A Natural Hair and fashion lifestyle blog based in Sonoma County, in the heart of Wine Country. Amber serves up inspiration for winery tourism, vegetarian recipes, style, and skincare.

San Francisco Chic Fashion Week Review

Runway with VIP seating

Last Saturday night I attended the Chic Week Fashion Show at the Design Center in San Francisco (not to be confused with San Francisco Fashion Week). There was an incredible line up 15 designers (the online site had said there would be 12). While the runway was impressive, I must say that I was not without my qualms. To be fair, I broke it down into the pro's and con's from my point of view:

  • 40 ft runway, well lit, and wide enough to hold 3 models walking side by side. Very nice!
  • They had a beautiful array of models - a great racial mixture, which reflected San Francisco very well.
  • Excellent DJ for the show, good quality of music
  • Good turn out! 
  • There were some beautiful designs 
  • Great menswear
  • There two options for tickets: VIP ($75 at a pop) and "General" ($40). The VIP's got red carpet entrance, floor seating, goody bags, food,  and drinks. General tickets got seating more than 100 ft above the runway - and if they didn't want to peer through bars the entire show, they had to stand. When I first arrived I was asked "Where's your VIP bracelet?" When I responded that I didn't have one I was told "Then you go that way." So, I would like to say I still paid more than half of a VIP ticket. And, next time, please treat everyone with the same respect.
  • I had to ask 4 different people for a list of designers and for a purchase sheet. The first 3 had no idea what either one was, and the 4th told me that there were no such items for the event. She then demanded to know who I worked for. Which brings me to...
  • "What's a blogger?"
  • Believe it or not, but this show to too long. With 15 designers and ALL collections having more than 17 looks, this show went over 2.5 hours. The fashion show had an intermission. I can't believe that this is in the "cons" list. But it's true. 
  • With no list of the 15 featured designers, you had to watch the screen and jot down the name if you liked something. And then "Find the designer after the show and talk to them if you want to buy something." How am I supposed to remember a face after a 2.5 hour show?!
  • I applied for a press pass and never heard back. I watched the press seating, and half didn't have or use cameras.
  • They held a contest on their facebook page, promising to follow up and award two free tickets. They never followed up.

Overall, it was a fun experience getting to see all of the designs - although I did get tired of standing. A good portion of the designs were fun (though the kid fashion show was a bit random). Would I attend again? No.I don't appreciate paying $40 and still being stuck up in nosebleed seating.


  1. You did get great pics though!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, have a great weekend!


  2. Sorry to hear that the organisation was a bit shite!! At least you are being honest and hopefully they'll step up their game next time if they read this.


  3. i think sfsu had their show here? the venue looks way familiar. high five to you for getting some good photos - i couldn't for the life of me get a single decent one.

    i saw that you commented on denni's (chic muse) latest post! i did a diy fringe denim jacket that you might like to check out: http://www.fvncy.com/2010/08/fringe.html


  4. AHHHHH pointe shoes!! love it!

    check out my giveaway!

  5. Gah! Standing sounds absolutely dreadful; though you managed to get some amazing photographs. So glad you had a good time, my love!! :)

  6. These photos are gorgeous. You did a great job! That red dress with that never-ending train is incredible.

    I'm sorry you had to deal with a lot of bullcrap though. How freaking annoying and unprofessional. Sigh. I feel you on the press pass though. Here (KC) they don't consider bloggers as press so they don't give access to us. Shameful.

    Hopefully they will realize their errors and make it a better experience next year!

  7. Love the images, thank you for sharing :))

    Wishing you a lovely weekend


  8. great post!
    thank you for your sweet comment! don't hesitate to follow me on bloglovin or facebook! :D have a nice weekend!
    xoxo from rome

  9. NIce fashion show.. Great photos

  10. Wow, I am all for Fashion Week *heart* but this seems awful. Fashion Weeks should really be more organised than that.

  11. Hey there. Reading your post makes me shake my head sadly. I was in the front row for this show on a press pass. I am so, so sorry you had to deal with all of that crap. After paying for a ticket you should have been treated like a patron (which you are) instead of with a "go over there, plebe" kind of attitude.

    On one hand, putting on this kind of production is extraordinarily difficult, underfunded affair in this city, which isn't known to support commercial fashion...so, yes the disorganization comes from people who, frankly, don't know what they're doing. It was their first time.

    On the other hand, they can use some common sense. If someone has a bad experience, as you did, at ANY event in the arts, they won't return and returning patrons are what fashion depends on.

    In short, that was a lot of bullshit for very little payoff.

    There are so few venues for local designers to show off their collections, so I feel a bit bad for them, too, as with better planning and production, they could most likely make more sales. Which is why one shows in the first place.

    San Francisco doesn't seem to understand where to fit itself into the arts & entertainment world when it comes to fashion. It's not a purely press and major buyer event (or no tickets would be sold and the shows would function the same way they do in major fashion markets like New York, London, Milan, etc.)

    But, if this is entertainment, then someone paying $40 for a ticket (more than a great many arts choices for an evening in the City) should be treated as if they're a welcome guest.

    If it makes you feel any better, the print-press wasn't treated extraordinarily well either. And good lord, you'd think they'd know what a blog was. Freaking tween-Tavi writes for Vogue (or Bazaar, or wherever that girl writes). The industry WORLDWIDE is somewhat dependent on bloggers. Major fashion houses are beginning to understand that so there is no reason SF wouldn't understand the power of the supposedly-underground media.


    The come-from-behind surprise of "fashion week" in San Francisco this year was really the Zivity striptease fashion show, which was not only a reasonable length, but also raised $6,000 for charity.

    The first three fashion weeks a few years back were also well done, by the now defunct Mystery Girl Productions, headed by Erica Gessin.

    I'm hoping that either fashion week goes away and we continue with LA Market type events like Capsule (coming soon to Hayes Valley)...OR the crew putting on these events under the New York model does a little research and understands exactly how something like this should operate.

    I really don't go for things that pretend to be something they're not.

    I hate to remain anonymous with this post, but the fashion clique in SF is very, very small and a bit snide.

  12. Yes, the SF Fashion clique IS small and IS snide...So I can understand wanting to stay anon.
    I know first hand how difficult and messy it can be to put on a show like this (let alone an entire week), perhaps that's why I had such high expectations for it. SFFW: The Re-Invention had a bit of revival with the Chic Fashion Week going on during this time too- I just wish that all the like-minded fashion teams in SF could join forces, instead of trying to work independently of each other.

    As someone who considers herself a local, SF SHOULDN'T have a problem becoming on par with LA or NY. It's a port city, has a great culture of it's own and has so many different influences. But...for so many designers it seems to be more of a place to get started, and then move away from.
    A lot of fashion dreams seem to die here, or move away.


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