA Fashion Week’s shows / visibility?
Corporate partners assist financially while showing their support for the arts. I think as long as they are tastefully utilized, they are a great thing for LA Fashion Week shows, because having the right budget is everything.
[quote]Corporate partners assist financially while showing their support for the arts.[/quote]
Q: LA is clearly a very fashionable town, why has LA Fashion Week faced so many hurdles?
When IMG left, LA had to start over. When starting something from scratch, you face hurdles and challenges, but if you stick with it — and with a little luck and positive attitude — you can win. LA will come out winning.
[quote]When starting something from scratch, you face hurdles and challenges, but if you stick with it, you can win.[/quote]
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a producer of LA Fashion Week?
Part of the excitement of producing fashion shows is being able to work with an unending amount of talented designers. It’s a true joy to be a part of the process to watch a designer’s dream come true as their collection premieres on the runway, and I am personally always anticipating what these designers will come up with next!
[quote]It’s a true joy to watch a designer’s dream come true as their collection premieres on the runway.[/quote]
Q: What is your favorite city, color and accessory?
One of my favorite cities is London in the springtime. The shopping can’t be beat, and you’re just a quick jump to most everywhere in Europe. I’ve been told that purple looks quite good on me, so I’ll go with that for my favorite color. A great pair of heels as my favorite accessory, because they give me better posture, and no woman who put on a pair of heels didn’t feel instantly sexier in them!