By Lorraine Longhi, Oct. 23, 2014.
With Phoenix Fashion Week nearly a month behind us, and holiday shopping the farthest thing from our mind still, there is no better time of year for exploring fall fashion.
While Phoenix might not be the appropriate climate for rocking elaborate outerwear, it has become a place that boasts a diverse collection of local designers and brands. Here, in no particular order, are seven you should know about:
Butch’her Equality Clothing
Butch’Her is a clothing design concept aimed at empowering butch women to feel comfortable in their own skin by breaking the gender-specific fashion model. Founder Noel Stewart started the company in support of his mother, a butch lesbian, during her battle with breast cancer. As a result, a percentage of each sale is donated to a breast cancer organization.
In 1955, local architect Ralph Parachek began designing and selling men-centric clothing as Parr of Arizona. This store, now as Nu-Parr, is still in business today at Ninth Street and Indian School and it continues to specialize in handmade and custom swimwear, underwear and pants (and still have with some of their original patterns in house).
State Forty Eight
This Chandler-based team was one of 13 designers selected to be a part of Phoenix Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer Challenge for 2014. After a four-month boot camp, these men – Michael Spangenberg, Stephen Polando and Nicholas Polando – presented a 12-piece collection at Talking Stick Resort Oct. 2. Their motto, “Arizona Passion Meets Arizona Fashion” shines through in their casual, west-coast style that perfectly sums up the 48th state.
This new addition to CityScape has burst on the scene with all-American, handcrafted denim products. The brand is 100-percent local and customers can work with any of the Lawless crew to craft the perfect weight, thread and color of American and Japanese Selvedge denim that fits their style.
Don’t Catch Feelings
This urban street clothing group is dedicated to changing the way people view ethnic minorities within the LGBTQ community. With an exclusive 2014 Pride collection and NFL team offerings for football season, a portion of sales are donated back into the LGBTQ community.
Sweet Sauce Clothing
As a staple of Phoenix Pride, events and with the tagline “Love Never Loses,” this Phoenix-based clothing company is about just that. Check out their T-shirts, V-necks and tanks with their signature “Spread Love, Destroy Hate” slogan.
Medium Apparel Co.
Featured as one of Phoenix Fashion Week’s 2013 emerging designers, Medium Apparel Co. is one of the premiere urban streetwear brands in the country. With five brick-and-mortar stores around Arizona and one opening up in New York, this brand represents a borderless style marked by music, art and modern street style.
But that’s not where the story ends; we invite you to share your favorite local brands and designers with us in the comments below.