Fashion Week San Diego® (FWSD), California’s largest traditional fashion week, announced today the appointment of Gwen Bates as new director and unveiled its first exclusive partnership with Sotheby’s. Following last year’s hiatus, FWSD is returning to 2020 under Bates’ direction and will feature a series of designer-focused events that span from San Diego to New York City.
As director of FWSD, Bates will oversee marketing strategy, talent management and event operations for the bi-coastal fashion show. No stranger to the fashion world, Bates brings extensive entrepreneurial and mentorship experience to her role. In 2015, Bates founded GFASH, a red-carpet accessory brand designed for the runway. As head designer and producer, she continues to manage operations, design, public relations and marketing for the brand, leading GFASH to be worn at The Emmys, selected as an accessory for “Top Model” and displayed on more than 10 global runways, including FWSD 2016.
FWSD is designed to grow the local retail industry and serve as a launching pad for emerging designers, while bringing premier fashion-forward events to San Diego and New York City. Bates and team will kick off the year with a first-of-its-kind prestigious Art and Beauty runway show at Sotheby’s headquarters in Manhattan, New York, where designers will pair select pieces from Sotheby’s premier art collection with modern fashion accents.
“I am thrilled to welcome Gwen to the Fashion Week San Diego family and am looking forward to watching this year’s programming blossom under her direction,” said Allison Andrews, FWSD founder and former director. “This program has been an integral part of my life for the past decade and I am confident that Bates’ strong enthusiasm and passion for the industry will drive FWSD’s legacy to live on for years to come.”
This year’s designers range from everyday lifestyle apparel, to swimsuits, gowns and more. Each will be working on their SS 2021 collections throughout the year and will debut their work at the Fall Runway Show.
“As a former Fashion Week San Diego designer, I have seen first-hand how Allison has brought these incredible events to life,” said Bates. “My goal for this year is to further elevate the experience and ensure our work is designer-focused. This year’s programming, along with our exciting partnership with Sotheby’s New York, is intended to truly move the needle for these emerging brands and give them a platform to showcase their work. I am thrilled to provide them with the resources they need for success and to share their craft and my vision with the California and New York communities.”
More information about this year’s events and ticketing will be announced soon. To learn more about Fashion Week San Diego, visit www.FashionWeekSD.com.