Fashion Week San Diego 2020

July 13-31, 2020 | Virtual Event

Fashion Week San Diego’s highly-anticipated New York runway show, The Art and Beauty Behind Fashion, is going virtual with a first-of-its-kind experience. In partnership with Sotheby’s and Art Renewal Center, the online salon exhibition will feature a digital catalog of the 99 ARC Salon exhibiting works, a virtual walk through space of the show, videos, and exclusive interviews with the artists and executives from FWSD and ARC. The virtual exhibition will be presented worldwide at Sotheby’s.com from July 13 to July 31, 2020, and viewers at home may vote for the top fashion designer during that time.

In The Art and Beauty Behind Fashion, eight FWSD designers will debut their original couture outfits paired with and inspired by  premier pieces from the 14th ARC Salon Competition, presented on socially distant models. The distinguished ARC Salon Competition is the largest in the world for representational art, receiving more than 4,300 entries from 73 countries spanning six continents during the last cycle. The eight winning paintings, paired with FWSD designers’ original looks, allows the artists to promote Contemporary Realism to a wider audience and expose the Representational Art Movement to top fashion designers around the world. In addition, this will allow FWSD designers to gain exposure to top art collectors and influencers around the world, creating an ideal partnership.

“We are beyond excited to be part of this groundbreaking virtual exhibition,” says Gwen Bates, director of FWSD. “Although we would have loved to celebrate our designers’ spectacular work together in New York City as planned, the opportunity to mount a virtual exhibition on the Sotheby’s website will provide heightened exposure for our designers to showcase their work on a global scale. Our main goal when planning FWSD’s 2020 programming was to ensure our efforts were designer-focused, and this distinguished exhibition gives our emerging designers a much larger platform than I could have ever dreamed of.”

Gwen Bates

Gwen Bates

The digital exhibition will capture the stories behind each pairing, featuring footage from both the fashion designer and artist on their creative process from conception to final presentation. The winning designer and painting pairing of the virtual show will be announced at FWSD’s signature runway event this October in San Diego, where each of the eight modern looks will be presented on live models.

“So much work goes into creating an exhibition like this, not only on the part of the Art Renewal Center, but the work done by all of the artists who spent months or years creating their masterpieces,” says Kara Lysandra Ross, co-chair and COO of ARC. “To be able to combine a fine art exhibition with a fashion event like this, where an entirely separate group of artists working in a different artform can come together in cooperation, brings the experience to a whole different level. I feel very grateful to be able to be a part of this timeless expression of our shared humanity.”

This one-of-a-kind event is part of FWSD 2020’s pivoting efforts to adhere to shelter-in-place orders while continuing to execute premier, fashion-forward events and serve as a launch pad for emerging designers. FWSD recently launched an innovative series of virtual runway shows, executing the first show in May with 2020 designer Vaughnberry. The monthly series showcases two models displaying eight of the designer’s looks at venue Luce Loft, all shot at a safe distance. The shows can be found on IGTV, FWSD YouTube channel, and the FWSD website.  Additionally, more than a dozen of FWSD designers, past and present, have devoted their quarantine time to making masks and filming DIY tutorials, donating more than 600 masks to local San Diego hospitals. fashionweeksd.com