Gavin: Hey, Abbey. First thing, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Abbey: Hi, Gavin. I just know so much about myself, where to start?! Ever since I can remember, the creative side of fashion has always drawn me in. I moved to Salt Lake City six years ago and have never lived in such an inspiring city. There are so many opportunities here, it's like a blank canvas and anything you want to do you can find the resources for. I am from a small town in Montana, so to me SLC is just the right-size city to accomplish my goals, I'ts exciting to be so young and be able to express myself and passion in such a beautiful setting.
Gavin: What first got you interested in fashion, and what were some early influences on you?
Abbey: Well, I knew I was in trouble when my first sentence was, "Let's go shopping!" From then on, fashion has inspired me in many ways. I worked in retail for seven years and the best part of my job was helping someone find clothing that gave them confidence.
Gavin: How was it for you growing up and immersing yourself in the fashion culture?
Abbey: I was born and raised in Montana, so the lack of fashion there made me go other places. Salt Lake City was actually the closet city to us, and I think the excitement and ritual it turned into immersed me completely. When it's not at your fingertips, you do anything to change that.
Gavin: You attended both FIDM in Los Angeles and the University of Utah. What was your time like at both institutions, and what did you take away from your time at each?
Abbey: Moving from Montana to LA was a reality shock! I took that shock by completely immersing myself into the industry. From there, the U furthered my education and gave me the backing to take on more than just a great outfit.
Gavin: What was it like for you breaking out into the fashion scene and producing your own works?
Abbey: I've worked on a few events in the past and learned a lot. Having the opportunity to implement what I've learned in this event is really exciting. And I'm looking forward continually changing the industry in the future.
Gavin: When did you first meet Michael Ori and how did you come to work at Studio Elevn?
Abbey: I was lucky enough to meet Mr.Ori a little over a year ago when he was just starting Studio Elevn. We seemed to have the same goals and dreams for the studio and it has been history ever since.
Gavin: What has it been like for you working with the group and helping out the fashion and photography scenes?
Abbey: It has been so amazing to watch Salt Lake's fashion industry evolve. The talent here is endless, and I am so grateful to meet and work with so many different people. Every time I work with new talent, I think of ways to connect the dots.
Gavin: How did the idea for The Runway come about, and what made you decide on the Gateway?
Abbey: The Gateway approached me and Michelle Church with the idea of creating an event downtown. We thought it would be a great way to end the summer with an interactive fashion event seen through the eyes of Salt Lake City.
Gavin: What was the process like in choosing designers to show off at the event?
Abbey: We started with wanting to work with "the best of the best" and went from there. Bastille, JMR and Lolabella are obvious prime retailers. Our designers Nephi Garcia and Aron Ibarra are people Salt Lake City can be proud of.
Gavin: What made you decide to make it a free event rather than build it up and charge admission?
Abbey: The more we can make fashion accessible to the public, the better! SLC has so much talent and our goal is to showcase that talent and teach SLC a thing or two about fashion.
Gavin: Who are some of the designers we can expect to see at the event?
Abbey: The ever-talented Nephi Garcia is showcasing a new collection, and Arron Ibara will make his debut.
Gavin: What other plans do you have coming up for this Saturday that people can plan on checking out?
Abbey: Starting at 6 p.m., our spirits garden and booths will open. The booths include Kevin Murphy of Ulysses, Landis of Aveda, Sherice-Skincare, Q Boutique, Purse Dreams, The Bboy Federation, Urban Dance Organization and Alexis Mattox Design. And, of course, models, music form Nightfreq and multiple dance groups!
Gavin: What can we expect from both yourself and Studio Elevn over the rest of the year?
Abbey: We are hoping to expand our rental use and create a "creative workspace" for all the talent that is in Salt Lake City. We are working hard to promote the local art and fashion scene with unique events, projects and style.
Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?
Abbey: If you haven't already, check out Ori Media and Studio Elevn!
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