Designers who participate in SWNE will receive a top-notch, professional experience. We at SWNE understand that the designers who show at our fashion week, are our clients and they are treated as so. Participating designers will receive: photography from their show; styling team; dressing team; sound; video and marketing and public relations from the SWNE organization.
Jessica, a Providence-based designer, creates clean, forward and wearable apparel. She was born in Connecticut and moved to a small town outside of Nuremberg, Germany as a teenager. Jessica received degrees in both Design and Pattern Making from the esteemed ESMOD University in Munich. While in school, she completed an internship with Marc O’Polo, a Swedish clothing brand. Jessica returned to the United States in 2001 and launched her own line. Rather than focusing on trends, Jessica’s designs channel a sharp, effortless sophistication, reminiscent of her German education and the New England upper crust.
Amy Page DeBlasio
Amy Page DeBlasio, a Providence native, views the world through an artistic lens. Since she was a child, Amy’s life has centered around art in one form or another. She has been an artist since her earliest memories. After years of exploration, she discovered her most creative expression in the world of fashion. Amy graduated the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s of science degree in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design (she was a top award winner in the 2016 spring fashion show), and a bachelor of arts degree in Italian Language and Literature. Before studying design, Amy taught herself how to make jewelry, often pairing conventional materials with unexpected components, and while in high school even designed and sewed her own prom dress to fit her fashion standards and express her own unique style because she did not want an “off the rack” look. She now designs apparel and jewelry and uses her unique style to reach and impact others in a meaningful way. Her bold and exotic designs, created by pairing different patterns, fabrics, colors, and textures, intend to provoke thought and excitement, pushing conventional norms, engaging the wearer to dare and imagine. An exuberant personality and edgy artistic perspective inspire her designs and express a distinct, flirty urban attitude. Amy’s pieces radiate movement and energy. Each design invents its own message.
Amy resides in Providence, Rhode Island, a city and state she loves for their resolute support of art and culture.
DEVINTO is an eco and ethically conscious label established in Montreal, Canada and relocated to Cape Cod, MA. It is designed and produced locally on Cape Cod using natural and eco friendly fabrics without compromising style. DEVINTO designs are equally focused on comfort, glamour, and fair principles during the creation and production process. Aiste Zitnikaite is the label’s creator and designer. She was born in Lithuania when it was still part of the USSR where, because of necessity, most women made their own clothes and took care of them to make them last. That environment led Aiste to have a more personal approach to clothing even once she immigrated to Canada at the age of twelve. After her studies in Fashion Design at LaSalle College in Montreal, she went on to work for several Montreal based designers working as a seamstress, sample maker and pattern maker. While working in the industry, it was apparent that most apparel companies in Montreal were outsourcing production overseas and losing the connection to the hands on approach to production that was really important to Aiste. She decided to strike out on her own and to do it differently. Aiste’s mission was to build back the type of personal connection we should have to our clothes that she had growing up in Lithuania – a part of a healthier, more sustainable and ethical alternative to fast, “disposable” fashion. Aiste’s goal for DEVINTO is designing another option to the more common eco fashion aesthetic – a more modern yet classic and timeless look that can be both cutting edge and casual.
Jeffrey Dickerson in a Providence born designer. Creating has always been natural to Jeffrey, from his imagination to everything he has brought to life. Unlike normal designers, he didn’t start this career due to his love for fashion but for his love for construction. Inventing and being able to understand how something is put to together or figuring it out step by step is what Jeffrey found interesting and exciting. He studied business management for the first year of college before deciding that it could not feed his creative side. He then considered The School of Fashion Design Boston and it had changed his life. Studying at the school from 2011-2015, he designed his first collection in 2014 as a part of “The Launch”; a program designed by the founder of Boston Fashion Week to allow select students to have a platform to design and showcase their first collection. After receiving his diploma from The School of Fashion Design, Jeffrey interned with different local Boston designers and studied under them to build his skill. He began designing for a boutique in downtown Providence, participating in his first fashion post-school fashion show with Styleweek and acquired a job with a startup customizable clothing company, Alice Walk, in the late spring of 2016. His design concept is to create garments to fit the self-empowered individual. Tackling different styles in each collection while also trying to push the provocative envelope and infuse each piece of work with artistic energy. He considers himself an adventurous designer that empowers the individual through fashion.
Susan Zemaitis was given a love of apparel design and fashion at an early age when she would sew with her grandmother. This began a major underlying passion that would forever form the way Susan thought about clothing and design.
Susan experienced professional success in areas of sales and marketing which informed her about the needs of her customer…the professional, sophisticated, fashion conscious, busy woman.
Zemaitis began with a T-shirt line called “En Vie”, in 2002, to help these women fill the need of that perfect staple piece in every woman’s wardrobe. More than a decade later, she coupled together her love of international travel and her love for fashion with Evolue Apparel.
“Evolue”, literally translated, is French for evolution. This became the perfect moniker for Susan’s line of sophisticated, chic, artsy separates and dresses with thoughtful details much like the details Susan found on her favorite designer clothing in her travels.
These pieces, when integrated into an existing wardrobe, will help to elevate and evolve a woman’s style. In turn, creating sleek, easy, comfortable and effortlessly polished looks for all women.
