Strange things are afoot over at Portland Fashion Week HQ. I've been hearing mutterings for a while now about a potential name change and re-brand of the days-long series of sustainably focused fashion shows and hints of other changes. But as of Friday executive producer Tito Chowdhury was staying mum, batting away my email queries with, "This year's event will indeed be something very special. We will share more over the coming weeks." I ran into him last night and he gave me the same line.
Uh-huh. Well, at least this much is known. Portland Fashion Week, whose web site still lies fallow after last year's events, has set up new camp on Facebook as "FASHIONxt." Which is... a kind of terrible name. It reminds me of something the characters in Office Space would have smashed. The new statement of purpose seems to de-emphasize the fashion aspect and be pushing toward a more general lifestyle approach:
Portland is pushing the envelope of what a fashion week has been, to what it can be by presenting runway shows by extraordinary designers and exhibits of the latest in fashion-forward consumer technology, products, services and apps — a sensibility that Portland is known for and consumer trends worldwide are heading.
Also, although none of my trusty sources would name names, apparently there is at least one major name making the trek out to show their new collection. Um... Stella McCartney? No? At any rate, I'm glad to see PFW shaking things up and reinventing itself. It's an event that's always struggled to find its best role in the community, and it may not have had any hope of doing so if they weren't willing to try something new.