New York’s Leading Showcase for Fashion Designers

Saturday, November 22, 2014
Interview with Kerry Bannigan, CEO of Nolcha Fashion Week: New York
Kerry Bannigan, Arthur Mandel, and actress Jeannie Mai
Kerry Bannigan

Each and every year, New York City celebrates fashion and style during the month of September. Nolcha Fashion Week is a leading award winning event held in New York for independent fashion designers to promote their collections to a global audience of press, stylists, retailers, and industry influencers. The successful platform always receives positive media coverage including features in Cosmopolitan, Glamour, NBC, MTV Lucky, and Forbes – and is supported by brands such as Coca-Cola, America Airlines, RUSK, Land Rover, Vitamin Water, and Don Q Rums.


Fit'n Style Magazine's Lifestyle editor had the chance to interview Kerry Bannigan, the CEO of Nolcha Fashion, Week: New York, to discuss all things fashion!


Why did you choose to explore the independent fashion industry?

I was exposed to the independent fashion industry when I moved to New York City in my early twenties and grew a fascination as well as a deep admiration and respect for fashion design entrepreneurs. There are many stages to complete in the fashion design cycle, specifically getting the product to market, and I wanted to play a part in that stage for brands. Nolcha Fashion Week was born out of the need for a professional platform for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections during New York Fashion Week as a cost effective alternative.


How is Nolcha Fashion Week different from New York Fashion Week?

Nolcha Fashion Week is held simultaneously with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week as a hub for independent fashion designers. Our focus is to provide cost effective runway show options for brands to connect with retailers, media, stylists, and industry decision makers. Our innovative, cutting edge brands are scouted from across the globe and introduced to the US market, versus having a strong hold following in the US market like those established brands showcased at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.


How can emerging Lebanese fashion designers benefit from Nolcha Fashion Week?

Nolcha Fashion Week is an invaluable resource for international fashion designers to have a supportive entrance into the US market. Our 360 runway package of providing a venue, technical team, production team, industry guest list, agency models, reputable hair and makeup teams, as well as creative and logistical support leading up to the show, is extremely beneficial to a brand lacking US contacts and resources but keen to expand their brand into this market.


What do you think about international designers such as Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, and Georges Hobeika?

I am a fan of many international fashion designers. Elie Saab’s work has always interested me, especially on a personal level with many of the cuts and styles fitting the hour glass figure. I thoroughly enjoy the creative work of Reem Acra and I am excited to see the global growth of this brand specifically in the American market as seems to be working with an understanding of what American women want.


Do you have a favorite fashion brand?

I enjoy an array of brands, many different things… the imagination and depth of McQueen, the love of life with Betsy Johnson, and the figure flattering and simplistic sophistication of Betty Jackson. Independent fashion designers currently on my radar include Leka, Danilo Gabrielli, Jess Rizzuti, Dany Tabet, and House of Tammam.


Do you have a favorite fashion blogger?

Being more involved with the business of fashion, I tend to read a lot more small business, fashion business, and entrepreneurial focused articles in publications such as Business of Fashion, Forbes Retail, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post. I really enjoy the imagery used by fashion blogger Fashion Nexus.


Having been inspired by independent fashion designers, would you like to launch your own clothing label one day?

I am definitely inspired by independent fashion designers on a daily basis - but more so in a way to bring their work alive via a creative presentation or runway show. I am more of a marketing, media, and event woman as I aim to work closer with brands in order to share my insights for my shape, travel, and business needs for fashion in my life and overall items that more women today are searching for with the growth of female entrepreneurship.


For more fashion and lifestyle stories, take a walk to:

Getting Personal with Mirva Kadi


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