We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Marino and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, how does your business help the community?
OC Fashion Week® is a one world symposium for emerging designer talent, photographers, models, influencers, startups and ecommerce to launch with unique international supplier programs for business retail tourism. This 5-Star destination site highlights the OC luxury lifestyle and offers strategic digital and broadcast media campaigns, meetings, rewards, and event incentives that bolster business, community relations, and long lasting international alliances.
We believe that successful corporate and civic partnerships, must be equally beneficial to the venue, the sponsors and the community at large. Only then is an event a true success and our mission complete. OC Fashion Week® is dedicated to supporting emerging designers worldwide, for inner beauty awareness and supporting leaders in retail whose business models distinguished for making a world of difference in the community.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I love that we have embraced diversity from the onset, whether it be having LGBQ models or multi-cultural staff of artists, makeup and hair and models. We never had the need to create a new program in 2020 because our show has consistently been diverse since our inception. And although it is a priority now for some groups, it has and will remain our core backbone. Diversity in our programs is important to us. Diversity has always set us a apart.
What has set us apart is having a Fashioned for the Future program early on we had internship programs but this evolved in to training for Project Management – we learned it was a much needed skill that could be applicable in any field of work, a runway coordinator alone could not easily transition into other career fields and it was important to us that our project managers developed skills that were not only valued but easily transferrable to high paying salaried job.
Building a Television shows : Fashionista Now Boarding® and Behind the Seams were developed to airs on KWHY TV to provide our sponsors more media mileage from San Diego to Palm Springs and were provided exposure in a double market penetration this network partnership allows our designers and sponsors exposure to both English and Spanish Markets.
We are particularly happy that we were selected in California as an official International Partner of leading Global Sources trade show in 2019 and onward this allowed us to send over 36 fashion designers abroad to meet and be exposed to over 35k suppliers world wide, this relationship meant that we could assist designers in predetermining profit margins by expanding their reach for suppliers and we brought our project managers with us for the experience.
We were also happy to partner with shows as Athens Designer Fashion Week, Brisbane Fashion Week and USVI Fashion Week, having evolved to be ambassadors for the luxury market of California allowed for us to promote our California Designers at other shows.
Most of the challenges was in the coordination but with good communications and reliable staff it always worked out.
If we were to inform the world what we are all about, we are a diverse multi-cultural community located in the luxury market of California, Orange County that is considered an incubator for designers to be discovered and exposed, The value of Orange County is comparable to the top 5 Fashion Capitals due to its retail expenditures averages at $45.2 billion without the aide of LA. and when we last checked, London had indicated they were projecting a $40 billion spend in the next five years. These numbers are important because the exposure to our market is relevant to the spend. As a buyer’s market, designers can launch their brand with confidence knowing that hype alone cannot substantiate business at the end of the day, and that retail spend is ultimately what will reveal what is most important in the survival of any business.
We hope someday that these numbers are revealed in press so that advertisers and magazine trades can recognize the value of target marketing vs. using large city names to be an answer to a business sustaining. To OC Fashion Week, a fashion capital should be defined not just by cultural influence alone, SEO, or the Global Language Monitor, a capital is defined as a regional area of economic success, and should be defined in terms of fashion capital spend as an indices on a rank report based on statistics. The more viable economic data can be the more informed designers can be about their decisions and approach to launching in markets.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely take them to South Coast Plaza the leading International Shopping Destination in the United States. And also bring them to Fashion Island for the outdoor experience of shopping in luxury. Both locations bring excitement and amazing food.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We would like to shoutout to our sponsors, models, photographers, press and influencers – without their support the show could not be possible. Local community business makes a large contribution to endorsing local fashion designers and models, photographers, and press equally support through donation of time, quality of work and exposure for fashion designers. We cant’ thank them enough.
selfie by Hauteoc