A Look Back at Austin Fashion Week 2019

by Alexis Michele Higgins on March 29, 2019 in Lifestyle, Fashion, Austin,

As a city defined by the motto “Keep Austin Weird” we are bound to redefine what Austin Fashion Week means to the industry.

This “Freedom City” is known for being individual from all other major cities in Texas. Fashion X’s display at fashion week this past February reminded us all of the essence of diversity by bringing a subtle jazz to a culture related to the elite.

A model and designer working to perfect a runway gown for Celebrate Texas. Courtesy Fashion X

Founder Matt Swinney opened the weekend with Andra Liemandt—-drummer from Austin band The Mrs—and Nordstrom. Liemandt gears The Kindness Campaign, which combats bullying and empowers generations after us to take control of their happiness. Nordstrom, “Couldn’t say no,” said Matt when introducing the partnership with the Barton Creek location. Anchoring the entire event with the campaign Shop For Good truly set the tone.

A model preparing her look for a strut down the Austin Fashion Week runway. Courtesy Fashion X

Fashion X has grown since 2009, branching into Houston and Dallas. Though expansion is key to long term success, Swinnery says, “there’s no place like home [Austin].”

In a series of mind-blowing shows—Bernina Fashion Fund, Celebrate Texas, Moda by Australia—Fashion X won my lifelong support.

Designs from the Celestino Spring 2019 Collection. Designer Sergio “Celestino” Guadarrama was raised in Austin. Courtesy Fashion X

Celebrate Texas is a show given to highlight designers from, or based in, Texas. I expected Southern flare-cut designs, grand hats and, of course, couture. Head-to-toe in a made-to-measure League of Rebels suit, Matt Swinney debuted an outfit that set the tone. As he proudly introduced Arc of Capital, the audience took the opportunity to make some noise for intellectually and physically disabled models to open up the runway for the night.

A model from Arc of Capital being encouraged by the Austin Fashion Week crowd. Courtesy Fashion X

Crowds not only gave standing ovations but riveting cheers to each person representing Arc of Capital. Representation has become a prominent topic in fashion over the last three years. Creatives alike have begun to humble the fashion industry with added roles and support for women and those with disabilities. It was of no surprise that Austin buckled these elements into its 2019 Fashion Week.

The finale walk by rising designers from Austin School of Fashion Design. Courtesy Fashion X

As the show continued, models of all ages, height, color and body type took the runway by storm. As refreshing as it is to live in your own skin, I watched as each row of the audience’s eyes dreamed of gliding across the floor in another. Young models showed fierceness that blew the crowd away.

If nothing else, this city is supportive of one another. Austin is known to be a local network, even as it stretches its arms ever wider around Mopac, Capital of Texas Highway and I-35, seeking to bring all Austinites together for some of the most eventful nights in history. This was one of them.


Cover photo: A model from Arc of Capital inspires the crowd to make some noise at Celebrate Texas during Austin Fashion Week 2019. Courtesy Fashion X
Alexis Michele Higgins, a Texas State University Student from Houston, has a professional background in music and entertainment. As graduation approaches, she looks forward to the launch of her own company.