I'm on the advisory board for Portland Fashion Week, and last night we had a meeting. While my contribution has been (and, I feel like, as someone who also covers the event, kind of has to be) mostly low-level, one thing I can do is make sure that people know about it, particularly local designers, who should be aware that applications are now being accepted for the October series of shows. There's always been some debate about these events in the community. One of the main things that I hear are local designers who feel threatened by having a fashion week in Portland, because they feel the lack of desire to conform to what other cities do is an important part of why they are in Portland rather than… one of those other cities. I'm curious about what people have to say now after last year's event, and how that is shaping expectations for the coming one. How do you feel about the "green" angle? Some call it a trend and a gimmick, but it's the only real toehold Portland has in the fashion world at large, and is something that has the power to drive national and international interest to a Portland event where our designers could have a chance to be seen by some of the higher ups. Beyond fashion, having a well supported event of this type could contribute to luring progressive companies to the city (jobs! cool jobs!). One of the things that comes up during these meetings is the contention that Portland sucks at marketing itself, and has the attitude that we're so awesome the world is just going to come to us. Thoughts?