Ville Magazine l Insider Access for City Lifestyle Mar/Apr 2016 / People Issue - Page 28

One part of your company mentors the next generation of fashion entrepreneurs. What are you able to provide to them to push them in the right direction? A-DOT is connecting young fashion entrepreneurs with mentors to help them build the industry here around their wants and needs -- from providing mentors, facilitating events, and creating opportunities for productive industry collaborations. Another part focuses on eco-friendly practices in fashion. What do you think is the biggest issue right now with fashion sustainability? Photo: Hami Bahadori You have been involved with fashion all over the world from modeling to producing. Why did you get involved with the fashion industry here? THE CREATOR AVA HOLMES FOUND HERSELF IN SEATTLE WHEN THE U.S. EMBASSY GOT HER OVER THE VANCOUVER-SEATTLE BORDER WITHOUT ANY ID AFTER HAVING ALL OF HER BELONGINGS STOLEN IN CANADA DURING ECO FASHION WEEK. While writing her own book about her event planning philosophy of the four elements, she interviewed over 100 industry leaders and realized that there were at least three major gaps in the industry here that she felt she could impact and create a collaboration between the art forms for which Seattle is known—film, art, music, technology, etc., as well as mentorship and sustainability. Her future vision for A-DOT Productions became a reality initiating her movement in the city with recognized leaders in the industry and mentoring those who will be influential in the future of Seattle’s fashion industry. 28 l VILLE l PEOPLE ISSUE I attended Eco Fashion Week with a vague vision of bringing it to the U.S. When my belongings were stolen out of my car, including the computer with the content for my book, I still attended Eco Fashion Week that night, showing up in all that I owned—the gold silk Thai jumpsuit on my body and black converse chucks on my feet. Luckily, I recognized one of my favorite bloggers, Lorainne Stoodley, who gave me another jumpsuit and helped me celebrate my new found “freedom” before driving back to Seattle. Since then, I have rewritten a large part of my book and am on track for the first publication this spring. I have become very close with the Eco Fashion Week family and look forward to bringing this event to Seattle. I have also continued wearing a jumpsuit every day since then. What is A-Dot Productions, and what is the vision behind it? A-DOT was originally a vision for the future. The timing of moving to Seattle, conducting interviews for my book, and the opportunity to rebrand myself and my production work - couldn’t have been more perfect. The company was built by the community and founded on collaboration, mentorship, and sustainability. We have a three-year plan to become the number one sustainable fashion production company. This year is all about branding. Where fast fashion and technology meet, sustainability is the most fascinating realm of fashion currently. These are often seen as mutually exclusive. Fast Fashion is responsible for an average American throwing away 68 pounds of waste annually. Harmful chemicals used in model technology are responsible for toxic pollution and deaths to many in the workforce. With documentaries out like The True Cost and events such as Eco Fashion Week, more people are beginning to understand these issues and shift their consumption to more eco-friendly alternatives. But what does this really mean? We are now seeing that these issues, though terrifying, may actually have a hopeful future on the horizon. The pinnacle of the future in this realm of fashion is right here in Seattle. How would you describe the current fashion industry here in Seattle, and where do you see it going? It’s a mess, but it’s also hopeful. We have incredible events and revolutionary wearable technologies on the horizon. Seattle is about to be what I like to call the “Wild West Coast of Fashion Technology,” and just like the pioneers of the Great West we have the opportunity to build this industry. What do you think is the biggest misconception about fashion in Seattle? That it has no fashion industry, when it is actually the 4th largest fashion industry in the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the flagship of industry here is Nordstrom headquarters, we have the fourth highest concentration of designers, and the city is home to several notable European and Asian fashion houses. Seattle also has one of the richest histories of how the city’s style has evolved. My favorite comment on Seattle’s influence on fashion was by Gerard Parr when he was in Milan in the 90’s and saw a Seahawks jackets in Versace’s window display. To me, that’s a strong global industry influence. What is one goal you hope to accomplish in 2016? One goal? There are several “biggest” ones: to get Eco Fashion Week running in the US, publish the first copy of my book, and raise $100K for Hoja Nueva, a conservation nonprofit through a fashion event called Runway to Peru this May in Seattle.