“I’m a wild child,” said Anna Francesca, who presented her spring collection on the runway at the Stewart Hotel during New York Fashion Week.The Panamanian designer, who has her own atelier in Panama City, taught herself how to sew and made a purse out of a towel when she was a little girl. These days she runs a custom business out of her atelier, where she designs artistic pieces featuring feathers, fringe and sequins.“I love flowers, feathers and fringe. I love beading, I love pearls. I love everything with a texture I can play with,” said the designer, whose label is Anna Francesca- Fashion Revolution. "I like doing clothes with movement."Anna Francesca said she’d like to start dressing American women and is looking to open specialty store accounts in the U.S.“Specialty stores have shown interest. I’m looking to have a wholesale business in the U.S.,” said Francesca, whose fashion show audience was comprised of buyers, bloggers, editors and private clients.Francesca admits she has a rebellious side.“I don’t like rules. I want to create a world of my own,” said Francesca, who goes by her first and middle names. “I want to bring art back into fashion. I feel art left the fashion world a long time ago. I feel technology kills the art." Francesca’s designs are like mixed media, and she works with a lot of different textures. Her collection retails from $3,000 to $10,000. Her motto is "Me sabe a CAKE" which means, "I don't give a damn."Francesca had her first New York fashion show seven years ago, and has since shown on and off both in New York and several different fashion weeks over the past few years. She took a break a few years ago to focus on Panama and this season returned to showing in New York.In Panama, she creates custom dresses for women to wear to weddings and bar mitzvahs, catering to a Jewish clientele there. Her customers come to her atelier, and she’ll conduct one-on-one fittings with them. “I’m super hands on,” she said.Anna Francesca didn’t attend fashion school and said she’s self-taught. “I started painting and did sculpture at five years old,” she said. She liked to experiment with her hands, and painted on canvas to create her own style.The designer has six people that she works with in Panama and everything is done by hand. She also does men’s wear.Francesca said most people in Panama dress very conservatively, so what she offers her clients is something different. “If you want to stand out, you’re definitely my customer,” she said. She plans to show in Panama on Oct. 12.For spring, she created a story and then designed the clothes to fit into the story. Her story dealt with a young girl who falls down a hole and lands in a forest, and then passes through a desert, a magical fairyland filled with flowers and butterflies, and then a wintry, snowy ice land. She said future collections will focus on one of these themes, rather than all of them.Her collection, which she finances herself, features antique lace in some of the dresses, and a lot of tulle. “I love tulle,” said Francesca. She gets her fabrics from New York, India and thrift stores, among other places.
For its next men’s wear collection, @roberto_cavalli will show as a special guest at #PittiUomo, running from June 12-15. The brand, which has Florence in its roots, will relaunch its men’s wear collection, which will be presented separately from women’s wear for the first time since Paul Surridge was appointed creative director in May. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech at the @sxsw conference for @createcultivate, the online platform and conference series for women. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.