Fashion Week evolves with social distancing efforts

Co-director Fish Fiorucci, designer Victor Lomas and co-director Victor Hugo Jaramillo make adjustments to model Brianna Lozano during filming for Lomas' runway show Thursday, May 21 for Brownsville Fashion Week at the Brownsville Fashion Week Collective workspace in Brownsville.(Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)

By Denise Cathey, Staff photographer

Brownsville Fashion Week, the annual weeklong celebration of local fashion icons and talent, kicked off festivities May 24 with fashion shows, online Zoom parties and virtual workshops for attendees.

The event was organized by the Brownsville Fashion Week Collective in collaboration with the city of Brownsville, Backdoor Modern Vintage and Valley Family Thrift.

While the event originally featured 29 runway shows alongside other events throughout the city, organizers were forced to adapt fashion week this year to minimize public gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As artists, we felt that shutting down Brownsville Fashion Week was not the right option for us,” co-director Fish Fiorucci said. “Though COVID-19 was the final barrier to finalizing our projects this season, we did not have the intention of continuing our events this year, but soon realized that our community and supporters needed that shift in creative energy.”

The collective made the decision to transfer Brownsville Fashion Week to an online format utilizing Zoom, Facebook and Youtube to continue their work empowering local designers and industry professionals. This year’s theme was isolation with styles ranging from haute couture to avant garde highlighting local talent and design.

“We had to envision what BFW online would consist of and with the limited resources we had, we were able to curate a total of 13 online events free to the community,” Fiorucci said.

While Brownsville Fashion Week has wrapped up for the season, the collective is already thinking ahead to realize their original vision next season once conditions improve.

“Our thoughts for the future in regards to next year’s event, is to fulfill our goals and aspirations for what was missed out this year. A total of 29 runway shows were scheduled for the month of May but had to be postponed until further notice. For now, BFW will host an online season during the first half of next year and hopefully host the shows, during the second half, all over the city,” Fiorucci said.

For more information visit Brownsville Fashion Week Online on Facebook.