Organizing a Fashion Week involves many different fashion professionals who are experts in their fields ranging from director to designer. With the series “Meet Fashion Week professionals”, FashionUnited looks behind the catwalk to introduce those who bring great fashion events to life all around the globe. We recently chatted with Alexandra Zofcin, AmZ House's Creative Director at Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO.
Alexandra Zofcin, you were showcasing your designs at Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO, can you tell us a little bit about the event?
Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO was a tremendous learning experience, culturally and personally and for my brand, too. It was amazing to see how the fashion world really provides an opportunity to unite with people across the globe.
My show was titled “Self_ An Amalgamation.” It is the first “chapter” in the brand’s exploration of the concept of “Self.” In this first installment, the entire collection is broken up into 6 smaller capsule collections which were situated to explore the different emotions one encounters day-to-day and even age-to-age. It was meant to explore the ways in which these emotions and descriptors define us as individuals and the way we can react to our environments. It shows that we have a way to shape our environment as we grow and evolve, just as much as the environment has the power to shape us.
You were there with the Global Fashion Collective. Can you tell us about that and how you became part of it and how were you selected to showcase your collection at Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO?
I learned about the Global Fashion Collective when I was participating in Vancouver Fashion Week this past March. It is a wonderful collective that brings designers together from all over the world and exposes them to new platforms. Really an unforgettable experience. I was selected to be a part of Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO by the Global Fashion Collective, and we showcased altogether. We were 6 designers in total, showing in two groups on October 18th.
Please tell us about your work at Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO?
The day began with fittings at 10 am on October 18th. It was really efficiently organized and thoroughly planned out. The team and staff members available to us, those who were hired and those who volunteered their time, were a key part in the day going as smoothly as it did. The dressers who help me through my fittings were such quick learners and really made a stressful process go extremely smoothly. A few hiccups resulting in model changes and last-minute garment modifications can always be expected, but I was able to meet everything with ease.
Next, the models went to hair and makeup and we all got ready for show time, prepping and steaming the garments. I think my favorite part of show day is always the moments just before rehearsal begins. It’s the part where you sit in the almost empty front-stage area and just imagine that in just a couple of hours, all the seats (hopefully) will be filled. When the lights dim and the music comes on for the first time, it’s just magic. Truly. Plus, I had my music made specially for my show by 90culture. It was really like hearing my clothing walk on the runway as he produced it and I couldn’t wait to share that with everyone.
Then, it was showtime. We got the models ready, and there was a reporter backstage who interviewed us just before the show began. It really felt like one of those movie moments. Everything was buzzing, but kind of quietly. It was definitely the most silent and respectful backstage crew and models that I’d ever encountered. It really allotted for the time to think and focus on the garments on each model before they walked onto the runway.
Of course, there’s always anxiety building up as the models walk out onto the runway, but before we all know it, the runway show was over. We met with a few members of the press after the show, and then that was it. All the months of preparation and everything was over, now it’s the public’s turn to respond.
Did you always want to be represented at a fashion event like the Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO?
Yes. I always knew that in my career I wanted to be shown on international platforms. It was interesting for me because I thought that maybe I would spend some years after Vancouver kind of building up to show somewhere like London, but at Vancouver Fashion Week so many staff members and other designers were speaking of Tokyo that I immediately knew that’s where I NEEDED to go next. So, with a little bit of finger crossing and a lot of hard work, we made it there.
What do you like most about your job?
My favorite part about my job is the look on people’s faces when they see my work or try on my garments for themselves. Seeing someone actually connect with a garment and the story behind it is an unexplainable feeling. I want to make other people happy through my work, and really spread the concept of connection because it is really important in a world where instant gratification has become so ruling.
What is your professional background? How did you become Creative Director at The House of AmZ?
I’ve known I wanted to open the House of AmZ since the 4th grade. My grandmother inspired me into becoming a fashion designer at a young age. We would always look at clothes and fabric and talk about clothes and outfits. She fueled my Vogue obsession by buying me a subscription every year for my birthday – but it was as much a gift for her as it was for me, because we would always flip through it together. I graduated from Lynn University in Fashion Merchandising after spending a few semesters at FUA in Florence, Italy. With the knowledge and confidence I gained from my mentors – or maybe it was just the culmination of my impatience – I launched AmZ in May 2016 before graduating in December of that year. In a way, this brand coming to life just felt like the right thing to do. It was the next step in the process.
What is your advice for those who want to pursue a career in fashion?
My advice for those pursuing a career in fashion would be to believe in yourself and to find your own niche. As long as you can do those two things, and tune out negative opinions from the outside, then you will thrive. Of course, it’s always good to be open to criticism in order to grow, but it’s important to learn the right way to interpret the opinions of others – with a grain of salt.
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Header photo and photos 2,3, and 4 in text: Casey O’Connell
Photo 1 in text: Alessandro Fanghella