Days after Aspen Fashion Week was canceled in 2013, talent agent Brooke Fogg announced her intentions to return in 2014 with her own end-of-winter fashion event.
Her announcement followed a year-long battle to recoup more than $30,000 in fees that she says the agency she represents, Wilhelmina Denver, is still owed for the services of 19 models sent to Aspen in 2012. Despite a Pitkin County Court decision in Wilhelmina Denver’s favor, the company has not been able to recoup anything from Aspen Fashion Week, which was founded by Aspenite Lisa Johnson in 2009.
For Fogg, the only resolution to come from the matter is that the Aspen event is now in her hands. Running Thursday through Sunday, Aspen International Fashion Week will include events at the Caribou Club, Escobar Lounge, Bootsy Bellows Aspen and the Regal. Featured designers are Dennis Basso, Columbia, Gorski Furs and Aspen’s own Sport Obermeyer. Snowlink.com, an affiliate of SnowSports Industries America, also is hosting a day of runway events.
Fogg said that in addition to mismanagement of funds, one of the problems with the now-defunct Aspen Fashion Week was the lack of local involvement.
“With a town like Aspen being as small as it is, in order for an event to be successful, it needs to be an event that is supported by the community,” she said, adding that locals can receive 60 percent off ticket prices using the promo code “local.”
“It didn’t need to be as unattainable for the locals to attend or enjoy or experience as it was in previous years.”
In 2011, a runway pass at Aspen Fashion Week was $5,000, while a week-long event pass was $1,500. This year, an all-access pass is $275, and a single-day pass runs between $100 to $150.
Fogg said that Fashion Week incurred a lot of unnecessary expenses, including reservations for large blocks of hotel rooms. Another one of her cost-cutting measures is the hiring of more Colorado companies and producers, a move she said has helped contribute to a 400 to 500 percent expense reduction.
“The previous owner did not need to spend the way that she did,” Fogg said.
Most of Fogg’s team are Colorado-natives, and she said their belief is that Colorado can be legitimized as a fashion hub. While Denver is a larger market than Aspen, Fogg said the world-class ski town offers something more unique.
“It’s not everyday that you can fly into a small town backed up against the mountains, have the best skiing and walk a three- to four-block mall of the highest end couture brands in the world,” she said. “It’s just a very, very unique place to be able to bring people that are not only interested in fashion but in all of the things Aspen has to offer.”
If she is able to develop the event the way she wants, Fogg said she will be able to showcase not only fashion but the lifestyle, music, film and arts that Aspen offers.
Each day, a handful of Aspen’s boutique stores will hold day parties leading up to the evening events, with a portion of sales being donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.