Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Designer Spotlight: Macy's

We adore our designers and appreciate their support!

The beloved department store will be revealing some of its newest looks during Gainesville Fashion Week 2013. Geared toward men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes, Macy's carries the most in-style and budget-friendly looks of the season. Make sure to drop by the local Macy's in the Oaks Mall. 

6671 Newberry Road
Gainesville, Florida 32605

Phone: 352-333-2300

Designer Spotlight: Tanya Brown

We adore our designers and appreciate their support!

We are thrilled to announce that Tanya Brown will be showcasing her designs on Sat. April 6 at Gainesville Fashion Week 2013.

Born in Gainesville, TanyaB graduated from the International Academy of Design and Technology in 2009 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Merchandising. The up-and-coming designer's eclectic, trendy style can be rocked by women of all ages.

Designer Spotlight: Jacquelyn Brooks

We adore our designers and appreciate their support!
GFW is pleased to announce that designer Jacquelyn Brooks will be showcasing her collection this year.

Jacquelyn Brooks is a Gainesville native, and she is a professionally accredited fashion designer who graduated from Florida State University.

Her dreams of bringing high fashion to Gainesville came true in 2007 with the opening of her own design and tailoring business on University Avenue.  Her company, Jacquelyn Brooks Designs, works with women in the local community to design custom wedding gowns, formal attire and her expanding collegiate dress collection.

Jacquelyn Brooks’ company is located at:
(352) 375-6462

Designer Spotlight: Francine Elizabeth Schulze

We adore our designers and appreciate their support!

We are so excited to announce Francine Elizabeth Schulze as one of our designers for Gainesville Fashion Week 2013. She will be showcasing on Saturday of fashion week.

Francine Elizabeth Schulze is from a creative European family of artists, filmmakers, jewelers, sculptors, seamstresses and architects. Francine has been designing, sewing and producing beautiful original clothing, jewelry and weavings since she was a young child.

Clients commission Francine to create custom pieces for a special event, or just to enjoy looking their best in something unique. Her fashion looks include a range of soft, natural fabrics used in simple and appealing day wear, and glowing silk or satin pieces for glamorous evening wear. These designs include many interesting details mixing intricate beadwork, weaving and unexpected features. The back of a dress or top can be the best surprise!

Francine's gemstone, crystal and pearl jewelry can be a showpiece on its own. Every outfit and showpiece is not only interesting and beautiful, but is also crafted with perfect workmanship.

The Model Photo Shoot

Cantina is usually the place to be for Sunday Funday, properly speaking.

We did that too, naturally, but this time we actually started the festivities at the Cabana Beach clubhouse, where we had our first official GFW Photo Shoot.
Every season, this photo shoot is the beginning of the legit GFW prep phase. The model list is finalized, and now the real work begins.

Walking clinics, fittings, dress rehearsals, editorials, hair, makeup and wearing out every single article of black clothing you own = our life for the next 5 weeks. Yeahhhhhh buddy.

But we can’t do any of that without first having our models really stretch their legs! And these pretty ladies and gentlemen came and served some runway realness, some of them for the very first time!

Personally, this was my second Official Photo Shoot (I modeled once upon a time when I was just a little wisp of a boy…two years ago), but the excitement was still the same, even if I was behind several camera phones working and not werking.
It’s all suddenly and seriously real once you get to the Photo Shoot; it’s almost more than you imagined. For example, I remember trying out to model for GFW 2011, making it, and thinking, “Hmmm, that’s cute, GFW, real cute,” but then:

1)     You arrive wearing some fierce all-black outfit (mine, then and now, was an exercise in subtle cross-dressing…it’s really hard to find black clothes for guys in the spring, just fyi), with your hair and makeup on point.
2)     The impeccably coordinated Model Team greets you, takes your name and gives you the GFW t-shirt that you will cherish forever.
3)     You pose in front of an all-white background, feeling very much like Madonna in “Lucky Star,” when our Director of Photography or one of his talented interns gives you direction on how to pose.
4)     You desperately recall and implement every sound byte of modeling advice you ever heard Tyra say on ANTM / you just try to look sexy
5)     It’s over and you mingle and feel fabulous and so legit.
For the most part, that is still how things happened this year, but we did change it up a little. We asked the models to bring a change of clothes (something casual and collegiate) for an impromptu photo shoot in Cabana’s lagoon.

I was seriously impressed by the professionalism and pure intuition that our models brought to the Photo Shoot. Not only did everybody look absolutely on point, model like pros and mingle like seasoned socialites, but they hopped-to as soon as a photographer asked them to “pose like this” or “act like you’re just casually talking.”

And these children can WALK, too! I conducted a brief walking clinic on the pool deck, and after just a few run-throughs, I exhausted my “expert advice.” So many naturals!

