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'Austin is a pretty special place' - muses René Geneva

27
Jul '09
On the Red Carpet, Ren Geneva and Tolly Moseley
The top twenty cities for fashion in the world were announced this week - Milan, New York, and Paris being the top three. The 'third-coast' was not included in that list, but Austin was named one of the top 10 green cities in the nation. For the first Austin Fashion Week to have debuted, it arguably has left its mark. Specifically with the Austin Fashion Awards - which was executed in perfect Austin-ite style with a "green" designer taking the top prize for the evening.

Enter scene with 2 Texas-sized screens with a beautiful light show. Rock and roll came from the band Social Rev and perfectly fit models strut Austin's fashions down the runway. Kayne, from Project Runway, was the "celebrity" designer, and the presenters were done up in Oscar-esque wears.

Austin Fashion Awards and Week are the brainchild of Matt Swinney - former founding-publisher of Rare Magazine - who was also the producer of acclaimed "Austin Restaurant Week."

"I've never seen a buzz like we had for anything but music in Austin. It's nice to know Fashion can be embraced in the same way," says Matt. Swinney notes that this event was meant to be inclusive of all categories of artist surrounding fashion - noting photographer, salons, boutiques, and models among their categories of nominees.

The night's big winner was René Geneva - an Austin designer with a global impact that is no stranger to the Fashion Week circuit. She took home the "Golden Boot" - an effigy of - you guessed it - the cowboy boot for Critics Choice Best Designer and Best Women's Designer. While there was no category for "Green" designer, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Geneva is, in fact, as "eco" of a designer as it gets.

All of Rene's designers are made from organic materials and her social responsibility platform is comprehensive. She is even the founding-director of the Geneva Foundation for Women and the Arts - whom provide sewing education to developing communities abroad. Next stop for René is at NY Fashion Week who will debut her next season at the Ethical Fashion Preview at the Carlton Hotel on September 14, 2009.

"Austin is a pretty special place," Muses René. "For the designers who have "made it" into the competitive global marketplace - we know how much it helps business to have local support. It makes the economy less threatening, and helps to fuel the creativity necessary to move forward."

As Austin moves forward - both in fashion and in its "greenness" - it can't be argued that it isn't a good time.

Austin Fashion Awards


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