If you’re a fashionista in the Triad, NC area, you certainly need to know about High Point Fashion Week (HPFW). Back for the second year in a row, High Point Fashion Week’s new season is sure to be a crowd pleaser, as the week of events blends the worlds of fashion and furniture. In today’s blog post, I’m happy to bring you an interview with fashion show producers, Shay Johnson and Geovanni Hood. Shay and Geovanni have teamed up to bring incredible shows filled with talent, originality and ingenuity. Continue reading to hear about their love of fashion, the inspiration behind starting High Point Fashion Week and more.
How did you get into producing as it relates to fashion?
Producing fashion shows was something that kind of found us. Geovanni started producing shows in 2014 as an outlet to create a nightlife scene in the city of Greensboro that was safe, fun, yet different. He successfully produced his first rooftop fashion show in 2014 and has been producing shows ever since. Shay started producing in 2019 with the same concept in mind, but for children. Always having a love for kids, she wanted to make the fashion show a place where regardless of age, color, or socioeconomic class everyone felt like family. In 2020, they decided to join forces and create what we now know to be High Point Fashion Week.
What brought about your love of fashion? Was there a special moment in your life or someone who inspired you?
Shay- I have always loved fashion from since I could remember. Growing up I was affectionately coined “The Black Punkie Brewster” because I expressed myself in the most unorthodox way. It was not until I became a teenager that I really understood how fashion could impact how someone looks and feels. At age 13, I was introduced to Louis Vuitton, and I instantly fell in love with Dapper Dan. From there, fashion has been a part of my life.
Geovanni- I love clothes, I always have, I always will. Clothes to me are an expression of how you feel about yourself. When you dress good, you feel good, and personally I like to feel good every day. I am an avid lover of Ralph Lauren. Having had the opportunity to work for the company was a special moment for me. Hearing his story and the dedication he had to his brand, makes me appreciate it even more. If it’s Ralph Lauren, I probably have it, and if not, it’s on the way!
The idea of High Point Fashion Week was a solution to a problem that the city and the people were having. There were several amazing fashion weeks going on around us like Winston-Salem Fashion Week and Greensboro Fashion Week, however when people mentioned High Point, they only talked about the Furniture Market. We knew there was more, and we wanted to prove it. Taking time during Covid when the world was at a stand still, the idea was presented to Geovanni by Shay. “We wanted to showcase the furniture that people had grown to love, but we also wanted to showcase the fashion and the art, that the city overlooked.” In 2021, season one was introduced and here we are preparing for season two.
What can viewers/ participants expect to see this year at High Point fashion week?
Guests this season can expect to be wowed. We literally have thought of every detail in these shows. This year we have better production, better locations, more community partnerships, and amazing energy. Each show has been curated to anticipate the guests needs and we want you to feel that at every event.
How did you all come up with the theme, “Crème de la Crème”?
Crème de la Crème in French means best of the best. In season one, we came out swinging because we knew the magnitude of what we were building. It set the stage for us as an entity, and proved that we were a force to be reckoned with. After winning the Carolina Fashion Awards for Production of the Year for season one for both NC and SC, it was clear we were in fact Crème de la Crème. We take pride in our work, and if we don’t celebrate ourselves, who will?
The vision and inspiration is just that, we want to continue to highlight High Point being the largest furnishing capital of the world because that is what makes the city thrive. However, we also want them to understand High Point also has the best fashion show production in the state with High Point Fashion Week. Knowing the history of the city, you cannot take away from the home furnishing aspect. What makes us unique is we use that to our advantage. We partner with local showrooms and manufacturers and create a community of fashion, furniture and art, and it has been what has kept our shows interesting and fresh.
How important is it to incorporate emerging designers and small businesses in High Point fashion week?
It is very important to incorporate emerging designers and small businesses in HPFW, because we too are a small business and understand the opportunities that come from the power of collaboration. For designers who are featured in our shows, they can partner with showrooms, art galleries, retailers and buyers where they may not have had the opportunity before. For small businesses that partner with us, they could get their business seen by new clients, potential leads, and or affiliate marketing.
Where do you see High Point fashion week in five years time?
In five years’ time, High Point Fashion Week will continue to be a premiere event for the city of High Point. We will continue to provide opportunities for aspiring designers, artists, and our furniture makers to partner with the best in the business through community partnership initiatives. We will create a curriculum for the students in secondary school who may be interested in fashion and furniture focused careers. We will be one of the best fashion weeks in the United States, while focusing on bringing more awareness and notoriety to the city.
How important are content creators/influencers as it relates to fashion?
Content creators and influencers are very important as it relates to fashion because they control the conversation. For many, if a content creator or influencer likes a design whether fashion, furniture or art; it can be very rewarding for the individual. However, if they do not like it, it can be damaging to someone’s career. The power of social media is huge, which is why we have a content creator program through HPFW that allows creators (bloggers, vloggers, content creators, and influencers) to participate and share their perspectives to help us stay consistent and on trend with what the people are asking for.
For fashion, we see more education. We see sustainability being pushed to the forefront. We see more emphasis on color psychology and how colors impact mood, behaviors, and outcomes. We also see more geometrical shapes and futuristic designs with pops of color. We see more technology driven concepts, but most importantly, we see comfort taking the forefront when it comes to ready to wear designs.
Be sure to support High Point Fashion Week (HPFW) if you’re in the area. Special thanks goes to Shay Johnson, Geovanni Hood and Aiysha Hall.
Photography Credit: Josh Brown
Emerging Designer Competition
Location: Cohab Space
Designer: Chita by Andrea (Andrea Robinson)
Models: Nikki Ladon, Karina Beltre, Deanna Stinson and Natalie Lucas