Interview with NOVA Fashion Week Executive Director, Andrew Roby I'm thrilled present an interview with Andrew Roby, Executive Director of NOVA Fashion Week. Fashion Week will be held October 21-24 at Waterfront Park in Old Town Alexandria. Andrew's dedication, passion, and positive attitude are such an inspiration.
First, can you tell me what inspired you to start NOVA Fashion Week? Why does NOVA need a fashion week and why now?
Andrew Roby: It's funny how many times I get these two questions, but it's always great in order to express the excitement my team and I have for fashion and trying to build a standardized fashion week in this area that educates designers on the true business of a fashion show. Designers are the lead machines for their own show, from model selection to sound, decor, and most importantly, PR. NOVA isn't simply for Virginia-based designers. We have designers that have participated from around the world. Our inspiration for creating Fashion Week is to have the opportunity to give back to charity and the local community. People love fashion and most importantly they love helping others. The reason NOVA is relevant is because designers presenting in this area have never had a chance to present their lines exclusively. They have always followed or lead a stream of designers, which means a designer could simply be overlooked if you have four or five designers showcasing at one time.
How have you seen the fashion scene change over the past few years in this area?
Andrew Roby: The fashion scene in the DC area has really started to blossom. We have amazing designers that are youthful and very happy to showcase their collections. I have seen the change from the standard DC look - where it's all business and no color - to a place where you see plenty of tailored suits and the true essence of couture designs from home-based designers that are really making an impact.
Do you see a difference with what is going on with fashion / design in DC versus Northern Virginia?
Andrew Roby: Because DC, MD, and Virginia are so close together you notice that lines do cross multiple times. The difference with how a show is put on is really based on the production team and how much of a say a designer has. With NOVA we strive to have each designer in the driver's seat because it is their brand that is seen and their inspiration to that line that must be captured on the runway.
There is so much work that goes into planning a fashion show! What is the thing that has surprised you the most about getting everything together for an entire Fashion Week?
Andrew Roby: Nothing is ever easy. I have been an event planner for a few years and from planning a fundraiser to a wedding and now planning a fashion week it is all very challenging. What has surprised me the most in planning October's event is the amount of people that have to be involved. From the City of Alexandria, to permits and zoning codes, inspections...it has been a little overwhelming. But, when you want to set the standard in having this event in your own venue these things are expected.
How do you personally define style?
Andrew Roby: To me style will always be about how you feel and your attempt to express that through what you wear. It is a pair of Louboutins that can make an entire look, or a Ben Sherman bag that simply compliments a suit. It is truly about you owning the look.
How can people learn more about NOVA Fashion Week or get tickets?
Andrew Roby: The best way to learn about NOVA Fashion Week will not be found on our website or through talking to staff. It's about attending one of the shows and feeling the ambience that we create through months of planning. That's the ultimate feel that we want you to experience.
Is there anything else that I haven't asked that you would like to talk about?
Andrew Roby: I have talked about the designers, but the second most important thing that I would like people to know about Fashion Week is our heart to give. We have gone from one charity to now having three: Susan G Komen, Lupus Foundation, and Baby Haven. I have always been a person to give back to the community and I really want the community to help us in supporting these three charities. Fashion Week is more than an event, we are a company that lives up to support the area we live in.
Many, many thanks to Andrew for taking time to talk to True to Style!
If you would like to learn more about NOVA Fashion Week please go to their website follow them on Twitter or check them out on Facebook. For more information about tickets or location details click here.