Updated: Nov 16
By: Walt Campbell
Ever since I was a little boy, I dreamed of attending fashion shows. So when I was offered the opportunity to cover Phoenix Fashion Week, I immediately jumped on board.
When I found out I had been chosen to cover the event, I was thrilled. Yet, I was overcome with anxiety — worried that I wouldn’t fit in with the influencers, models and socialites.
When the day finally arrived, I was just as nervous as I was excited. As soon as I stepped foot in the venue, I immediately felt out of place.
I was surrounded by attendees who probably prepped their designer labels, like Gucci and Chanel, for months. Meanwhile, I had picked out my outfit the night before at a local thrift shop — I couldn’t help but feel like I didn’t belong.
To my surprise, the crowd at Phoenix Fashion Week was extremely welcoming. To be surrounded by others who shared my “passion for fashion” felt comforting. After chatting with other attendees, I realized it’s not the designer labels or social media followers that brought us together, it’s our love for fashion — as an art form that shapes our community.
After mingling and taking a few instagram photos, of course, we made our way to the main stage, the runway. As I took my seat in the third row, I couldn’t help but feel like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.
Seeing the collections of upcoming designers, like Elizabeth Diamant and Velana Luxury, was inspiring to say the least. I felt honored to be a part of their journey, and it was exciting to see what the future of fashion holds.
While Phoenix Fashion Week mainly focused on upcoming designers, it also showcased the work of industry icon, Rocky Gathercole.
Being able to witness the work of Gathercole in person, who has dressed stars like Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Britney Spears, really put things into perspective for me. It was humbling to think that a kid from Columbus, Ohio was being immersed in something of this magnitude.
Growing up in Ohio, I didn’t have much, let alone any, access to high fashion. Prior to Phoenix Fashion Week, everything I knew about fashion had been through television and social media. Seeing couture fashion in real life as opposed to a screen was a surreal experience.
Phoenix Fashion Week was everything I could’ve hoped for, and more. I’m forever grateful to The Chic Daily and Phoenix Fashion Week for allowing a kid from the Midwest to live out his fashion dreams.
In this moment, I don’t know what the future holds for me. For now, all I can say is the fashion community in Phoenix just got a little bit bigger.
Reach the writer on Instagram.