Phoenix Fashion Week showcased in Time Magazine

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Phoenix Fashion Week just wrapped to its biggest crowd to date. The big fashion show has been around for almost a decade. The success of this year's show caught the attention of Time Magazine.

Who would have guessed a college wrestler and Arizona State University graduate would end up being the man behind Phoenix Fashion Week?

Brian Hill's first venture in fashion was creating polo shirts while a student at ASU but not the kind you're thinking.

"Arizona State Polo Club is like my claim to fame," Hill said.

Yes, these were Arizona State polo shirts.

"I just ripped the Ralph Lauren and did a circle around it and said Arizona State Polo Club," Hill explained.

That was then, this is now.

Phoenix Fashion Week has been a huge draw for folks who like to shop, like to socialize or who are seriously into fashion. It's been going on now for eight years.

Hill started with the event as an intern, but now he is the executive director and has been for the
last four years. He said he did his homework to make Phoenix Fashion Week a success.

"Per capita, we had more malls in Phoenx than anywhere in the nation, which means people like to shop," Hill said. "They wouldn't build malls if people didn't shop. So I felt I could bring designers in that these buyers and boutique owners would buy from, because there are so many choices!"

Another great idea he had was making Fashion Week not only a show but also a training ground of
sorts for local and up-and-coming designers.

"For three months before fashion week, we work on an apparel boot camp ... take them through margins ... how to get reporters to pay attention ... every other week we would have homework for them then they went to reporters that were into fashion," Hill said.

This process educates designers on how to promote their product.

"Thats a part of the process, that thee-month boot camp, and they will tell you it's tough -- it's really tough," Hill explained.

A tough process that also works as great promotion for the show, which gets more cameras there, more people there and more buzz going about Phoenix Fashion Week.

Karen McKnight is the publisher behind the blog, which focuses on beauty trends and fashion events. She has followed Phoenix Fashion Week for years and has watched it grow.

"It is the premier fashion event in our city," McKnight said. "It's entertaining, I mean people know there is going to be a lot going on."

So it doesn't surprise her that the new issue of Time Magazine chose Phoenix Fashion Week as one of the few very talked about events around the nation.

"It says a lot about the fact that he has gotten noticed," McKnight said. "Phoenix Fashion Week has
gotten noticed. I think it's good, it brings a lot of positive things to our city."

As for Hill, the feature in Time means he's moving in the right direction.

"Knock-off polos and then to this ... never would have thought," Hill said. "Super proud, super happy."

This year's Phoenix Fashion Week featured designers from all over the nation, including one from Dubai.