Fashion week officially begins Thursday, and while some of the brightest stars in the industry unveil their latest collections, many struggling designers are working hard trying to make it to Lincoln Center some day. NY1's Cheryl Wills filed the following report.
When designers show off their collections at New York's Fashion Week it's a big deal. With fashion press and buyers from all over the world on hand, high-profile designers treasure their coveted spots under the tents.
But for many emerging designers like Adrian Alicea, the long road to fashion's walk of fame starts in a Harlem apartment with clothes literally hanging off the walls.
"There isn't a lot of attention given to new designers because of the mainstream designers but there is a lot of talent out there that needs to be recognized," says Alicea.
Alicea is daring and thinks outside the box. His 2012 couture collection is aptly called "exotic birds". The former model who started designing in 2000 has devoted fans.
"Sophistication, glamour...just everything. I'm always astonished what I see when I come into the showroom," said one fan.
Thomas Woodard also has legions of fans. He worked behind the scenes learning the ropes for 15 years at major fashion houses like DKNY, Anne Klein, Ralph Lauren and Nautica. Now he's striking out on his own with his ready to wear label, Thomas LaVone. He's even styling cover models like Alek Wek.
"The vision is always about redefining yourself, always making yourself better. I took that personal and also took that for the line," says Woodard.
NY1 recently met the rising star at MIST studios in Harlem where he gave us an exclusive look at his latest styles.
"He's a technical designer and he makes glamorous clothes. He can make anything," says Fashion Avenue News Publisher Sofia Davis.
Both designers are showing their latest collections at different venues around the city, but fashion insiders believe that a tent at Lincoln Center is in their future.
For more on the designers, visit www.thomaslavone.com and www.adrianalicea.com.