in recent years, Portland Fashion Week has been the only major organization dedicated to Portland fashion. Not so anymore, with the emergence of the Portland Fashion Synergy group, whose aims are more widespread than an annual fashion show of the caliber found in fashion capitals. They're interested in developing local means of production (founder May Tee also started the Filo factory, which has since joined forces with Kenneth Doswell of Betty Jean Couture's N Portland operations, an ambitious co-joining that bodes well and exciting for high quality production work in town), and are facilitating an exchange with designers and buyers in China, for instance. Their monthly meeting took place on Thursday, where they finally hammered out the main players:
President: May Tee
Vice President: Thomas Desouza
Secretary: Heather Shroyer
Treasurer: Kenneth Doswell
Director of Event Planning: Jillian Rabe
Director of Scholarships: Christa Taylor
Director of Memberships: Almarina Bianchi
Nominations have been agreed upon by the founded members
Advisory Board Members
Representative of Designers - Sarah Wallace
Representative of International Affairs - Kerry Yu
The following Advisory Board Positions are to be established this week. As the commitments are made for the following positions we will notify the rest of the organization.
Designer Rep: Sarah Wallace
Education Entity - e.g. AI:
While it would seem like the obvious, and mutually beneficial thing for PFW and PFS to work together, after a few initial attempts, PFS has officially decided that—at least for now—it is going to keep itself out of PFW's business. From the meeting minutes:
4)Portland Fashion Week
-We will not be participating in Portland Fashion Week for Fall of 2009 at this time.
-Perhaps with time Portland Fashion Synergy will participate with Portland Fashion Week in the future.
-An upcoming meeting is to be scheduled with the Board of Directors and Portland Fashion Week.
I believe that is what they call a "dis." Hit the jump for bios of the board members.
May Tee President
May Tee is the owner and founder of MAYTEE, a women designer ready-to-wear brand based in Portland, Oregon. May's background working in the high tech world with large corporations such as Intel enable her to run large scale projects with interdisciplinary team. She has great interpersonal and leadership skills.
She was formally trained as a fashion designer and worked with fashion house such as Prada, USA. She knows what it takes to run a successful fashion business and understands the finesse required to navigating the fashion industry. In 2008, she founded Portland Fashion Synergy, an organization committed to building Portland as a fashion capital and a design hot spot. She has great relationships with industry professionals and is deeply committed to promoting the fashion industry and education programs in Portland.
Thomas DeSouza Vice President
Currently Thomas serves as CEO / Founder of FashionPeddler.com, an online fashion trade show based in Portland, OR. Thomas' industry experience with FashionPeddler would translate to great success with Portland Fashion Synergy as its goals and functions are very linear in nature. Thomas looks to encourage growth, development and international advancement of both fashion design and manufacturing as well as bring international recognition to Portland as a major and influential design hub on the world stage. Thomas brings with him a healthy network of prominent industry professionals as well as the organizational drive to take Portland Fashion Synergy to its potential. Thomas has been very involved with Portland Fashion Synergy since early 2008 and is dedicated to its growth and success.
Heather Shroyer Secretary
Heather's passion for apparel design led her to pursue her Bachelors degree of Apparel Design at The Art Institute of Portland. She aspires to develop innovative woman's wear through continued education and exploration. Her desire is to establish Portland Fashion Synergy through dedication and valued members involvement. I intend to provide superior organization and communication skills to create unity within the organization. Through prior work experience as an administrative personal assistant her professional attributes have developed to achieve excellence.
Kenneth Doswell Tresurer
Kenneth Doswell was born in Pasadena California and stared working in the apparel industry at the age of eight. He began by sweeping and cleaning the cutting rooms for several women and men clothing stores. This was his inspiration for owning his own clothing line and eventually his own production sewing house.
Kenneth holds a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and in 1987 he, his brother along with their father open Betty Jean Apparel in Pasadena, California. The company remained opened until in 1994, at which time Kenneth decided to return to school to receive his MBA.
Upon come completing his MBA Kenneth was offered a position at Intel Corporation and spent the next 14 years as a Sourcing Manager.
In 1999 Kenneth and his wife bought the Property at 3537 N. Williams Ave in Portland Oregon and spent the next 3 years renovating the entire building. What he estimated to take 6 months actually took 3 years. Upon completion of the building Kenneth launched Betty Jean Couture and Doswell Mfg and Design House
Kenneth continued to work for Intel and serve his passion of apparel design and manufacturing however in May of 2009, Kenneth decided to break from corporate America and pursue his passion full time.
He credits Barak Obama run for the presidency as his reasoning for departing from corporate. No one believed Barak could actually win except Barak. That is Kenneth belief as well as it relates to running his company.
Currently, DMDH has a fully dedicated staff that does pattern making, sample making and is the manufacture for several Portland based designers as well as Betty Jean Couture.
Christa Taylor Director of Scholarships
Christa Taylor is a designer and entrepreneur with a specialty for creating innovative solutions in today’s market. Equipped with a passion for excellence, Christa is known for building businesses from the ground up, while shaping a dynamic brand identity and message. Christa also serves as the current Vice president on the board of directors for TrueHeart Productions NW, a Portland Based theatre production company.
Jillian Rabe Director of Event Planning
Graduated with honors from Oregon State with a degree in Speech Communication and Psychology. She started free-lance event planning with Nike as her primary client. She began working with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in addition to Nike, which has provided her with 4 years now of non profit event planning, as she has been asked back every year to help on the Survivor Luncheon, where she manages the floor of 1000+ people. She began working in marketing full time, where she was account and production side at Creative Media Development (CMD). This has given her 2 years additional experience of client management, group management, and pushing a project through from concept stage to post/wrap.
She is currently working free-lance as an independent contractor in Portland’s fashion community, where she: plans events, produces film, print, and runway, scouts and books — talent, location, catering, crew.
This includes a benefit event held at the Benson raising over $15,000; and a recent trip to China where she single handedly executed an entire runway by herself with one translator and complete language barrier.
-My personal goals with Portland Fashion Synergy are to be part of a team where communication, professionalism, and forward thinking are mandatory components of the work created and executed. As the board’s event planner, I will bring my expertise, leadership, and ability to adapt to an environment that will constantly be utilizing the extensive network of people I have built relationships with in the event and fashion industries in Portland. My overall goal with PFS is simply to help it, and the people involved, grow and succeed.
Almarina Bianchi Director of Memberships
I expressed my desire to be the VP or Membership for the Portland Fashion Synergy as I believe I can successfully implement the membership strategy efficiently bringing the membership revenue quickly to the organization. The PFS will benefit form my experience and a successful track record in apparel development and marketing; private label retail development, sourcing, and merchandising; and managing teams responsible for delivering results, systems and solutions to clients in the apparel and footwear industries.