Nikita Wallace On How To Prepare Others For Success
Meet The Amazing Founder Of Winston-Salem Fashion Week
I arrived that morning and there was a line out the door around the building. We had not opened but they let me in and said, “these people are here for you”.Nikita Wallace describing the day that she arrived at her first fashion week event in Winston-Salem
What is Winston-Salem Fashion Week?
Nikita: It’s a platform for local designers, local artists and textile designers. We created a platform for them to come together to showcase their collections, build on their brands and just have fun and connect with other influencers so they can actually grow their brand beyond limited borders.
How Has It Been Working with Sponsors?
Nikita Wallace speaking with Inside Monthly (INM) at Picture Studios in Greensboro, NC
Nikita: Working with sponsors has been great. They have been very supportive and very involved. We’re actually continuing to gain more sponsors as we continue to grow. Our partnership with Champion has elevated the brand because we have kind of just focused on the history of Winston-Salem. Champion was just the perfect fit [when we formed the partnership]. At the time, we were celebrating five (5) years of Winston-Salem Fashion Week and Champion was celebrating 100 years in the fashion and textile industries. I was invited to pitch a presentation and they were all on board. They were excited and have been on board ever since. Friday night has become Champion Night. The kickoff. Opening night. For the month of September, there is something going on relating to Winston-Salem Fashion Week. It’s been an amazing journey!
What made you start Winston-Salem Fashion Week?
I was in New York. I worked in New York from 2003 to 2007 until I came back here to Winston-Salem.
I worked in the school system and most of the kids that came into my office were put out of class [but] they were [very] creative. They wanted to be artists…they wanted to be photographers and magazine editors. They wanted to be models, actresses and rap artists. They had nowhere to showcase those talents! By working in New York fashion week, I said “well wouldn’t it be nice if we had a fashion week in Winston-Salem”?
Since 2015, Winston Salem Fashion Week (WSFW) has produced and cultivated innovative runway fashion presentations featuring designers from the Triad and surrounding cities, as well as New York, Atlanta, and Washington, DC. The event has become one of the premier events of the Triad.Source: www.wsfashionweek.com
And I thought, “can we do that”? I wrote it out [but] 2007 was not the time. In 2015, I returned back to school and I used it as my senior thesis to graduate. My advisor knew I needed half a credit to graduate. She said that “if you can pull an event off and just document your journey, you can host your first fashion week here.” This was 2015 and I had [anywhere from] six to nine weeks to pull it off. It was amazing. Our first event was a two-day event with eight designers and eighty plus participants. It was just phenomenal!