SXSW is just about here and if you are trying to find something to do next week (just had to say that) and you love fashion, then enter the newest option to fill your passion. For the past two years locals Joah Spearman and Jon Pattillo have produced the previous fashion event called Style X (pronounced Style By) to meet a void for fashion-hungry folks who may not be as interested in the various music, interactive or film events.. While the two-day event was visited by nearly 16,000 folks last year and enjoyed fashion shows and shopping, the two decided to take the event out of the convention center and put it in a more fashion-friendly environment…the 2nd Street District. The duo also added some big name fashion names and now we have a new event called “The Neighborhood”.
Joah Spearman, Co-Founder of The Neighborhood and AvecMode graciously answered some questions for us regarding the exciting event.
Tell me about how The Neighborhood is going to work this SXSW season.
The Neighborhood is going to be a showcase giving the general public – no badge required – a look into the various aspects of the fashion industry, from the emerging brands like I/O Denim and Bedstu doing pop-up shops to the locally-owned boutiques along 2nd Street District to the access to hear from acclaimed designers like Billy Reid and John Varvatos and fashion-tech entrepreneurs like the co-founders of StyleCaster, Ari & David Goldberg, Refinery29’s Justin Stefano and Philippe Von Borries, and StyleLikeU’s Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum.
Why did you want to move away from the previous Style X format?
Style X’s location was not ideal because the convention center isn’t truly authentic as a hub for fashion in comparison to 2nd Street District, and the dates were limited to the music festival which we thought forced us to miss the great influencer audience here during Interactive.
Talk about having John Varvatos be a part of your event…(duh… pretty exciting I’m sure)
It was a lot of work and networking and waiting and discussion with their team and others, but ultimately I think having John Varvatos in the inaugural version of The Neighborhood at 2nd Street District speaks to the credibility of a belief that I’ve always had: fashion and style have a place at SXSW.
What do you want fashion-minded folks who attend to take away and learn from the panel discussions
I hope fashion-minded folks take away two things: 1) That this is an industry just like music, film or technology that is built on the backs of creative individuals who are passionate about what they do. 2) There is a lot of change happening in the industry, most of it for the better in my eyes, and I think the renewed focus on personal style and emerging brands will only bolster the industry long-term.
How do you think the Austin Fashion Scene has and is changing.
It’s changing pretty dramatically, even in just the decade since I went to college here. More people moving in from other cities, like New York and LA, including my wife, who moved here from New York after working in fashion; and more people taking advantage of travel as an opportunity to shop in new places and bring back new styles. I think Austin is like a teenager from a style-standpoint and the best style is still yet to come.
What other future plans do you have for your company to engage fashionistas in Austin.
We believe The Neighborhood is a concept that makes sense not just during SXSW, but also during other times in the year. You’ll have to stay tuned to see how it unfolds.
Mark your Calendar
Dates for the event: March 11-14 – 2nd Street District
Pop Up Shops – Noon-8 pm daily 403 and 408 West 2nd Street
Daily Panels – 2 pm and 4pm daily featuring: bloggers, designers, editors, executives and fashion leaders from StyleCaster, The Man Repeller, Refinery 29, Lyst, Bollare, StyleLIkeU, Cole Haan, Michael Kors and more Daily Panel event address: 416 Cesar Chavez
Huffington Post Style Sessions: A one-on-one Q&A session with HuffPost Style executive editor Anya Strzemien – Tuesday 3/12 @ 4pm Billy Reid – Thursday 3/14 @ 4pm John Varvatos
After Party – 3/12 8p-11p with DJ Mike Boogie – 416 Cesar Chavez
See you there!
Read my previous article about the event.