The day moved back and forth from outside to inside, old friends caught up and new friends were made. We had a special visit from the legendary Gwen Rahn, who’s now living the dream in NYC. We celebrated the engagement of our fabulous and seemingly inexhaustible producer, Tiffany. And we had some delicious sandwiches from Hiro (spicy mayonnaise on a sandwich is a brilliant innovation, guys <3 p="">

It felt like the first week of school, when all these different people start to look like they fit together. I just kind of sat back and said to myself, “That’s cute.” But really it is: we’re a big, cute family and we’re going to do great work together this season.

It will be a fun six weeks leading up to our runway shows. We have lots planned for you to follow, including the pictures of our models and our new website! And some secrets, too =P

 X np

Friday, February 22, 2013

GFW Models for the 2013 Season

From our casting call on February 3rd to our callbacks on February 6th, GFW has seen Gainesville’s hottest strut their stuff on and off the runway…shirts optional for males, of course. Our guest panel of judges was just as pleased about the amazing amount of talent present at our callbacks, which took place at Cellar 12 downtown. After hours of sorting through applications and watching nearly 200 models work it once more, our models team has selected the best of the best for this year’s Gainesville Fashion Week.

We are so pleased to announce our 2013 models, and we can’t wait for what’s in store for this beautiful and talented group of individuals:


Nodira Abdukhamitova
Kristal Acosta
Kaitlyn Benjamin
Victoria Burney
Lindsey Buz
Bridget Coleman
Nikki DeGance
Beatrice Dupuy
Ann Durrenberger
Ronica Gandola
Emilia Guzman
Brittany Heuser
Whitney Jones
Heather Jones
Michelle Lüchau
Serenitye Massey
Jade Massey
Tanima Mehrotra
Brittney Mims
Rachel Moore
Olivia Newan
Kristina Orlando
Sarah Parmenter
Tori Petry
Cynthia Plunkett
Carrie Poole
Erica Reed
Effie Rodriguez
Erica Roskovich
Katrina San Juan
Victoria Sanchez
Lauren Staub
Brittany Strizelka
Daniela Suyos
Tessa Syvertsen
Brittany Wood
Candace Yusuf


Kevin Anderson
Jose Ceballos
Charles Chen
Jeremiah Corley
Sean Deeb
Austin Dulak
Jordan Fishman
Karan Gaekwad
Christian Gonzalez
Theron Gray
Kamryn Johnson
Amir Khiabani
Kirill Korytov
Andrew Lenz
Bryan Smith
Brad Thomas

The GFW Crew

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Final Round: Callbacks

Congratulations to the 106 models that made it through to Callbacks last night! The entire GFW staff was blown away by the abundance of natural talent that waltzed through Cellar’s 12 elegant double doors. It’s going to be a tough cut – I wouldn’t want to be in those judges’ shoes.

But we’ve put the casting decision in the right hands. Our expert panel of judges arrived early and ready to work, knowing exactly what they looking for in a 2013 Gainesville Fashion Week model. Meet our fantastic lineup:

Keith Watson, owner of Keith Watson Events, was interested to see the talent Gainesville had to offer. He and his company love fashion, and while this is the first time judging models in Gainesville, he has previous experience with beauty pageants. Keith was looking for girls and guys who moved “extremely well” and had “great stage presence.”

In addition to helping us cast the show, Associate Publisher for HOME Magazine Megan DeGance was scouting out models with a unique look for an edgy editorial feature. Her criteria for a model? “Must be malleable and open to craziness.”

The Gators in the building went wild when they saw some of UF’s nationally ranked basketball players stroll in. GFW judge veterans Patric Young and Will Yeguete had such a great time last year that they brought Kenny Boynton and friend Corey Gamble to experience it for themselves. Admitting how much he enjoyed the show last year (it was his first fashion show ever!), Patric said that coming back to help was a “no brainer.” Typically dressed in orange-and-blue, Will is looking forward to seeing the new designs in April. Kenny was thrilled to try something new while Corey was excited to see girls model. They all have similar taste in clothes – they’re big fans of Express and Polo – so it’s not surprising that they also agreed on the qualities of a good model: attitude and charisma. “Like you know you look good,” Patric added.

And we can’t forget Albey Coronel, our wonderful GFW co-founder and producer. Even though he was feeling a little under the weather, he didn’t let it show, arriving smiley and stylishly in a leather jacket – the clear GFW staff trend of the evening. Already a pro, he took his place at the end of the judge’s table, looking confident in finding the perfect modeling cast.

