For Tony Harris, fashion was a way of life. So in October of 2009, he endeavored to let everyone know with a week devoted to it.

Five years after the inaugural Fashion Week San Antonio, Harris and his small but dedicated team are still going strong showcasing the plethora of design talent in the Alamo City.

Joining the likes of acclaimed designers including Celestino, Morena Rosa, Moikana and Cyntia Fontanella is local talent, and rising star Samantha Plasencia.

“Everyone here is so supportive,” said the University of the Incarnate Word alumna. “I wanted to do a big collection. I know (many of the shows) only have 10 to 14 looks. I wanted to do 24 and really make a story and give people a show because they’ve been behind me since day one.”

Plasencia’s urban chic aesthetic garnered her a showcase during last year’s coveted New York Fashion Week. And at 27, her star is poised to rise even higher as a current contestant on the Lifetime Network reality competition series, “Project Runway Season 13.

“You have to keep a thick skin and give your all every time. Once you fall out, it’s hard to get back up, and I’ve been there,” Plasencia said, who had never touched a sewing machine until college.

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Fashion is more than just the clothes, however. Thanks to sponsor TONI&GUY, the “Classics Re-Done” runway show illustrated a fresh haircut can easily be your canvas.

“Our creativity takes it to the next level. We may see a garment and say, ‘Why can’t we make hair look that way? (Inspiration) is everywhere,’” said Loretta Peña-Herrera, owner of TONI&GUY at La Cantera.

With styles ranging from the avant-garde to the colorful to modern sleek, the team of master stylists behind the scenes did not lack the panache expected in couture coifs.

The looks included on this year’s runway were all part of the global trend collection. Shortly after their debut, it does not take long for them to influence stylists across the entire industry.

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“We have great talent in San Antonio,” Peña-Herrera said. “It doesn’t only have to be in New York and Los Angeles. To come and see a show and see hair in a different aspect is a wonderful thing.”

Fashion Week San Antonio is more than beauty…it is also business. Support for the annual event comes from the Office of the Mayor, the Department for Culture and Creative Development, and the San Antonio Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

In a formal proclamation, Mayor Ivy Taylor even cited the city’s “contribution to the fashion industry, which will help invigorate San Antonio’s image and involvement in the global fashion community.”

With 12 events running though Friday, there will be no shortage of opportunities to keep the spotlight on what is en vogue in the Lone Star State.

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Kristian Jaime

Kristian Jaime is a professional journalist and photojournalist living in San Antonio, Texas. Over his 15-year career, his writing and photography has been carried by various news outlets which include...