Alexis Ring

Alexis cut her design teeth in the interior design industry after earning a BA in Interior Architecture and Design.  After spending eight years designing residential projects and special events, she fell into fashion design out of necessity.

In 2010, she took up cycling as a hobby and it soon became a major part of her life.  She was unpleasantly surprised by the lack of options for women’s cycling apparel.  Subsequently, she began to dream up the idea of Lexi Miller as a solution. While so many other niches of active apparel had improved in recent years, cycling apparel still had too many pain points.

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Sheeva Van Gemeren

Sheeva Van Gemeren, is co-founder and designer of Lo Swim. Lo Swim is a Northern California based swimwear brand designed by former competitive swimmers with the goal of enhancing competitive training swimwear. Sheeva is a former Davis competitive swimmer, who set out to create something she never had during her collegiate career, a fashion forward suit that stood up to the intense demands of training. One of the components of her design process is to distribute samples to the Davis and Cal swim teams, so each piece is rigorously tested and perfected before going into production.

Her company designs a hydro-dynamic, fashionable alternative to Speedo, and provides competitive swimmers and triathletes with suits that combine ultra-durable fabric with adjustable elements to ensure a custom fit—while incorporating unique style elements unlike any other training suit. Sheeva would like to explore the possibilities of using the Intel Curie to track performance.

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Mahsa Gharahgozli

Mahsa is an unrelenting idealist when it comes to design. “I spent years searching for the perfect pair of pants” she explains, “finally I designed them myself…I call them magic pants because when a woman puts them on she instantly looks fantastic!”

Starting with one perfect pair of black pants, Mahsa has achieved her dream and much more.  Her debut prêt–à–porter collection targeted to urban women on the move, combines her keen attention to fit and detail in pieces that are simultaneously understated and strikingly bold.

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Stephanie Bodnar

Stephanie Bodnar has always been passionate about storytelling through design. After earning a degree in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, Bodnar chose to follow her passion for costume design, attending FIDM in San Francisco, where she earned a Professional Designation AA in Fashion Design.

Bodnar has worked for several Bay Area apparel companies since graduation and has designed costumes for local theater and dance productions. Her work has been displayed at the De Young and Palace of Fine Arts Museums, and she was recognized as one of GenArt's Fresh Faces in Fashion in 2008.

With an affection for vintage style and the attentive craftsmanship seen in the lingerie of bygone eras, Bodnar created Honey Cooler Handmade lingerie, available in high-end lingerie shops throughout the Bay Area. Honey Cooler Handmade is an expression of Bodnar’s love for feminine detailing, fine fabrics and intricate lacework in styles that are ideal for daytime layering and nighttime lounging.

Bodnar has received national recognition in publications including The San Francisco Chronicle’s Style Section, CNN Living and 7X7.

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Kanjana "Cake" Carlos

Cake Carlos found her passion for creating fashionable clothes at a very young age. During her childhood, Cake’s mother worked as a sewer in a large garment factory in Bangkok. Her mother taught Cake to sew, and every day after school, Cake would practice the new-found skills that would one day become her profession.

After immigrating to the United States, Cake attended and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) San Francisco in 2008. She then worked with San Francisco couture designer Lily Samii for the next two years. In 2010 Cake and a fellow designer opened up Kajan Padraig Women’s Wear, growing the business to be featured in over 15 boutiques across the country.

In 2013, Cake decided to start her own label, naming her clothing company Kajan Cake, which is an abbreviation of her given name Kanjana, which means "golden" in Sanskrit. Cake’s design esthetic comes from her love of the rich Thai culture.

Cake has earned numerous awards and medals for her work in traditional Thai fruit carvings, which showcases her aptitude in technical, intricate design – a talent reflected in the handwork and detail in construction found in her garments.

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Jeff Ladra

Jeff Ladra grew up on the San Francisco peninsula, but became an outdoorsman at an early age. Learning to fly fish at 8 years old, he spent every summer vacation with his family exploring the rivers and streams of Northern California, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana.

His love for the Outdoors led him to attend college at the University of Oregon, where he earned a degree in political science ... while truly majoring in fly fishing for steelhead trout. After graduating, Jeff moved back to the Bay Area where he worked in sales for a subsidiary of Pitney Bose.

While successful in sales, Jeff always dreamed of working in the outdoor industry, so he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) San Francisco and focused his program towards outdoor apparel. His program emphasis was in product development, which led to a job at VF Outdoor where Jeff worked for the JanSport brand.

Jeff spent seven years at VF climbing the corporate ladder from a specification technician to a developer. He then landed the position of product line manager for the entire Outdoor/Outside category of technical backpacks - a category he grew in 2 years from $2MM to over $10MM globally.

During his free time, Jeff created a line of outdoor flannel shirts that would eventually turn into the Pladra brand. Jeff and his business partners spent over four years working on Pladra as a side project, until the company gained enough traction for Jeff to take the leap of going full time. Jeff is now committed to creating and manufacturing the highest quality of outdoor apparel in San Francisco.