As the judges took their seats and uncapped their pens, the music began thumping and signaled the start of the walks. The callbacks required two walks, one dressed casually and another sporting a bathing suit. One by one, 106 models strutted down the hardwood floors to the beat, striking a fierce pose and staring down their judges. Distracted by the girls’ long limbs and impressive outfit choices, I became more envious as each girl stomped by. Confidence and individual personalities shone through as the girls showcased their signature walks; some were flirty while others were downright edgy. The guys were just as awesome as the girls. Mastering the cool “dude walk” expected of male models, they all could have been mistaken for professionals. They were also dressed to impress, knowing how to make a simple pair of jeans look special by pairing them with sweaters, loose-fitted t-shirts and combat boots. And they clearly weren’t shy during the bathing suit round as they nonchalantly showed off their toned physiques.

The whole time, the judges were coy and professional, jotting down notes and only pausing for a quick sway to the music. It was an amazing night full of dancing, posing and mingling, especially for the GFW staff! While we’re sad to lose some bold and beautiful models, we’re also excited to narrow down our list and begin preparing for the incredible events to come.

Keep on the lookout for information and updates on our sponsors, talent (including designers!) and upcoming events. Hope you’re as excited as we are!

- Alyssa Fisher 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sponsorship Spotlight: LAE Beauty

We adore our sponsors and appreciate their support!

 Exams, work and a cloudy winter have left us stressed and pasty. For a revitalizing lift, check out LAE Beauty, Florida’s premiere MediSpa and tanning salon. Located around the corner from Oaks Mall, LAE offers a buffet of services including custom airbrush spray tanning, teeth whitening, Botox, medical weight loss, endermologie, waxing and facials. In addition to sponsoring our event, LAE will be donating 20 percent-off coupons, helping to make Gainesville the most beautiful city in Florida.

Make an appointment at:
Phone: (352) 331-9693 – Email:

618 NW 60th Street, Suite I
Gainesville, FL, 32607

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finding the Perfect Cast

After long nights promoting in midtown and downtown, bombarding social media outlets with hashtag-GFW and nervously handing out hot cards to attractive passers-by, our Model Casting Call finally arrived!
Interns and directors ushered in a plethora of high heeled and chiseled potential models from 12 to 5 pm at our neutral7 offices.

Fresh-faced and excited, models handed in applications and fees to interns at our tent. As they walked into the building, they took multiple headshots and many cheeks flushed pink when male models decided to show off perfect six packs for the photographer. 
 Next came the measurement station. Models were measured from head to toe by the bubbly group of interns who barely batted a well-mascaraed eyelash about measuring inseams. 
 Finally, it was time for Gainesville’s hottest to strut their stuff on the runway. Judged by a panel of directors and interns, each model was given a critique and asked to pose, pivot and repeat. 
 Phew! Five hours, four boxes of pizzas, three-dozen donuts, and countless cups of coffee later, the Gainesville Fashion Week team is more excited, and probably more caffeine-addicted, than ever before. We can’t wait for callbacks on Wednesday at 7 pm at Cellar 12, and don’t forget our make up Casting Call is tomorrow from 1 to 4 pm!

So excited for what’s to come,

- Roberta and Alyssa

GFW Loves Simons and Cantina

Everyone in Gainesville should know what a “Hot card” is after this past week. 

A rather ingenious viral marketing strategy, the hot cards not only pump people up for GFW, but also they also invite recipients to werk their hotness at our Model Casting Call this Sunday at Neutral 7.

We handed them out in Turlington Plaza during peak class time and in two of Gainesville’s hottest spots: downtown at Simon’s and midtown at Cantina. It was an exacting task to reach out to all of the beautiful people here in Gainesville, but someone had to do it! And trust us, we’re glad we did.

Essentially, a black-clad intern randomly approaches an attractive and stylish girl or guy, tells them just how fabulous they are and gives them a card. A little creeptastic, but ohsomuchfun we can’t even explain. And it works.

On Thursday we promoted at Simon’s, where we began around 10 p.m. and undoubtedly started the party. We mingled, posed for pictures and handed cards out to the cutest people. It was such a great time that we don’t think those who were hot-carded will ever forget us approaching them, even if they don’t show up to the Casting Call (although we can’t think of why they wouldn’t). It was classic GFW.

However, promoting at Cantina took things to a never-before-seen level. Per usual, hot cards were handed out, pictures were taken in front of our step-and-repeat banner, but then…

…that happened.

“That” is several LCD screens designed by Smart Cast Media.  People strapped the boards on their backs and walked through Midtown.  Then some of your gorge GFW 2013 Directors put them on, too!

It was amazing. Many of your GFW interns had no idea that this was going to happen, and when we first saw the boards marching down University Ave., there was a resounding, “Wait, are you serious?” Things had just gotten real.

FYI, promoting at Cantina using LCD boards was a huge deal: GFW was one of the organizations to use them for social marketing in Gainesville. It was a night to remember.

GFW in itself is something to remember. Come out and see us on Sunday at our Casting Call; you’ll be glad to say you were a part it.

See you then!

- Niko