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Footage of last year's Emerging Trends show
One of the events capping off Boston Fashion Week is the sixth annual Emerging Trends show—a collection of international designers showing in Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets are all but sold out, signaling the success of the event over its lifespan. Put on by SYNERGY Events in both Boston and more recently, London, Emerging Trends goes down on Saturday night with over ten designers from the US, UK, Canada and Germany. We spoke with founder Reaz Hoque about the impetus of the show and his team's criteria for selecting talent.
Tell us a bit about the start of Emerging Trends and why it's in Boston. How do you think the Boston market has evolved in the years since you began?
SYNERGY was started about seven years ago in Boston, so we want to stay in Boston and feel that the market needs something. I think that people in Boston are definitely more open to stuff like this.
You seem to have a tech-focused background. What encouraged you to start SYNERGY Events and what drew you to fashion?
My background isn't just tech, it's management. The reason I started is the fact that I find myself a master of orchestra managing other people. It started on a whim because I was doing house parties and had a lot of interest in art and fashion, small events at my house. Our first event 2006 was at mantra and people just gravitated toward networking and that was the whole premise. From that, we used to do a lot of theme events. It was good, but too much to do so many events a year, and we did one for Boston Fashion Week as a party and it sold out.
We saw that Boston doesn't have a good runway show. Our first runway event was at Jorge Hernández Cultural Center in the South End. We brought in a Project Runway designer and a couple more from NY and it was really successful. It proved a point that it had an impact. From there we did the next year at the Castle at Park Plaza. We went from nothing to something big. We continue to push the envelope every year.
What's your favorite thing about having it at Cyclorama?
You know, cyclorama is a very interesting venue. We get character from the venue, and it has that in terms of being in an artsy and open place with the round space.
How do you lure your international designers to Boston?
It is hard because at the end of the day Boston is still lacking [the infastructure]. We've gone beyond Boston. Two of the designers that showed in London will be in Boston. Now we are using Boston as a destination show.
How does the Boston show compare to London?
It's obviously bigger because it's older. We see a huge potential in London as well. Many of the designers will want to do both because designers really seem to like working with us. Going back to why we are able to bring them here: We take a professional approach, spending a lot of time networking with other people. It's a lot of word of mouth research. This year, we had two designers competing for the last spot. If you do things well and are professional, people will want to work with you.
Our focus is not just to have the designer to do our show, but to get a designer that will benefit from doing it. We want designers who are going to use us as a platform and have the drive just like we have to keep the connections they've made and use the photos and connections and take their line to the next level.
What's your criteria for selecting designers?
There is some stuff we never put on the runway—swimwear or lingerie for example—and we want to keep it elegant, fresh, and diverse. You'll notice that one designer is different from the other. There is even costume design. There's an element that people are paying a lot to come to our show so we have to make sure that they're entertained. The other part is determining the plan for the designer's design. Is it just to showcase? We want to find designers that are serious and are ready for primetime, the next step. Are they business-savvy?
Which designers are you excited about this year?
Fleur Kelinza won't be there physically but I brought all her clothing from London. She's using some really incredible material and she was at the Malta Fashion Week, where she is originally from. She lives in London now.