Melissa Hillas is the Founder and Creative Director of GYPSETGIRL. Bitten by wanderlust at a young age, Melissa has traveled the globe embracing each new destination and culture. An entrepreneur since the age of 25, Melissa did not foresee becoming a designer in her future.
However, with the rise of her blogazine, the clothing and accessories she collected during her travels and the different textures and colors she stumbled upon, GYPSETGIRL as a clothing collection evolved organically.
The entire creative process and those who provide her with a different outlook on life influence Melissa. Living day by day, Melissa enjoys the unknown of the present day and believes in making decisions as it unfolds. When Melissa is not designing or gypsetting the world to the most unique and desirable locations, she enjoys surfing, skiing and spending time with her friends.
CFDA member Janet Howard is a women’s and men’s contemporary designer best known for her signature tailoring style and design which lead her to the covers and pages of the most prestigious magazines in the world.
Janet started her career about 30 years ago as a buyer for the designer department at Nordstrom’s. Inspired by the early breakout designers of the 90’s, David Cameron, Patrick Kelly and early Marc Jacobs, Janet decided to break out on her own and launch her first women’s contemporary collection/brand, MISC. by Janet Howard. The brand was an instant success and sold at Fred Segal, Barney’s, Nordstrom… MISC. by Janet Howard brand propelled her career with 2 runways shows, tons of press, and a nomination and won “California Rising Star Award.”
In early 2010, some freelancing and consulting in designing, developing and producing collections for others, Janet decided to seek out a business and marketing partner to start an agency. By late 2010, Martini Factory, LLC. was hatched and is one of today’s strongest and sought after fashion design and manufacturing agencies, offering services, globally. MF specializes in product development for the better to designer market, offering full package services ranging from designing, creating, sourcing, and developing women’s and men’s apparel from sample collection through full-scale production. For the new, emerging and established designer and private label. Janet Howard’s expertise in direction, tailoring, and overall experience in the women’s contemporary market has made MF a huge success that it is today.
As a full figured woman, Yona Love understands how difficult it is to dress a woman of a certain size. As a business owner, she spent years having clothes custom-made to her own specifications, because she could not find the looks she wanted in her size. She finally decided to create her own line of plus size fashion, to meet the needs professional women just like herself: Professional women who want to be taken seriously. Yona Love believes that beauty is not about size, but about style and confidence. She wants women to feel liberated in her clothing. To enjoy what they are wearing so much it makes them smile to think about it. And to be able to feel comfortable and confident in any situation. Because that is truly beautiful. Yona’s fabulous plus size clothing is made in New York City.
Deanna Marie, a new and upcoming Northwest Chicago designer, creates designs that are simple, elegant, classic and comfortable but often lends an edge to any person. Deanna has an associates degree in Business Administration and held high level corporate positions as Vice President of Key Accounts/Business Operations for a wholesale manufacturer. She is highly competitive and self-motivated. As a hobby, she stays close to wellness and fitness. She has competed in several Triathlons, Figure Competition (placing first), achieving a Personal Training Certificate and Life Coach Certificate.
Her education and experience lead her to launching a career in fashion to bring her back to her roots. Her passion for fashion began at an early age where she began making clothes in her childhood home. Her fierce and vibrant personality is seen through her designs.
Alexandra Nam is a New York based designer who attended Parsons Design School for a Fashion Design BFA. Her thesis collection was selected to run the catwalk at Parsons Benefit Fashion Show as well as to be displayed on main show window at ‘Saks fifth Avenue New York.’ After graduating in 2012, she furthered her fashion education in a Master class from the Arts of Fashion Foundation in Paris where she cultivated her interest in mixing classics with architectural shapes, honing her craftsmanship in Le Sage embroidery. Her capsule collection was exhibited at the Hall des Marechaux at Les Arts Decoratifs, Palais du Louvre. Her S/S 2016 collection was selected to be presented at Fashion Scout London Exhibition September 2015.
Valentina is an Italian fashion designer, now living in the Boston area. Formerly a fashion photographer, she combines her experience in different fields of visual arts to design and create uniquely colorful and stylish handbags and clothes.
She had the opportunity to showcase her work on several runways along the East Coast (Providence, Boston, NYC, Atlantic City etc), and Europe (Paris Fashion Week 2015, London).
In 2016, she co-founded Nstilla, a Waltham (MA)-based brand of bags and accessories, all vegan-friendly, featuring original prints inspired by Italy (The ROMEntic Collection), and made in limited editions.
At Styleweek September 2017, Valentina will present a new collection of handbags and garments, after a 2-year hiatus as a clothing-designer. The collection will be a mash-up of the Italian spirit that characterizes her brand and a whimsical take on Victorian fashion and lifestyle.
Stetkiewicz is a womenswear line by Amy Stetkiewicz.
Educated at Parsons School of Design NYC in the early 1990s and inspired by all things modern, stetkiewicz is a reflection of the designer’s own personal style. Her aesthetic blends edgy minimalism grounded in technical perfection and unexpected fabrics, construction and styling. The Spring 2014 Collection debuts this August at StyleWeek Northeast. Expect clean lines, luxe fabrics and a chic downtown vibe.