Event showcases young fashion designers

The 22nd annual Phasion Phest celebrated Philadelphia’s local fashion community.

Models sporting the latest in fall fashion posed as the onlooking guests indulged in light meals and sipped on specialty cocktails in celebration of an annual fashion event.

On Sept. 16, the Shops at Liberty Place became a temporary mecca for salons, designers, models and patrons to come together and mingle while participating in a silent auction.

Shortly after New York Fashion Week, Philly’s designers set out to bring audiences the 22nd annual Phashion Phest, the brainchild of renowned fashion mogul and SPW Productions president Sharon Phillips Waxman.

According to the event’s site, Phashion Phest’s goal is to showcase and celebrate upscale fashion and beauty products that can be purchased in the Greater Philadelphia market.

Among more than 20 merchants at Phashion Phest was Salon L’Etoile, a popular salon in Jenkintown that has participated in the event since its inception.

For Salon L’Etoile’s owner Jerry Yellin, Phashion Phest is a chance for fashion, makeup and hair trends to come together.

“It’s an opportunity for us to kick off Philadelphia fashion,” Yellin said. “We look forward to it every year.”

There were also newcomers in attendance, including the creators of ManeStreem, a service that has been described by its creators as “Uber for hair.” Through a phone application, ManeStreem sends stylists directly to customers’ homes based on location.

ManeStreem founder and CEO Santos Gonzalez said all of the hair and makeup for the show was done by ManeStreem employees.

Though the road to establishing a new company is not an easy one, Gonzalez is pleased to have had the opportunity to be at Phashion Phest, and believes any young person with an idea for a startup can make it happen.

“If you have the passion and ability to dream and work hard, just do it,” Gonzalez said.

Student designers were also showcased at Phashion Phest.

Temple’s Fashion and Beauty Club President Conor Sheehan seeks to help his fellow students become immersed in the Philly fashion community and was inspired by student work he saw at this year’s Phashion Phest.

“It is amazing to see such incredible work by some of Philadelphia’s youngest and most talented designers,” Sheehan said. “This talent is no surprise to Philadelphia because Drexel University and Philadelphia University have been named some of the top fashion schools in the entire world by Business of Fashion.”

Other students like Maya Rochefort and Keyana Neal, fashion design majors from the University of Delaware, traveled to see work by other student designers.

“It’s super exciting to be in a learning environment with other fashionistas like me,” Neal said.

Sheehan believes the Philly fashion community is alive and thriving, and deserves to be celebrated.

Through this organization Sheehan connects students with industry professionals during bi-weekly meetings, and knows the importance of students attending events like Phashion Phest to get their feet wet in the industry.

“In addition to attending meetings, it is also important for students to get out there and network their way into the industry,” Sheehan said. “Once you meet one great person, the doors begin opening up for you.”

Logan Beck can be reached at logan.beck@temple.edu.

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