Interview with Ryan Philemon – co-founder of CFG Style Week Deniss August 3, 2014 Fashion Weeks, Fresh Mess, MESSFashion Ryan Philemon himself 1. You started your fashion career when you were 15. Was that hard to for you? Beginning my career at such an early age allowed me to learn the darknesses of the industry before I fully invested myself into fashion. Looking back, I am extremely grateful that I started my career at such a young age. I began my career as an actor and a model, ready to take on hollywood. As I grew older, I realized the instability of wanting to be in front of the camera and fell in love with production and the public relations side of the industry. At the age of 24 I can happily say that I have been a model, actor, created and produced fashion week, built a fashion market in a city in which one did not previously exist and will be producing two fashion shows for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this fall. 2. What are desired skills to become successful in fashion industry? First and foremost, THICK SKIN! People are ruthless and you have to stay true to yourself while standing your ground. I would love to say that the industry is for everyone, however, sadly it is not. Individuals need to have that “it” factor that allows them to be progressive. People must have a keen eye for forecasting future trends, they need to confident, yet humble and you must have a business sense. Someone can be the most creative individual in the world, but fails because they have no sense of how business works. What I personally look for in an individual is approachability. Fashion is nothing like it is depicted on TV. The majority of us are not stuffy assholes and do not like working with people of that mentality. Unless you are Donatella of course. 3. Who’s Ryan Philemon in your eyes? Well, that is a difficult question! In my eyes I am just a guy that is pursuing his dreams. I am quirky, creative and business driven. 4. If CFG would be a thing, that would be… If Charlotte Fashion Guild were an object it would be a stallion. The fashion and artistic industry in Charlotte has been very divided for many years. If you do one persons show, you cannot do another. Designers have year long rivalries that hinder them from working on projects together. We founded our organization to unite the industry together and to reinvent the way the the Carolina’s see fashion. 5. Tell us more about CFG Style Week – how did you come up with the idea of launching fashion week in North Carolina? The idea came about after we heard feedback from the industry professionals in our area. Designers, beauty professionals, models, Editors and boutique owners all stated that a marketing platform that met industry standards was of great need. That is when we decided to create CFG Style Week. Now I am not supposed to pick favorites but I do have designers that I am most looking forward to. Joseph Singh is one that I am definitely looking forward to. His vibe is very futuristic with his implementation of leather, but he always adds a softer textile to give his garments a more elegant look. I am also looking forward to Rinat Brodachs collection. I have a soft spot for bespoke designers and minimalism. Her designs hit both of my soft spots. Of course I am looking forward to our featured designers Viktor Luna, Justin Leblanc, Sandro Masmanidi, Layana Aguilar and Stevie Boi. Stevie Boi is one of the designers that will show his new collection on CFGFW 7. What mission stands behind CFG? CFG’s mission is to unite, recognize and reinvent the way that the south views fashion. CFG is an organization that is bringing industry standards to the new south. 8. If you could choose a person you would like to work with, it would be… I would absolutely love to intern for Fern Mallis, she is an extraordinary business women that has made New York the fashion capitol that it is today. As far as working side by side with someone, I would have to say Nicola Formichetti. His work is just so off the wall that it captivates me. 9. What are your nearest plans? In my near future, I will be relocating to New York City to further my career. Do not worry though, I will still be producing CFG Style Week with my co-producer Erica Arcilesi and we will continue to make it grow bigger and better than ever. 10. What do you think of Mess Magazine? I absolutely love Mess Magazine. It provides a fresh look on an industry that can become very redundant.