Q&A with Allison Andrews of FWSD

Allison Andrews, the beauty and brains behind Fashion Week San Diego, has been bringing fashion week to San Diegans since 2008. She filled us in on what it takes to work backstage, her favorite FWSD moments ever, how she stays chic during the chaos and more! Don’t miss “The Beauty Behind Fashion”, FWSD’s kick-off event showcasing 2015 Spring/Summer trends, on Tuesday, September 30.

Q & A with Allison Andrews

1. When did you start Fashion Week San Diego?
I began planning for the first Fashion Week San Diego in 2007. The first event was a year later in 2008. It takes about 8-10 months to make it all come together.

2. Explain your role within the event.
I’m the Founder and Director. So, the one with the most pressure.

3. Why did you want to bring this concept to San Diego?
We are the eighth largest city in the country, known for being a FAB place to have conventions and only we’re only an hour south of LA. For emerging brands, which is what FWSD supports and shows, SD couldn’t be better as far as manufacturing and locations goes. SD is a border town and to do production in LA or Mexico is only a short drive away, and extremely accessible without having to live full time in those areas. In addition, San Diego has a wonderful climate and is extremely supportive of entrepreneurs, innovators and startups. It’s a perfect place on the West Coast to have a traditional fashion week that supports emerging designers form around the world. This is why I created Fashion Week San Diego.

4. What is your favorite portion of the week?
I have two: the first night when the doors open and the music starts pumping and I know I have about 30 minutes until the start. It’s such a rush. There is no turning back; all the year’s work comes down to the next days. The second is at the trunk show when I see the faces of the designers when the audience is LOVING and BUYING their items. That’s what it’s all about. That moment.

5. How do you stay polished during the whirlwind week?
That’s easy, Team Bellus has my back. They always make sure before I step out on the runway that my makeup and hair is on point. I actually used two of their expert instructors, Kristina Monique-Cotez and Latera Pugh, for my wedding and I’m thrilled that they are a HUGE part of FWSD’s backstage team. I’m lucky to have such an amazing team of experts backstage, including the independent stylist that tried out to be backstage and the Gila Rut Salon Team.

6. Name your favorite salon or spa treatment.
I LOVE a good facial. There is nothing better. Your skin care and face is so important. Not only do you take care of your face during a facial, but you also get a nice massage – it’s perfect!

7. If you were to empty your bag, what beauty/hair products would we find?
My favorite hair tool is a pick. I always have one and it’s perfect for any size of purse. Also, MAC Lipstick, EOS Lip Balm, a NARS Blush Duo (the best blush out there) and lip liner to match my lipstick.

8. What is your favorite look to-date you’ve seen come down the FWSD runway?
This is so hard, I don’t have favorites at FWSD. BUT my favorite show was done by DIOR Haute Couture S/S 06. I really still find it hard to take my eyes off of. I’m looking at more than the clothing – I’m taking it all in and I want to be moved and have an experience as it comes down the runway.

Here is a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGJUCTYQKCE

9. Has makeup application and hair styling always played an integral role in FWSD?
I created our signature event to start off every week of FWSD because beauty is so critical to fashion. This night is called The Art & Beauty Behind Fashion. This night pays tribute and shines a light on the beauty artists that make the looks complete on the runway. They are a huge and appreciated part of Fashion Week San Diego and any fashion week around the world.

10. Describe what a future Bellus student can expect when he or she works FWSD.
This is the icing on their beauty cake. Working a real, traditional fashion week is not only an honor, but a huge experience that can influence his or her career. I can tell you, before I meet any of the chosen students, I know they are the best of the best from all the Bellus campuses – that’s a big deal!

11. What piece of advice would you give an aspiring fashion or beauty industry professional?
Challenge yourself to put it all out there and get involved in everything. Experience is growth and to grow in your career you need to have experience to reflect on good and bad. This is how you become an expert in your industry and know the path you will want to stay on towards your success.

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