Later this month (October 2015) I will have the pleasure of attending the inaugural Runway Dallas runway show. I was able to interview Runway Dallas creator and founder, Marcella Jones-Penn, which makes me even more excited to attend this event. Three key phrases to help set the stage: diversity, exposure and divine guidance. Let’s see what Marcella had to say about Runway Dallas!
Addie: What were your main goals in establishing Runway Dallas?
Marcella: I don’t like to do shows for entertainment purposes only, I like for there to be a good outcome. In coming back to [Dallas from New York], I couldn’t find anything I wanted to put my collection in – I didn’t want to do it in an atmosphere that was not conducive to the woman that I represent with my Marcella Co brand. The Lord placed it on my heart very simply that I was to produce Runway Dallas, and that’s how we got started.
Addie: Who is Runway Dallas for?
Marcella: Runway Dallas is for all designers. I like for everything that we do to be diverse – our team, our audience and those involved in it. Currently we have artists from Pakistan, India, Dallas, New York, Atlanta – we have various markets represented. We don’t want to keep anyone out, we want to be able to open it up – from someone who has never done this before to someone who does it all of the time.
Addie: Who is it for, as far as the consumer and the audience?
Marcella: We reach out to fashion buyers from all over. One of the main things that excited me about coming back to the Dallas area and doing fashion is that we have the Dallas Market here. Hundreds of thousand of fashion buyers come to this area every year, and to me its a no-brainer to take advantage of that. So, primarily, it is for the buyer because I want everyone involved in it walking away having benefitted from it, having been able to advance their fashion brand to the next level because they were able to meet the right person by participating in Runway Dallas. Not only the buyers, but boutique owners and our sponsors that get involved in it. Also, the consumers – people that are going to help promote our brands, whether they’re bloggers or the media or press. Anyone to help get the word out about Runway Dallas.
Addie: Tell me more about your personal brand, Marcella Co.
Marcella: My personal brand is for a strong, confident woman – someone who likes to make a statement, someone who is always ready for opportunity, someone who is strong and knows where she wants to go and doesn’t take no for an answer. I like to work with colors and classic silhouettes, but I also like to add a modern edge to it. I like to have fun with my collection, but I also like to keep it classic so that something you can wear today, you’ll also be able to wear 20 years from now.
Addie: The designers come from very diverse backgrounds. How does diversity benefit fashion?
Marcella: I think it says a lot about who is welcome – in coming back to this market I noticed that when we started promoting the event, a lot of people were surprised that we were doing things in a diverse way. Its not surprising that people think that way, but to me, fashion is all-inclusive. I’ve had designers come to me and be really surprised that I invited them to be apart of the event. There are so many walls put up in the industry – it gives me great pleasure to tear down those walls and to let it be known that people of all colors and ethnicities will be invited. Heaven is going to be so colorful and so beautiful, why not bring that here and honor God in what we’re doing?
Addie: What advice can you give someone that is trying to define their personal style?
Marcella: Just that – define YOUR style. Don’t try to copy someone else. You can still get inspired without copying. With each collection that I do, it fine tunes who I am, as opposed to copying someone else. You can do so much more by sticking with who you as opposed to trying to copy someone else – that’s more work! Stay true to your aesthetics and to the creativity that is within you.
I would like to thank Marcella so much for this interview. I am looking forward to an evening of diverse fashion presented by the designers, and mingling with fashion lovers ranging from other bloggers to those in the fashion industry! There is a full week of events lined up, including a 5K Fashion Walk, a Theme Event, and of course, the Runway Dallas Fashion Show!
I hope to see y’all there! Get your tickets for Runway Dallas here.
xoxo dolls & dudes,