Fashion Week for the Flightless

By Claire Kelley

You’re marching down a city street in your favorite pair of pumps and a perfectly trendy ensemble.  Celebrities’ looks are being captured by countless desperate street-style photographers as you pass by.  Nearby, bright lights illuminate a catwalk upon which tall, thin beauties pace while wearing a favorite designer’s brand new looks.

Where are you? New York. London, perhaps. Maybe Paris?


Wrong answer, fashionista.  None of the above. You’re in Dallas, in the “SMU bubble” that you know and love.

Although only in its second year, and not yet at the capacity to host a huge Marc Jacobs show or foment frenzied street-style photography, SMU Fashion Week is already holding events that would impress many in the industry.

The week of April 1 – 5 promises to be an opportunity for SMU students, faculty and others in the community to learn about the art that is fashion, without flying across the country to do so.


Setting up with Style

The morning of the Fashion Week launch party, co-executive director Julia Eggleston, a senior Advertising major, is on the phone, again, tracking down parking permits for the week’s speakers.

The team member responsible for reaching out to the week’s keynote speaker, fashion historian and curator Myra Walker, Eggleston says she hopes the week will educate SMU students and the public to many facets of fashion.

“We’re excited, and we’re ready to go,” Eggleston says.

This year three students shared much of the responsibility for strategizing and planning – two co-executive directors, Eggleston and Rebecca Marin, a senior Communication Studies major and Fashion Media minor, along with Daniella Lopez, a senior Advertising major and Fashion Media minor and the Fashion Week event coordinator.

While Eggleston wraps up other details, Marin and Lopez double-check plans for the launch party itself.

The initial preparations for SMU Fashion Week, however, begin seven to 12 months before the event.

“It’s important to know what the audience is interested in and what is relevant or new to the fashion industry,” Marin says.

Adds Lopez: “We have basically started planning since last year and are even getting some connections for next year.”

Although this year’s Fashion Week is only the second in SMU’s history, the event is breaking new ground with this year’s lineup.

“Last year, Executive Director Grace Davis did an amazing job in setting the bar for following years,” says Lopez. “Since people heard about Fashion Week last year, this year we have had companies reach out to us and want to help.”

Both Marin and Lopez have high hopes for the future of SMU Fashion Week. Their dream guests of honor include Annie Leibovitz, Anna Wintour, Ken Downing, Diane von Furstenburg, Georgiana Chapman and Jenna Lyons.

And they are confident in SMU’s potential to reach these goals.

“Our team has worked very hard to raise the bar,” says Lopez, “and we hope to continue this exceptional tradition.”

As for Marin, her mantra is simple: “Aim big.”

SFW Schedule of Events

Monday, April 1

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Donation drop-off with Genesis Women’s Shelter at Owen Fine Arts Center lobby

6 to 8 p.m. – Kick-off party at Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station

Tuesday, April 2

6:30 p.m. – Fashion, Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel in the Ernst & Young Gallery in Cox School of Business. Panelists include president of rewardStyle Amber Venz and CEO of rewardStyle Baxter Box.

Wednesday, April 3

6:30 p.m. – Designing and Working for a Brand Panel in the Ernst & Young Gallery. Panelists include Neiman Marcus buyer Stacy Hicks and local Dallas designers. Moderated by Texas Monthly Style Editor Kristie Ramirez.

Thursday, April 4

6:30 p.m. – SMU Fashion Week Keynote Address by Balenciaga exhibit curator Myra Walker in the Meadows Museum’s Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium.

Friday, April 5

5 p.m. – SMU Retail Club Annual Spring Fashion Show on the median of Bishop Blvd.

For details and more information on SFW, go to

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