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Jessie Liu

Jessie Liu is from the small coastal town of Penglai in the Shandong Province of China. Prior to entering the fashion industry, she was a corporate executive based in Toronto, Canada. But her talent and passion in fashion design led her to the creative hub of San Francisco where she earned a Master of Fine Art degree from the Academy of Art University.

In the fall of 2011, among many contending designers competing for the opportunity, Jessie’s evening gown was jury-selected to be shown at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. Then again in 2012, her graduation collection was selected to be shown at that year’s Fashion Week NY.

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Peter Papas

Peter Papas has spent nearly two decades in fashion design and merchandising, working with global brands ranging from outlet and mass merchandise to high-end luxury. A graduate of the New York University Stern School of Business, Peter has worked in the fashion industry on the East and West Coasts.

In 2013 he launched his own line of heritage-inspired men's apparel under the name Blade + Blue. The line was inspired by the element of timeless style captured in old photos of Peter’s father and grandfather from the '50s and '60s. Peter designed Blade + Blue to reflect how men are connected through time by traditions - like mixing a martini, achieving a close shave & knotting a tie.

Blade + Blue merchandise is available in retail stores in three states as well as online.

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Nishika de Rosairo

San Francisco-based CEO and Creative Director Nishika de Rosairo draws on the idea of connectedness, power and transformation in her designs.

A successful corporate leader, artist and dancer, Nishika started designing clothes at a young age. Fashion has always been her creative touchstone and way of life, fueling her imagination and storytelling. As a young girl, her mother sewed beautiful dresses for her and her sister, which helped her understand how clothing made her feel, and the inherent psychology behind why we choose to wear what we wear. This is what led dE ROSAIRO to be built on the premise of Look Feel Lead, which translates into how you Look, is how to Feel, is how you Lead.

Nishika grew up embracing the world and its cultures, living on four continents and traveling to 40+ countries. With an MBA in change and innovation in organizations, prior to founding dE ROSAIRO, Nishika spent ten years as a Strategic Advisor consulting to and working with Fortune 500 / Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Salesforce, Cisco, Deloitte Consulting, Levi and others. The experience she gained was invaluable to realizing her childhood dream of founding her designer namesake label.

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Dahae Kim

Originally from South Korea, Dahae Kim is a contemporary menswear designer, creating unique, asymmetrical, and complex designs for her menswear brand, aDiKtion.

After receiving a BFA in Menswear Fashion Design from the Academy of Art University, Dahae received a portfolio scholarship from the CFDA and was named as a best emerging designer of 2011 from the San Francisco Fashion Award. She also taught fashion design at Raffles International College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Dahae draws inspiration from contemporary music, industrial architecture, and dark, psychotic concepts to create alchemical interpretations of modern life in each of her designs. The aDiKtion collection is structured on Dahae’s strengths: Pattern manipulation, the subtle mix of flowing drapery and architectural tailoring.

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Lia Larrea

As a child growing up in Quito, Ecuador, Lia Larrea developed a love for drawing and painting that would later help shape her career in fashion design.

Moving to the United States with her family at the age of twelve, Lia was introduced to a new society and way of life, opening her eyes to new opportunities. While attending college for business, she enrolled in a painting class that reconnected her to her artistic aspirations. In another life-changing move, she landed in San Francisco ready to pursue a career in fashion design.

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Anna Min

Having been taught at a young age how to hem pants to fit her petite frame, Anna Min developed a passion for perfectly tailored clothes. After receiving a degree in computer science at University of California, Berkeley, Anna embarked on a successful career in the technology industry. But fashion would soon find its way back into her heart.

Anna continued to sew pieces for herself, her family and friends, though she felt limited by the design and fit of commercially available patterns. Aspiring to make her own designs come to life, she enrolled in the patternmaking and design program at Apparel Arts in San Francisco.

After years of studying French moulage patternmaking, which blends her background in science and design, Anna launched her ready-to-wear line called Min Edition. Dedicated to designing chic, timeless pieces specifically tailored to women 5'4" and smaller, Min Edition features clean lines, subtle details and perfect proportions in its tightly edited collection. Min Edition is designed and manufactured in San Francisco.

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Amanda Scarlett Smith

While earning a degree in fashion design from London’s Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, Amanda Scarlett Smith had the opportunity to work with the legendary Alexander McQueen and Antonio Berardi. No stranger to the spotlight, Amanda has held costume design positions with the English National Opera and for the stage production of The Lion King and the film The Duchess starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.

Amanda is developing her womenswear collection, Scarlett Smith, which features her unique use of creative cutting techniques and precise tailoring to achieve a dramatic, elegant and sculpted look.

The Scarlett Smith label is based in San Francisco and is inspired by Amanda’s belief that fashion is a non-verbal story shared with people every day: It affects how you behave and how others react to you.

