South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual film, music and interactive conference, is adding fashion to its celebrated mix. The inaugural Style X (pronounced Style By), an exhibition aimed at showcasing emerging talent in the fashion industry, will debut at the conference’s 25th anniversary in March 2011.
Style X will be a free event, open to the public, and will present dozens of up-and-coming brands through retail pop-ups and runway shows. The goal is to celebrate fashion in Austin and around the world, with new designers being announced as the launch date comes closer. The group has been actively seeking emerging talent via twitter.
Joah Spearman, owner of Sneak Attack, a pop-up sneaker boutique and Jon Pattillo, co-owner of Sanctuary Printshop, approached SXSW executives with the idea about a year ago. They see it as an opportunity to replicate SXSW influence on music and art with fashion and are touring the country looking for designers that fit the bill. Spearman tells the Austin Business Journal that he doesn’t “want this event to scream, ‘Oh, you have to be some high fashion industry snob to appreciate this event. SXSW succeeds because it does a great job of reaching out to that general public, and creating a base of buzz among them.”
Are you a designer or representing a designer who will be presenting at StyleX. What do you think of SXSW foray into fashion?