TFII hosts successful 3rd quarter fundraiser, showcasing couture and announcing some big news!

TFII hosts successful 3rd quarter fundraiser, showcasing couture and announcing some big news!

Just hours before the big event, the rain came hammering down. The team at the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative zipped and zoomed into a big white tent, dodging the water and transferring irreplaceable assets of the grand evening. An almost damaged step and repeat carefully gets moved and placed on tabletops before diligently being wiped down. Lovingly plastic-wrapped couture get angelically lifted onto chairs to avoid the wet floors and all outdoor decor gets hauled into the sanctuary. The scene, to say the least, was controlled chaos.

20 minutes later, the skies cracked open.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya

The sun shined down on the San Pedro Creek Culture Park and the show, well, the show must go on. And go on it did! Come 6:30 pm, fashionably dressed patrons lined up excitedly at check-in, sounds from DJ Catwalk filled the air as emcee for the evening, Michael Quintanilla greeted the crowds with his signature energy. The red carpet ignited with activity and once again, San Antonio became alive with fashion and style-driven patrons ready for their red carpet moments.


Photos by: Chris Cantoya

Despite COVID taking away the opportunity for TFII to host its 1st and 2nd Quarter Fundraisers, this 3rd one maintained promise and did not disappoint as the first of many more elite fashion events to come to San Antonio in the near future. 7 pm to 8 pm strikingly dressed patrons enjoyed pink champagne, wine and beer by Pabst Blue Ribbon. Pabst, an interesting choice by far for such an elegant event, but one chosen for both creative reasons as well as mission-driven standards. For many years, Pabst Blue Ribbon has been the beer of choice by creatives due to their constant push for support in arts throughout the nation. Recently, Pabst Blue Ribbon moved its Los Angeles Headquarters to San Antonio, Texas and Fashion Arts has become an area that they desire to support with TFII and TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ becoming a grateful recipient of their 2021-2022 support. Pair this with NICÓ’s desire to juxtapose a blue-collar beer with his couture for the show and we have a perfect contender for the official beer of this event. But more on NICÓ in a moment.


Photo by: Jeanelly Concepcion

From 8 pm to 9 pm, the evening continued with the first Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program Ceremony. A night missed last year due to the pandemic and truly indicative of the many educational programs TFII will be launching in the upcoming years. TFII‘s mission? To provide career development and entrepreneur support in the fashion arts, with the Silver Jacket Entrepreneur Program marking the first of its kind for the state of Texas, hyper-focusing on helping fashion artists learn business basics that elevate them from fashion hobbyists to true fashion business owners. In a heartwarming display of positive impact, eight Silver Jackets were awarded their Launch Certificates and three spoke to the audience about their experience.


Photos by: Chris Cantoya

“Not only did this program offer me the opportunity to be prepared for the Miami Swim Week, but I also got the opportunity to meet the creator of Cancun Fashion Week, another Latina. I’ll be a featured designer for this and I’ll also be helping the team scout designers, and models and attend casting calls. In January, I am also now on my way to introduce my emerging brand to Grammy nominees and presenters during their official style lounge. I’ll be in front of media and press like Huffington Post, Yahoo News, US Weekly, and many others… so I hope to make more connections there.” Said Rosalinda De La Cruz, Silver Jacket Entrepreneur 2021-2022, The De La Cruz Collection, Swimwear.


Rosalinda De La Cruz receives her certificate. Her company The De La Cruz Collection is a swimwear line.
Photos by: Chris Cantoya

In a final segment to the ceremony, local fashion brand Limatus Bespoke, the company contracted to create the silver blazers for the program, took to the stage to help TFII make a surprise special announcement. In a true display of community support, Limatus Bespoke announced that Millie Monreal, a 2020-2021 Silver Jacket Entrepreneur and creator and founder of ELSEWEAR Cosmetics, will be the first in the program to meet the criteria to receive her silver jacket on stage at the 2021 TEXAS FASHION AWARDS™. Furthermore, Limatus Bespoke will be fully sponsoring the fitting, tailoring, and creation of the elegant silver blazer for Millie and be present on stage to drape her for her big moment. This will mark Millie as the first to be deemed a “Ones To Watch” Texas fashion business for the upcoming year.


Millie Monreal accepts her Launch Certificate and speaks about her experience as a Silver Jacket
Photos by: Chris Cantoya


Before Silver Jackets can receive their silver blazers, they wear denim jackets
and are awarded patches as they master their business skills. These denim jackets
are switched out at the TEXAS FASHION AWARDS™ in place of their silver blazers
once they meet success criteria. Millie will be the first to receive this accolade Oct. 8th.


