In only 11 editions, Fashion Preview has garnered the attention of international media, local celebrities and buyers. There are some of us who follow this fashion event religiously, and by that, I mean, we attend every edition. So for the FP loyalist, we were wondering “what was up” with the 11th edition.
I mean, there was a stampede-like curtain opening, an overcrowded room, and in general, a lack in parity compared to the tradition we have grown to love. That’s why in an effort to understand what happened at FP11, I went straight to the source, Emanuela Lolli, founder of Fashion Preview.
Petrona: Hi Emanuela, come stai (how are you in Italian)?
Emanuela: I am doing well, I made sure I took the time to rest. It was overwhelming with the number of attendees and the media at Fashion Preview, ouff, what a week.
Petrona: Okay, so let’s talk about the 11th edition of Fashion Preview, why was only one day, why?
Emanuela: I wanted to have a new concept, and I wanted to do something new because that’s the way I started. When I first started, I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t want to spread the event over three days. In the 10th edition, that’s what I did. The event was spread over three days, and because of the fluctuation of the attendees, it was not fair for the designers who showcased to reduced crowds. I wanted to make it fair for all the designers involved.
Petrona: So I’m guessing it wasn’t your idea to have the open curtain stampede like jungle that occurred (LOL, Emanuela, I am just being real, you know I love you but …. my guest and I left, we couldn’t see from where we were sitting, even though they were good seats. It was just too overcrowded).
Emanuela: Of course, it was not my idea for that. Petrona, I had one month to prepare for this edition of FP11. Listen, I was hesitant and was not sure if I wanted to do it, but I did it, and I’m glad I did. And listen, I had a lack of finance, so I had to make the best of what I had, with what I had. Now, Petrona, on the other hand, the event was jam-packed and overcrowded… it shows the enormous interest in fashion and the importance of having a Fashion Week in Montreal.
Petrona: (Shaking my head in agreeance, and smile spreading over my face). OMG, it was like a jungle! LMAO – we literally ran for our seats!!! LOL. I mean, like, literally (loud boisterous laugh).
Emanuela: It was a Fashion jungle Petrona (LOL – heartfelt and enjoyable laughter).
Petrona: So are you saying Emanuela, that without Fashion Preview, many designers wouldn’t have a place to showcase their designs? I mean, there is the Lasalle College that puts on a huge fashion event, and there is a multitude of other micro fashion events? What exactly are you saying?
Emanuela: The force of Fashion Preview is that we present different designers, new and established. And even Lasalle College, they do a fantastic job, but the students, when finished, and they are let’s say in the Fashion wild…they really don’t have outlets to promote their new collections and designs. Fashion Preview gives them that.
What is nice about Fashion Preview is also the media. Fashion and the media go together hand in hand. Buyers like to know that the pieces they have bought are featured in the media, or that the brands they have chosen have some mention. This is an old-school lesson I learned from the Fashion Industry in France. If the journalists are not talking about brands, buyers will be afraid of buying from said brand or label. Buyers and media are linked. We need to have a fashion week. Fashion is energy, people from the industry meet for two or three days, and exchange energies, ideas, and plans for feature collaborations. That is why Fashion Preview is always packed. People in the industry come to congregate and exchange.
Petrona: What would you hope for Fashion Preview in its 12th edition?
Emanuela: Sure, if I do it again, and I hope to do it again in October, I want to make sure I keep it fresh! Maybe do a full day with conferences in the morning and a fashion show at the end. Sure! And with an expanded team (the team I had for the FP11 edition was marvelous, but we did need more help) we will be able to accommodate the 800 persons we had this edition. We really did want we could what could have.
Petrona: Well Emanuela, I didn’t want to take up too much of your time, so, at this juncture of our interview, I want to tell you this: I love you and I love Fashion Preview. I think that by having this conversation with you, I will make sure and arrive camera ready for the next edition because with I saw at FP11, I can only imagine, the crowd will double the size. You are amazing, and I wish you the best of success for Fashion Preview 12! And just so you know, I will be there!