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Michelle Byrnes

Hawaii-born San Francisco resident Michelle Byrnes designs swimwear for today’s jet-setting woman. Upon realizing she owned nearly 200 swimsuits, Michelle decided to translate her love of design and adventure into a career path. She graduated from City College of San Francisco, studying design and textiles, and has designed a new swimsuit collection yearly for nearly a decade. In 2010, Michelle launched her own line.

Michelle’s swimwear offers cutting-edge design and a hint of bohemian wanderlust. The garments are manufactured domestically in Los Angeles, with fabrics imported from Italy. Michelle recognizes that the journey is more important than the destination and believes in inspiring love, life and adventure with her garments.

Michelle has previously worked with Macy’s Passport and Surface Magazine. She has experience in show production, jewelry manufacturing, visual merchandizing and design. Her swimsuits have been featured in Women’s Wear Daily, San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section and Scene Magazine.

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Bree Hylkema & Kyra

Kyra has an eclectic background in finance and theatrical costume design, patterning and construction. She completed her MBA at Mills College’s Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business and was a recipient of the Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco scholarship, as well as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women business leadership scholarship. Kyra wrote her undergraduate thesis on sustainable fashion and draws inspiration from slow fashion, costume design and a desire to empower professional women. For the past six years, she has specialized in accounting consulting and operations development for Bay Area fashion companies.

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Sarah Liller

Born and raised in Ventura, Calif., Sarah Liller is no stranger to fashion. Her mother an accomplished seamstress, Sarah grew up surrounded by buttons, patterns, fabrics stores and a 1970s Kenmore sewing machine. Although Sarah was a scientist by training - with a graduate degree in biochemistry, her love of sewing sent her to the prestigious Parsons The New School for Design. Sarah’s education and experience in New York City helped her garner an in-depth understanding of the garment industry.

After moving to San Francisco’s Mission District, Sarah became inspired by the city’s culture and launched her own clothing line, Sarah Liller, San Francisco. Most of Sarah’s clients are graduate students and accomplished professionals, compelling her to design women’s wear that is feminine yet versatile, fit for a “modern heroine.”

Sarah held internships with Nanette Lepore and Siwy Denim in New York. Her clients include Levi Strauss & Co. Her designs are available for sale at Loft 1513, a boutique in San Francisco.

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Diana Mitchell

Diana Mitchell has been sewing since childhood, taught by her mother and grandmother, both of whom made clothes for the family. Diana went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis, Art Studio program, focusing on sewn sculptures. She later completed a patternmaking program in San Francisco.

While directing an afterschool center for children, Diana recognized an unfilled market niche: comfortable women’s wear that is suited for work with kids and presentable in front of their parents. Thus, in 2011, DDCC was born. Diana uses her late grandfather’s architectural drafting table to create all patterns and is inspired by his legacy. She often likens patternmaking to architecture: 2D designs blossom into beautiful 3D works of art upon completion.

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Jake Wall

Artful Gentleman’s Co-Founder, Chief Designer and Style Curator Jake Wall comes from a marketing background, with a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley, as well as a master’s degree and an MBA under his belt. However, in 2010, Jake rebooted his career, becoming a sewing apprentice with classically trained bespoke tailors in Hong Kong.

Soon after, Jake founded the Artful Gentleman. Artful Gentleman produces custom-tailored suits, tailored shirts, separates and tuxedos that address the fashion needs of men and women of all sexual orientations. The customization process offers up to 500,000 combinations so that no two suits are alike. It is Jake’s personal mission to inspire others to express themselves through well-fitted, stylish wardrobe. He is committed to the city’s LGBT community’s fashion sense and is a published author on gender construction, with a focus on gender roles in modern comic books.

Artful Gentleman suits were worn by a folk rock band The Lumineers to the 2013 Grammy Awards and featured in Bay Fashion Magazine and Bay Area Reporter. Jake also participated in San Francisco Fashion Week in 2012. Artful Gentleman is the style curator for the nationwide 2013 “Modern Man: Art of the Suit” event, part of the Chivas Regal “Brotherhood” marketing campaign.

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Justin Jamison

Born in San Diego, California, Justin found his passion for the arts at a young age. His influence stemmed from his grandmother, with whom he spent his childhood and early adolescence creating crafts and various works of art. At the age of 20, Justin moved to San Francisco, California, to further his knowledge of the arts and to pursue his dream of fashion design. A trip to Tokyo, Japan, gave Justin insight to a new and diverse world of fashion, which holds as a solid inspiration in his designs today. Justin graduated with honors from The Art Institute of California - San Francisco and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design with a focus in Menswear.

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Tamara Jaric

Tamara Jaric was born in Serbia and has lived in Europe and the United States. Her international experience has influenced her work as a designer. European elegance mixed with American ease, fine details and working with unexpected industrial materials isoon became her signature.

Tamara developed her interests in the arts at an early age. She loved painting and was hoping to pursue a career in fine arts at the High School of Design in Belgrade. While there, she also learned about fashion design and textiles.

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