Phoenix Fashion Week begins Wednesday, Oct. 13, and this year’s theme is Fashion, Education and Community.

One Valley start-up is heading back to fashion week and in a big way.

"We never thought it would be this big this quick. We bought 100 shirts and started selling them to our friends. Demand just kinda grew and grew," said Nicolas Polando, co-founder of clothing brand State Forty Eight.

Back in 2013, State Forty Eight went to Phoenix Fashion Week with a design and a vision for their company.

"That was the one thing Phoenix Fashion Week did for us was help us with the business side of things," said Polando.

So the creators of State Forty Eight went to the fashion week boot camp. It included three days of seminars that focused on fashion education and community.

"Talking and dealing with retailers, um, suggestive retail prices to tell them, wholesale prices and stuff like that," said Polando.

"Phoenix Fashion Week is the only fashion week that I know that focuses on the educational and community standpoint," said Audrey Lopez, a blogger and stylist.

Lopez is teaching at this year’s fashion week. She was once a budding fashionista, who developed her brand after taking the business classes offered at fashion week.

"The three days of classes are geared to help an individual brand, an up and coming designer or even a blogger take their business to the next level. You learn how to social media, what the fashion laws are and how to take you product national to even global" said Lopez.

For State Forty Eight, they get to come back to fashion week as an established brand with success in retail, development and partnering with local organizations like the Pat Tillman Foundation and Bruce Arians Family Foundation.

Polando and his partners hope to inspire the next generation of dreamers.

"One, don't give up easily and two, it's not gonna be easy. We've definitely had sleepless nights but that stress is when you know you are doing something right," said Polando.

For more info on Phoenix Fashion Week, visit

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