By Chris “Chris P: Local Celebrity” Panayiotou
The story of this year’s iteration of “The COSIGN Experience Fashion and Art Show sponsored by VILLA” begins the night before the show. Not to downplay the months of preparation that went into putting on a weekend’s worth of events, but we start Saturday night because of a series on events that put the entire production in jeopardy.
Saturday night, our culture exhibit at iQ Haus, #LaVidaCOSIGN, was approaching its climax. People were mingling, listening to the featured musicians and shopping at the vendor booths that were setup around the room’s perimeter. Free Hpnotiq (one of our sponsors for the weekend) was being handed out, and people seemed to be having a good time. But around 9 p.m. the event was interrupted by the unexpected (as it usually is) visit of two ladies from the city of Dallas; it was the fire marshal. Based on a particular issue going on that night that was beyond our control, we were asked to stop the music and abruptly end the festivities, an hour earlier than scheduled. Based on what we were told, we could not have an event at this venue and since the fashion show was the next day at the same location, we knew that we just might have to cancel Sunday.
As vendors and the DJs packed up, the COSIGN staff sat in the office with a representative of the venue, trying to find a solution. Mass texts were being sent out to various club and venue owners and managers around the city, looking for an alternative place to hold the fashion show, just in case it came down to that. We were heading into our flagship event, less than 24 hours away, unsure if we were going to be permitted by the city to even have it. What began at 9 p.m. would drag into the night, a sleepless one.
The next morning, COSIGN founder K.G. arrived at the venue around 9 a.m. It had been opened to receive last minute furniture for the event, but there was still no word on what would happen. By the time I got to iQ Haus at about noon, K.G. had made multiple trips to the area firehouse and police station, in an effort to find someone that could either advise us on what our next steps should be and whether or not we were going to be able to have the fashion show. We sat in the office, as the models, Glam Honey (the make up artists) and Safari Beauty (the hair stylists) arrived and got to work, making the beautiful women walking in the show that much more beautiful. Time was ticking and K.G. and I were both on the phone trying numbers we had been given from city officials and connected friends we had reached out to. Not trying to waste anyone’s time and effort, we reluctantly went to the back and explained the situation to those that had already arrived and begun prepping, hoping that they would understand and not pack up and go home. The response was positive, everyone was on board and appreciative of our candor, and they pushed forward with preparations.
Finally, we got word at 3 p.m., three hours before doors open and as vendors were arriving to setup up their booths. The show would be allowed to go on as long as a fire marshal was on site for the duration of the event and as long as no alcohol was served. We could now focus on the task at hand.
It was a hell of an event, and with our second wind, we did our thing. DJ ASAP and Sam Lao hosted the show, which featured the clothing lines KYRA, Udoh Atelier and Levenity. The show was partitioned by two extremely talented young lady’s music sets, BeMyFiasco and Söleil, while DJ So4kis held down the music throughout the night. Along with a wide variety of vendors, ranging from clothing lines like Strike First LSB (one of our sponsors) to branding and design companies like Brand Fiend (another one of our sponsors) to cupcakes to artists, the building was filled with 15 of the most creative entrepreneurs in the city. And then there was the food. Sweet T’s Kitchen sold plates and jars of their amazing signature BBQ sauce.
Throughout the night vendors gave away their work to lucky attendees. Author Jonathan Jones gave away his book “Process,” Studio Moiselle gave out $100 gift certificates, Strike First LSB gave away custom leggings, KD’s Custom Jewelry gave away three gold grills and Hpnotiq gave away bottles. It was a hell of a team effort to put together the show, from fashion show coordinator Kristin McIntyre to fashion coordinator Stephania Schirru to A.D. of Chosen Musicians in charge of the music, we were able to make a night that almost didn’t happen, great. And the COSIGN Crew, myself, K.G. and Librada handled the guests and any remaining odd jobs. But to be totally honest, none of this could have happened without the models, stylists, sponsors, vendors and attendees, so we can’t take all of the credit. We look forward to working with all of the new people we met through the process and continuing to show everyone #TheCOSIGNLife.
Photos by: Ron Specs & Troy