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Phoenix Fashion Week 2015: Friday edition

By Lerman Montoya

It was 6:00 pm and as I waited in the lobby of the CityScape Residences in downtown Phoenix. Wearing a tartan blazer, black pleated pants and leather oxfords, I am inspired by Linda Evangelista’s iconic 1991 VOGUE editorial, “A Shot of Scotch.” I am led up to the 20th floor where I meet Candice Maniga, a senior in ASU’s Fashion Journalist Club. She’s wearing a black gothic school girl dress with a white collar, quilted leather boots, and an array of gold rings.

Senior Candice Maniga and freshman Lerman Montoya // Photo courtesy of Lerman Montoya

ASU senior Candice Maniga and freshman Lerman Montoya // Photo courtesy of Lerman Montoya

We grabbed our bags and jumped into our Uber. We pulled up to the valet line in front of the Walking Stick Resort and Casino in Scottsdale. As we followed the arrows saying  “Phoenix Fashion Week,”we were lead to a beautiful winding staircase glowing with fluorescent lights. Candice and I stopped for a second and reflected on how we felt like Audrey Tatou, during the last scene of Coco Avant Chanel. we grabbed our Media passes and walked through glass doors, where behind, a community of fashionistas from all over the valley were mingling and getting the first glimpse of the designs.

Media pass / Photo courtesy of Lerman Montoya

Media pass / Photo courtesy of Lerman Montoya

After walking the red carpet and feeling like a total divas, Candice, Jackson Dangremond (our fashion photographer) and I rushed to the gates, eager to enter and find our seats. We sat patiently and a bit pretentiously in the second row, waiting for the lights to go down and the show to begin.

Finally, the lights went out and the models began walking the runway. The first half of the show consisted of new emerging designers from all over the country — Chicago, Seattle, Tucson, New York, and of course, Phoenix.

Emerging Designers

All photos by Jackson Dangremond, unless otherwise noted.

ARAE by Rachael Levine // Chicago, Illinois

The free spirit

(Rachel Levine, designer of ARAE, won the 2015-2016 title Designer of the Year!)


Cute like Mad by Jeanette Svenski Li //  Seattle, Washington

For the woman who is not afraid to stand in the crowd


Laura Tanzer // Tucson, Arizona

Texture and Fabric: a symphony of fashion


Lousy Rich by Breanna Rose // Phoenix, Arizona

Downtown edge with uptown luxury: transcending woman’s style


Michi Knitwear by Michelle M. Walden Mcphee // New York, New York

Not your grandma’s knitwear


Established Designers

Dolcessa by Katya Leoncio





Yas Couture by Eli Madi


After the show Candice and I were determined to find someone we saw. Across the runway sat a beautiful and glowing woman. In Candice’s words, “Her jawline can kill me.” I knew she seemed familiar but didn’t know exactly where I had seen her. Before leaving the resort, we saw her and her group waiting by the valet line. We gathered all of our courage and asked for a picture with her. After having our own spontaneous photo shoot, we exchanged Instagrams. Lo and behold, it was Kacey Leggett from America’s Next Top Model cycle 15.


Candice Maniga and Lerman Montoya with America’s Next Top Model star Kacey Leggett // Photo courtesy of Lerman Montoya


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