There are things you do because they are fun. There are things you do because they make money. And there are things you do simply because you are a good person, and those things need doing.
When Season 7 of Fashion Week Las Vegas was canceled on Sunday, August 16, the day before the first scheduled event, some members of the Las Vegas fashion community decided something needed doing. And because they are good people, they set about to do them.
The designers scheduled for the show had paid thousands of dollars to participate, and were out that money. Refunds, if they happened, would not happen quickly, and many of the designers found themselves in Las Vegas with no extra money, none of the promised accommodations, and no way to show their collections to buyers and the press. The local fashion community took stock of the situation:
Designers ready, willing and able to show their collections? Check.
Designers with no money to spend on an alternative, so any solution had to be low/no cost? Check.
Models still willing to participate? Check.
Makeup artists and hair stylists in the community willing to donate their services? Check.
Photographers, videographers and reporters willing to cover a new event for them? Check.
So the local fashion community stepped in to fix at least what could be fixed. There were other things that had to be arranged, and on very short notice, but the community was willing to come together to help their own, and their counterparts from other cities and countries. Designers Kristen Pock and Elena Pineda remained fully committed to making this new event happen. They brought in celebrity columnist Lori Lee Samson, for her expertise, ability to work social media and contacts with people who could help. A management team was in place.
What was critical was a venue to hold the new event in. On Sunday that seemed solved: a local production studio indicated their willingness to offer up their facility for the shows. By Monday morning it seemed a firm commitment; if the organizers could put together the team and support necessary to make it happen, they could use a local production studio.
So the organizers spent Monday doing just that. After a good deal of work, sweat and calling in favors, they could assess the remaining requirements:
DJ and MC? Check.
Security staff? Check.
Commitment from international news and photo agencies to syndicate coverage? Check.
Refreshments for guests and staff? Check.
Chairs and tables? Check.
Backstage director of events and assistants? Check.
Labor to move things around, prepare the venue, and return it to original condition after the event? Check.
That is, in a very short time Kristen, Elena and Lori Lee proved they were not only good people, but capable organizers with the contacts and expertise to pull off this event.
And then, on Wednesday morning, after two days of fitful, frustrating negotiations, the studio announced a whole new set of conditions and a price that could not possibly be met. “Miscommunication”, they claimed. There was no venue.
Something like that is, of course, profoundly disappointing,. It opened the possibility that the Las Vegas community would not be able to show its support for the disastrous situation the designers fiound themselves in. Other venue alternatives needed to explored, but with very little time remaining. Some very good people with fingers firmly crossed, hoped to still make this new event come together.
But this is a Western story, and all good Westerns need a hero on a white horse. Suddenly he appeared, and that is the subject of the next article in this series.
Anyone wishing to help, either as crew, models, artists or publicity, is asked to please contact Elena Pineda.