LOS ANGELES, Oct 11, 2009 / FW/ — Serious on making L.A. become a fashion capital, the city of Los Angeles became an angel to three emerging designers – Fernanda Carneiro, Phong Hong and Krys-N-Jack – by giving them $10,000 fashion grant for the upcoming Downtown L.A. Fashion Week.
Announced last Oct 6th at a press conference hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the event was attended by a slew of prominent Los Angeles fashion designers including Max Azria of BCBG, Randolph Duke, Louis Verdad, Geren Ford, Nick Verreos, and Raymundo Balthazar, is an effort to support the current Los Angeles Fashion Industry and the future of Los Angeles fashion.
“Los Angeles will launch an exciting showcase of fashion and creativity that will bring buyers and style mavens from all over the world during LA fashion week,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Our city is no longer just the fashion capital of the West Coast; LA is one of the major fashion capitals of the world.”
Presented by designer Randolph Duke, The Fashion Angel Awards Emerging Designer recipients were selected by a team of fashion notables including Randolph Duke himself, Nony Tochterman of Petro Zilla, Nick Verreos, Project Runway Season 3 winner Jeffrey Sebelia, Louis Verdad, and Vanessa Gonzalez of Launch My Line on BRAVO.
In honor of their selection, Carneiro and the other two award recipients will participate in a runway presentation October 13 at Los Angeles’ Geffen Contemporary at the MOCA, kicking off Downtown LA Fashion Week.
A native of Brazil, Fernanda Carneiro moved to the United States when she was only five years old but kept her Brazilian heritage close to her heart that it remains innate in both her design and aesthetics. Growing up in Miami and Los Angeles, her bicoastal upbringing exposed her to a wide variety of cultural and stylistic influences.
Carneiro already had a degree in Marketing from the University of Florida when she enrolled at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles to study fashion. Upon graduation she remained in Los Angeles, working in both production and design for major fashion labels including BCBG Max Azria. She launched her namesake label Fernanda Carneiro in 2008.
Phong Hong was born in Vietnam, but grew up in Southern California. He attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and received his degree in Fashion Design. His thirst for knowledge led him to attend the University of California, Berkeley where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art.
After completing his education, Phong worked as a graphic artist for several clients, such as Ed Hardy and Affliction, until he was ready to launch a line that combined both his degrees in fashion and art. In 2008, he started his first clothing company, Midnight Mare, a graphic printed organic shirt line for men and women.
Although he enjoys illustrating and graphic design, Phong missed the element of structurally creating a garment and this eventually led to his newest collection, Femme Noir, a whimsical yet edgy dress collection. Phong Hong will debut Femme Noir at the Downtown LA Fashion Week in Oct 2009.
Krys-n-Jack is the collaboration of Jacquetta O’Dell and Leslie Henry. The two met in 2003 in Oklahoma, where they maintained independent clothing lines, putting on several fashion shows. From there they moved to London, studied for a year, and then moved to Los Angeles to get out of the rain and finish school.
Leslie has worked in fabrication her whole life, perfecting her craft in not only fabric, but leather, wood, and metal. Leslie has a background in interior design and upholstery; she finishes her BFA in Fashion Design in September 2009.
Jacquetta takes on most of the design and business side of the partnership. She also oversees an Online Boutique for EM & CO and they both design out of the upscale store on 3rd St. She graduated with a dual degree in Fashion Design and Business and is currently getting her Masters in Creative Writing.