by Mellissa Thomas
By this point, you’ve probably heard of Florida Fashion Weekend in some shape or form – either from a friend sharing the Facebook fan page, inviting you to the two-day extravaganza or one of the two events, sharing the casting call video, or some behind-the-scenes photos. With Florida Fashion Weekend is less than twelve hours away, you’re probably wondering what kind of people it takes to put on an event like this.
Meet the team audacious enough to sweep your Mother’s Day weekend with the promise of not just a fashion show, but a bona fide cultural experience…and ask you to bring Mom along for the ride.
Sibling dynamos Rob and Jessica Henlon (above) of Fierce Entertainment Management put an otherworldly elbow grease in establishing new connections and relationships for Florida Fashion Weekend, their efforts so focused they went under the radar for the first two months of 2014. Within a week after they surfaced again since November for the first meeting in March 2014, the Florida Fashion Weekend Facebook fan page likes and Twitter follows had already reached into the hundreds.
Rob and Jessica are heavily involved in the community, hungry for opportunities to offer ways to add value to people’s lives. What makes them so successful? Rob is a skilled conversationalist, and Jessica has an unerring determination — an irresistible combination. Their stories are detailed in this 2013 feature.
Fierce Entertainment Management’s Rosa Henlon works behind the scenes to diligently balance the books. She follows the ticket sales, vendor revenue, sponsorships, and all expenses.
Several of Orlando’s greats have chosen to embrace the team’s dream and are an integral part of it. Katerina Fedotova’s Russian Ballet Orlando, whose students will provide an enthralling performance before the fashion show, Aveda Institute’s expert makeup artists and hair stylists, and Dennis Liddy’s hosting venue Jai Gallery, which will surround all with influential art, will create the promised cultural experience. The event’s cultural reach goes even further thanks to our partnership with James Cornetet’s Urban Art Museum, which is working to beautiful the Mills 50 Disctrict. A portion of Florida Fashion Weekend’s revenue will go to UAM.
No fashion show — or any major event for that matter — can happen without food and drink. Celebrity chef Alred “Alfy” Mann‘s Elite Catering & Events, LLC, will cater the event, and Onli Beverages will augment the bar with its signature naturally flavored carbonated drinks.
Michael Ransom lives and breathes fashion, producing fashion shows and trunk shows for a living. He brings the creative flair and fashion industry expertise to the team, educating its members on the necessary nomenclature and protocols to keep the clueless from appearing that way. Florida Fashion Weekend’s Saturday fashion show, “Love & War: The Age of Enlightenment,” was Ransom’s idea. He wanted this to be a thematic show, something more artful.
Ransom’s story is detailed in this insightful interview.
Close friends Brianna Daly and Jenna Babin (above) are stringently meticulous, keeping all of the event’s details in order, down to the last model’s lipstick. Brianna, who brings HR and leadership experience, works well with people. She has partnered with Ransom in moderating the models and designer for Florida Fashion Weekend.
Jenna is the event linchpin, handling most of the logistical details: furniture, setup, scheduling, and backstage. She is also the Florida Fashion Weekend Instagram administrator and has amassed over 500 likes there.
These two are the central gear that keeps the models, designers, hair and makeup team, caterers, DJ, and the rest of the team apprised of the necessary information to keep things running smoothly, and Brianna is the compassionate but firm mediator when things go awry.
Fashion consultant, speaker, author, life and etiquette coach, media personality, and entrepreneur Dr. Denise Y. Mose (below) brings the exuberance only a fashionista can to her role as this weekend’s gracious hostess. Her red carpet coverage experience includes the coveted New York Fashion Week, the Grammys, the 2014 Oscars, and she’s only just returned from the 2014 Kentucky Derby. The Harvard graduate also owns Simply D and Beauty by D, her line of fragrance and skincare products, respectively, which is carried in boutiques nationwide.
Like the Henlons, Dr. Mose has a passion for people and is heavily involved in the community, volunteering for various nonprofit organizations and speaking at schools and universities across the country, and even across the pond – she annually speaks at Oxford University.
While she won’t be a hostess, local model Starr Dalton (below) will be among the most visible on the team during the event, helping attendees, vendors, and guests get oriented with the venue and assisting with front-end logistics (tickets, etc.). She has also been instrumental in stirring up buzz for the Facebook page and ticket sales, as well as recruiting models and designers for the show.
Here’s more of Dalton’s intriguing story.
Fabo Piano (above) and DJ Magz (below) will provide the sounds for both nights. Fabo Thollon, who will provide live music with his trusty keyboard Cloe’, hails from Munich, Germany and is fluent in four languages (German, English, Italian, and French). Alex “DJ Magz” Maglione is pursuing his Recording Arts degree at Full Sail University and deejays with FireMixRadio. Fabo will entertain the guests while DJ Magz fuels the models on the catwalk.
The six-feet-plus and burly Joseph “Joe” Bishop III is the team’s security director, which can mean only one thing: keep the peace, or peace out. Stern language aside, Bishop will not only ensure a cohesive crowd, but also ensure safety for all attendees – and make you laugh while he’s at it.
Mellissa Thomas, Chief Editor for Orlando Fashion Magazine, has and will continue to provide in-depth coverage of Florida Fashion Weekend via interviews with models, designers, team members, partners, local stars, and national celebrities. She manages a team of four bloggers who each bring a unique strength that collectively flavors the magazine with an expansive palette of fashion expertise mixed with engaging stories. The author and freelance writer weaves words full time, offering blogging, copywriting, editing, ghostwriting, poetry, and screenwriting services.
Filmmaker and videographer Hallaye Sow and his team of photographers will record every detail of Friday night’s Kickoff Press Party and Mixer and Saturday’s fashion show. It was he and his team who recorded the casting call in April and cut the eye-catching video you’ve seen bouncing all over Facebook. Sow’s team will also be working with local model and actor Rocco di Cardielli, who will conduct interviews with VIPs as they arrive at the press wall.
There’s more on di Cardielli here.
As with any major project, this team rolls deep, and every member is equally important. They will all be present this weekend. Will you?
If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, the team has made it even easier to purchase them by embedding the Eventbrite window in the website. Go to floridafashionweek.com, scroll down to just below the video and click on the “Tickets” link in the center of the page, or the “Purchase Tickets” link in the right sidebar.
Hope to see you there! Share this post with your networks, will ya? 😉
All photos are the property of the subjects except where otherwise noted.
About the Author:
Orlando Fashion Magazine Chief Editor Mellissa Thomas is a Jamaica-born writer. She’s a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with Entertainment Business Masters and Film Bachelors degrees from Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL.
She’s currently available for hire, writing content for websites, blogs, and marketing material. She also writes poetry, screenplays, and ghostwrites books.
She has published four books, all available on Amazon.com. Her most recent release, Faded Diamonds, is now available in paperback on all major online book retailers and digitally available on the Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.
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