Fashion Week to strut back into Scottsdale | Arts And Culture

After three years of heartbreak and managing through a worldwide pandemic, Scottsdale Fashion Week is set to strut its way around Scottsdale with events scattered across the city. 

This is good news for hotels, shopping centers and Sheree Hartwell, who is the owner and director of FORD/Robert Black Modeling Agency, which co-produces the event alongside Steve LeVine Entertainment & Public Relations: she remembers the headaches of shutting down her event with no sign of when it would return. 

“We were set in 2020 to produce Scottsdale Fashion Week and a week before we were set to take the stages again, everything got shut down,” Hartwell said.

Although the better part of the last three years has been spent working with venues and adhering to health and safety protocols while traveling, Hartwell originally aimed to bring Fashion Week back to Scottsdale during the busiest time of year in March but that time of year brought another wave of uncertainty. 

“We were originally scheduled in March but because of what was happening with the pandemic and what was happening with Spring Training, we ran into scheduling problems when finding the right timing,” she said. 

The timing could not have been more perfect as restrictions have begun to ease across the country and it seems like the public is eager to cram in as many in-person events as possible before the blistering summer rolls around. 

“We feel as though the timing now with most restrictions lifted across the country that we’re in a safe place finally,” she said. “May almost became the last-ditch effort before everyone goes into hiding and we did not want to lose our opportunity to make a splash this year.” 

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Hartwell plans to do so literally by dripping events across the city and making the biggest waves at the newly opened Senna House Scottdale, Hilton Curio Collection hotel among other venues. 

She also plans to wow audiences by treating them to an evening to remember centered around a remarkable fashion show. 

“At a traditional fashion week, guests simply go to an hour-long show,” Hartwell said. “Whereas what we wanted to create and what we have created over the years has been evenings and opportunities for amazing entertainment, food, drinks and of course a fashion show. It’s more of a night out than sitting down for a show and then leaving.”

Scottsdale Fashion Week accomplishes this by kicking the evening off in a way that is unlike any other fashion week.

“For us, most of the evenings begin with cocktails and crafted food that is on par with the evening and live entertainment,” Hartwell said. “We want to portray things that are over the top so that by the time they get to their seats, they’re having a good time and are excited to see a fashion show.” 

The show also jockeys attendees across the city at different venues for shows each day. 

“As opposed to many of the fashion weeks that are housed at one venue, ours transfers every night to a different venue,” Hartwell said. “We try to match up the designers and the brands that we’re showing.” 

She plans to hook audiences right away when Scottsdale Fashion Week kicks off on the night of Thursday, May 12, at Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale, where the showroom will transform into a runway displaying the designs of Saks Fifth Avenue. 

“Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale has been an incredible partner of ours since its inception and they will host us on opening night inside their incredible showroom to create a sophisticated evening where Saks Fifth Avenue will be showing its clothes,” Hartwell said. 

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The showroom will also provide a perfect backdrop for the couture runway show. 

“Mercedes-Benz was a great tie-in since they are on the same level when it comes to the aesthetic, clientele and the demographic,” Hartwell said. 

The next night, Scottsdale Fashion week will make a splash by bringing its “Splash Into Swim” show to Scottsdale’s freshest waters at Senna House hotel.

“We felt like it was a great partner for us to be able to showcase amazing swimwear while kicking off the summer,” Hartwell said.

“The purpose for us and the vibe that we want to execute is that we’re attracting an affluent lifestyle and knowing that Senna House and Cala is the new hot hotel and restaurant in town, we thought this would such a great opportunity to showcase that to a lot of people.”

After drying off, guests will flock the next night over to The Vault – a 16,000 square foot vehicle storage facility equipped with a collection of the hottest rods in the city – to witness the collections of Greta Constantine, one of the more eclectic fashion designers displayed throughout the week. 

“Her designs are fantastic and over the top and it’s a couture runway show with clothes that most people wouldn’t wear every day,” Hartwell said. “These are the things that people think of when they think of Fashion Week.” 

Hartwell thinks that the bright neon signs and an array of sports and luxury vehicles will serve as the ideal setting to show off Constantine’s clothes. 

“I think that her line will be really well received there because it is really bold and out of the box,” she said. “I’m looking forward to transforming that place into something that people haven’t seen before.” 

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The week will then conclude with Wardrobe Apparel doing its show at Scottsdale Fashion Square mall, capping the weekend off with the earliest show of the week. 

The week is expected to draw over 1,200 people to Scottsdale and attract northwards of 300 attendees at each event.

“With our demographic of people who attend Scottsdale Fashion Week, there’s almost a night for everybody,” Hartwell said. “Being able to do this gives each night its own identity and the opportunity to build it out into being a different experience each night.”


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