New designs on tap at annual showcase

Talking about the origins of San Francisco Fashion Week in 2004,founder Erika Gessin says, “It seemed like second nature to me. There’s so much fashion here. There wasn’t a platform to gain exposure to national media, buyers and consumers.

“I moved to San Francisco from New York and it became clear to me how much talent there is here. We could easily match New York, Los Angeles and Paris.”

This year’s Fashion Week, which runs Thursday through Sunday at the San Francisco Design Center, features three runway shows with spring fashions by five or six designers. The event also showcases 20 “emerging star” designers presenting their first collections.

“There’s something for everyone: glamorous evening wear, urban street wear and contemporary designs,” says publicist Donna Berry. New faces and voices include Danielle DeRoberts for Onerary, Amanda Thomas of Kirribilla and Daniel and David Concepcion of Dcepcion.

“The uniqueness is that this fashion event is open to the public — this is an opportunity for people to go behind the scenes and get access. Normally, you can’t get in the door except for industry professionals. It’s also a way to support the San Francisco fashion community,” Gessin says.

Among the event’s highlights: costumes designed by Isaac Mizrahi for Mark Morris’ dance productions; an auction of “Little Black Dresses” made by up-and-coming designers hosted by SF Opera’s Bravo! Club; parties with models and designers for VIP attendees (at hipster Harlot, the Dome in Westfield’s Galleria and at the trendy bar supperclub); and a concert by jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti Friday night.

Workshops open to the public Saturday and Sunday round out the festivities.

San Francisco Fashion Week

Where: Galleria Design Center, 101 Henry Adams St., S.F.

When: Runway shows at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday

Tickets: $35.99 to $125

Contact: www.fashionweek-sf.com

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