Natasha Duran-Lynch: Fashion Designer and Founder of Hues of Ego

Natasha Duran-Lynch, fashion designer and founder of Hues of Ego, photographed at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Natasha Duran-Lynch, fashion designer and founder of Hues of Ego, photographed at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale wearing a coat she designed, by Nicki Escudero

Natasha Duran-Lynch
www.huesofego.com

In just a few years, Natasha Duran-Lynch has catapulted to the center of the Phoenix fashion scene, winning Phoenix Fashion Week‘s Couture Designer of the Year title this year, after only graduating from fashion design school in 2012. Duran-Lynch has her own line, Hues of Ego, which focuses on blending structure with femininity.

You can catch the 32-year-old Scottsdale resident on home shopping channel EVINE Live early next year, where she’ll be selling some designs inspired by her award-winning line. Keep reading to learn the inspiration behind Duran-Lynch’s designs, and you can hear her name her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley in a video.

What brought you to Arizona?

My mom. We moved here when I was in high school. I’m originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and she just didn’t see us being there any more.

I graduated from Highland High School and went to ASU, where I was studying for my master’s in architecture and a minor in design before attending Collins College. Continue reading

Misha Mendicino: Fashion Designer and Owner of Misha Mendicino Designs

Misha Mendicino, fashion designer and owner of Misha Mendicino Designs, photographed at her studio, by Nicki Escudero

Misha Mendicino, fashion designer and owner of Misha Mendicino Designs, photographed at her studio wearing one of her designs, by Nicki Escudero

Misha Mendicino
twitter.com/MishaMendicino

Misha Mendicino doesn’t just design beautiful women’s clothes — she’s on a mission. The Phoenix designer, who won the 2014 title of Designer of the Year at Phoenix Fashion Week, donates five percent of all sales to a cause she cares deeply about, elephant conservation through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Mendicino started her line Misha Mendicino Designs a year and a half ago, out of a desire for the kinds of styles she craved but could never find. Now, she comes out with new looks twice a year, with her line consisting of comfortable dresses, pants and a jacket. Find her looks online and in local boutiques Velvet Boutique, Daniela Jay Boutique, LONNI Women’s Fashion Boutique, Allie Ollie Boutique, Charmed Avenue, and Random Boutique.

Mendicino talked about her design aesthetic and her goals as a designer. Watch her name her five favorite reasons for living in the Valley in a video, too.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came to Phoenix in 1992 to go to flight school. I moved here from Maui and attended Western International University and Aero Mech Flight School. Their programs intertwined to give you a bachelor’s degree in technical operations and professional aeronautics.

I was born in Santa Maria, California. When I was 17, my friend and I decided we wanted to move to Hawaii, so we moved there on a one-way ticket with $800 in our pockets and no plans of coming back. She’s still there. I got a job as a flight attendant and moved to New York. I had a back injury that forced me to quit my job, so I moved back to Maui to heal.

I missed aviation so much, I decided to go to flight school. I’m a commercial multi-engine instrument-rated pilot. I flew cargo for awhile and did some passenger service in the San Juan Islands in Washington and ended up coming back to Phoenix, since I really missed it. I’ve been back here since ’97. Continue reading

Joy Li: Fashion Designer and Co-Owner of Studio Joy Li

Joy Li, photographed at her Studio Joy Li in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Joy Li, photographed at her Studio Joy Li in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Joy Li
twitter.com/STUDIOJoyLi

Joy Li is one of the Valley’s most prominent fashionistas. From being a fit model at Liz Claiborne, to designing for big brands such as Skechers, to owning her own Old Town Scottsdale studio and boutique for the past seven years, Li is on a mission to make functional, stylish clothes women will love wearing. Li, a 53-year-old Scottsdale resident, is the perfect model for her clothes, as her perfect-for-layering, classic-yet-edgy pieces make them ideal for on-the-go lifestyles such as hers.

Li recently released her fall line, with pieces starting at less than $70. She talked about where her love of fashion came from, and what her design process is like. You can also watch a video of Li talk about her five favorite reasons for loving living in the Valley below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I came by accident from California, from the Redondo Beach area. I was in a relationship that brought me out here, and when I came, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found in Arizona.

I was born in Austin, Texas and grew up in New Jersey. I went to high school in upstate New York, then studied design at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. My dad wouldn’t put me through fashion school, so that’s what I studied. Continue reading

Brian Hill: Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week

Brian Hill, executive director for Phoenix Fashion Week, photographed at Schumacher Mercedes-Benz, by Nicki Escudero

Brian Hill, executive director for Phoenix Fashion Week, photographed at Schumacher Mercedes-Benz, by Nicki Escudero

Brian Hill
twitter.com/PHXFashionWeek

Every fall, the Valley’s biggest fashion event, Phoenix Fashion Week, brings notable designers from around the country and here in the Valley together, as local models strut the catwalk showing off innovative fashions for retailers to add to their collections. This year’s event takes over Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort Thursday, October 2 to Saturday, October 4.

The event isn’t just to display the latest trends. Phoenix Fashion Week features an Emerging Designer Challenge, where more than a dozen fledgling designers (including Phoenix People feature State Forty Eight) get to pick up business chops during a four-month apparel boot camp, before battling it out on the runway for the title of Emerging Designer of the Year.

Phoenix Fashion Week is the brainchild of Brian Hill, a designer himself with various fashion lines since he was a student at Arizona State University. As executive director for Phoenix Fashion Week, Hill puts on 10 fashion-focused events year-round throughout the Valley. He’s still working in the fashion world as a custom apparel designer and consultant for fashion lines around the country, and he’s also working on a new collection for a line he started at ASU, Femme Athletic, due next year.

Learn how the Phoenix resident started Phoenix Fashion Week in 2006 and where his passion for fashion comes from, and watch a video of him naming his favorite reasons for living in the Valley below.

What brought you to Arizona?

I was born in St. Louis and lived there until I came to ASU as a walk-on wrestler. I’ve been a fashion entrepreneur for awhile, and I graduated from ASU with a degree in real estate and marketing. Continue reading

Taryn Liberman: Fashion Designer, Owner of Moderndrift Clotherie

Taryn Liberman, fashion designer and owner of Moderndrift Clotherie, photographed at The House in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Taryn Liberman, fashion designer and owner of Moderndrift Clotherie, photographed at The House in Scottsdale, by Nicki Escudero

Taryn Liberman
moderndriftclotherie.com

Taryn Liberman had no fashion design experience, but after an inspiring trip to Hawaii and within only about six months, she designed and produced her own line of resort and beachwear. The brand, Moderndrift Clotherie, is characterized by light and flowy fabrics and bold prints and includes tops, a dress and shorts. The 28-year-old Scottsdale resident launched the line in June and plans on an official launch party this December, besides bringing it to farmers markets and boutiques in addition to having her current e-commerce and Etsy business. She talked about where her drive comes from and how she started her line, as well as why she’s happy she lives in Arizona, below.

What brought you to Arizona?

My current company, Republic Services, brought me here from Los Angeles. I’m a Sales Supervisor. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, went to college at the University of Central Florida and got a degree in marketing, then moved to Orange County and Santa Monica with my company. I came to Tucson, then came to Phoenix and have been here for a year. Continue reading