Miquelon: Why Waterfront Park?
Deckard: Waterfront Park is a beautiful venue that has won numerous national awards. We have no intention of competing with fashion weeks in places like New York and Paris, so it made sense to highlight a totally different type of location. Also, as stated previously, the intent is to spotlight Waterfront Park, the Big Four bridge, and our Louisville-southern Indiana connection.
Long term, we would like to have some satellite activities in Jeffersonville.
Miquelon: Why in mid-October?
Deckard: Mid-October makes a lot of sense with regard to our weather and the typical peak sales times for our local stores. Sweaters and other fall and winter clothes don’t really start selling until it gets cooler, and we wanted to showcase local stores and boutiques, so you can “see it tonight, buy it tomorrow.” Furthermore, we could never expect to upstage or beat out the Spring ’13 shows in New York in September, so it made sense to schedule our event after theirs.
Miquelon: Were there any difficulties during the process of creating Waterfront?
Ross: There are always challenges with a project of this size.
Miquelon: The Big Four hold two fashion weeks per year: One week for autumn/winter collections, one for spring/summer. Will Waterfront Fashion Week follow the same lead by also having two weeks per year, and if not now, will that ever come to pass in the future?
Deckard: For now, we are concentrating on a fall event. Louisville is pretty occupied with another little spring event known as the Derby. But if demand ever calls for it, we will consider a spring event also.
Miquelon: Unlike the Big Four — which are only open to those who work or otherwise operate in the fashion industry — Waterfront will be open to the public. What are the reasons for opening Waterfront to all instead of following the lead of New York, London et al?
Duffy: As you can tell from our other responses, we do not intend to have an event that is solely about the industry. We want to make that leap between the designers and the women who ultimately spend Saturday afternoon shopping (or, for that matter, with the women who are tired and frustrated because they feel disconnected from or intimidated by the fashion world). New York is about buyers and publicists; we are not New York, and we never will be.
Our intent is to have an event that appeals to a wide variety of fashion interests. Again, we would be imprudent to try to compete with New York or other industry anchors, and we don’t want to. So instead, we want to have a group of events that are more like the Derby festival; at its heart, the Derby has a bunch of very serious horse people who are involved in a very serious horse race. But the race and the festival have elements that include a lot of other people with varying levels of interest in horse racing.
We hope to include many of the restaurants and bars in the area, and we hope that the event could turn into a destination, like a girls’ weekend getaway.
Miquelon: The proceeds from Waterfront will go into improving and maintaining the waterfront along the Ohio River. How do you plan to collect donations in regards to this overall endeavour?
Duffy: Sponsorships and ticket sales go to cover expenses, and the remainder will be contributed to Waterfront Development Corporation.
Miquelon: Any final words?
Duffy: We are very excited about this event, and we hope many people can find some part of it they can enjoy.
In the future, we hope to incorporate the Big Four bridge into the festivities. Eventually, we would like the event to encompass both sides of the river, giving our area more attention for fashion insiders, as well as casual fashionistas.
For more information and for tickets, visit www.waterfrontfashionweek.com.
Photos: Shutterstock.com/traxlergirl, and courtesy of Jo Ross and Peggy Hagerty Duffy.