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After the Certificate Ceremony, the much-anticipated couture fashion show took the stage. RANCHERO DE NICÓ was the creative vision of 23-year-old fashion designer Nick Perez and was sponsored and facilitated by the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative, with executive production lead by TFII Arts & Culture Department Director, Saige Thomas. A Corpus Christi native, this rapidly rising star first began fashion designing as a teenager and never stopped. “I come from nothing.” Perez said, as he gave his final thank you speech at the end of the show, holding back the tears, and openly speaking on the hard journey that he has recently had to endure.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya

The first part of the show began with cocktail and ready-to-wear pieces with a wide range of model sizes.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya

The show was breathtaking, as the San Pedro Creek grounds filled with romanticism and darkness, perfectly representing the place in time that Perez’s soul is currently maneuvering. The show opened with Type O Negative, Block No.1, a song known for its vampiric sounds and gothic melodies. Ghost-like models glided down the side ramp and onto a runway streaked with rainwater from the downpour before. “I was raised on horror films and gritty environments. I suppose there will always be some degree of me wanting to turn things gritty in my work.” Perez said.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya


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The soundtrack quickly continued with a mixture of 60 psychedelic tunes, hallow sounds, as well as stereophonic hits from the ’90s setting the signature blend of elegant couture with a touch of dark pain NICÓ has come to be known for. The collection, entitled Raute, showcased a practiced use of chiffons, wool, velvet, and of course, brand favorite, tulle. The two-part show also featured feminine embellishment with hand-sewn Swarovski crystals and appliqués used in reconstructive ways to create strategic placement on the designs and body of the wearer.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya

When asked about the inspiration for textile selection, Perez confesses to being drawn to the orphaned remnants of the dead-fabric bins at a local fabric shop. “I swear, I would buy fabric before I would buy food for myself. I just feel like that feeds me more, you know? But yes, my mood was drawn to items that people had long forgotten about and I found it a challenge to not only use these fabrics but also show what can be done with things that people would rather throw away.” This, yet another symbolically gesture to his brand’s tendency to juxtapose beauty with grit.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya


Photo by: Chris Cantoya

In an unexpected intermission, singer Vanessa Del Fiero performed with her harp player, an elegant nod to both Perez’s Latino heritage as well as the haunting theme of the upcoming finale pieces. The final song La Llorona opened up the second half of the show and introduced the heart-wrenching drama that slowly walked down the runway. A breathless audience gazed on afterward as gown after gown slowly leveled all emotion. Tulle, tulle, and more tulle, one voluminous gown after another, graced across the runway grounds, and in an inspired, and unexpected moment in art, models walked away unknowingly leaving traces of water streaks behind their back hems, caused by the poodles of water left behind from rains that poured earlier that evening.

It was as if the gowns themselves, were crying. These rare moments in fashion make for much told about fashion stories well into the future.


Photo By: Style Lush TV

Finale takeaway moment included the Shining-esque arrival of the “Texas Twins”, a well-known model duo known for their identical beauty and striking presence. They took to the runway wearing the two final gowns marking the end of the show with a soul-stirring segment. A swan-esque stunner and a mauve head-turner, both in multilayers and full gathering on a wide voluminous silhouette quieted the audience. Matching full-length veils echoed sentiments of lost brides as the final model carried a silver horned goat’s head in front of her body. A memorable ending to a memorable show.

“I love the calm before the storm. Just when people think they’ve seen it all… there we are with another bang.” Perez said. “I love for people to be waiting for more. I like people thinking that they have seen everything but then, bang, here comes more. Perhaps it’s just my flirtation with the world. If I’m not pissing someone off or thrilling them in some way, what the hell am I doing as an artist?”


Photos by: Chris Cantoya

Stay tuned for more fashion events from TFII in preparation for TEXAS FASHION WEEK™, October 1st-8th. 100% of the proceeds for the upcoming events will go towards creating fair-pay for the professionals who make TEXAS FASHION WEEK™ happen.


Photo by: Chris Cantoya


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ABOUT US
STYLE LUSH TV SERVES AS THE GLOBAL AWARENESS DEPARTMENT OF THE TEXAS FASHION INDUSTRY INITIATIVE, A 501C3 CHARITY ADVOCATING FOR THE TEXAS FASHION INDUSTRY. AS THE GLOBAL AWARENESS DEPARTMENT, IT IS AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT THAT SERVES ASPIRING FASHION MEDIA TALENT THROUGH FREE EDUCATION, CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS, AND OTHER TYPES OF TRAINING TO PRODUCE PUBLISHED WORKS THAT HELP ELEVATE CAREERS.

Burgundy Woods
[email protected]

Burgundy Woods has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music/Music Industries from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Design & Trend Forecasting degree from The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles. She began her career in Hollywood, California, where she worked for major record labels such as Virgin Records, Interscope Records, EMI Music and Capitol Records. Later after attaining her fashion degree, she was discovered by MySpace, Inc. and was immediately hired to be their Fashion Curator starring and producing her show THE B-SPOT Fashion & Trends on their Fashion & Shopping channel. During this time, online media was in its infancy. She and her colleagues pioneered and molded the online fashion media industry resulting in over 10 years of experience in fashion news and 20 years of experience in fashion video content. Many of the stylized ideas and tools that were launched through these platforms are still used to this day as industry standards for online fashion media. Later, with her extensive experience in developing online fashion media, she continued the show independently and has successfully rebranded THE B-SPOT into Style Lush TV online fashion network. Now, with over nine professional years in online fashion media and trend forecasting, she continues to pioneer, maneuver and develop her industry. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Style Lush TV. She is also the President of the Texas Fashion Industry Initiative. The state's official non-profit for the positive growth of the Texas fashion industry.