Steve Cuomo: The Origins of Santa Fe Fashion Week Shop and Stroll

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20140719_123838At first glance, it appears that Santa Fe Fashion Week Shop n Stroll began when I first hosted a Fashion Show at Metrix Fine Art Gallery, which I fondly called the “Art of Fashion”. Regina, the curator of the gallery, located in Historic Nob Hill in Albuquerque, was kind enough to allow me to host a fashion show there. Regina removed the sculptures that were located throughout the gallery, and we replaced them with 2 1/2 by 2 1/2 foot elevated boxes. The models would come out from the green room/”dressing room”, walk throughout the gallery, go to the first platform, and then pose like mannequins for a couple of minutes. They would then move onto the next platform, followed by another model in a different look.
Although I would like to take credit for such a wonderful idea, the fine art of Fashion Illustration took center stage, combining the world of fine art and fashion, long before the likes of celebrity icons Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert or Rudolf Valentino had flickered onto the silver screen. Fashion illustration great J.C Leyendecker created fictional fashion Icon, the “Arrow Collar Man”, in 1905. The Arrow Collar Man worked because he was brilliantly conceived and executed by Leyendecker. Women swooned over him, and men dreamed of being him. The Arrow Collar Man worked as both fashion icon and matinee idol. Leyendecker predated Norman Rockwell (who idolized Leyendecker) as the originator of the American Dream.

History of Santa Fe Shop n Stroll:
The first year we hosted SFFW at Buffalo Thunder, which has a wonderfully appointed conference space. (unlike some of the convention spaces where I’ve had to endure long educational seminars about annuities as a Stock Broker for Merrill Lynch.) There is no doubt how difficult and expensive it is to turn one of these spaces into a lively theater for Fashion Week. After visiting a Fashion Week in Las Vegas, where they hosted events over several days at different Casinos, I wondered how we could get people out of the convention space and on to the street of the “city different”. Santa Fe, known for its wonderful Art Galleries and famous Canyon Road, seemed to be the perfect fit for SFFW Shop and Stroll adds a unique experience for fashion buyers in both NM and for those traveling from out of state. We pair fashion designers with different alt galleries, and create a wonderful environment for shoppers. Santa Fe’s wonderful September weather adds to the delight of strolling from one gallery to another.

arrow collar man

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