Being 1,776 feet high above New York City is a feat of architectural design that belongs to the One World Trade Center; however, last night at the J Summer Fashion Show world renowned fashion icon, Jessica Minh Anh, made more history by producing the first fashion show and event to be hosted at the 1WTC. The Freedom Tower is not open to the public for another 6 months, but last night the 63rd floor of the statuesque building was overflowing with fashionable guests and press in eager anticipation of the diverse collective of designers featured in this season’s J Model Management Fashion Show.
The One World Trade Center has long become a symbol in the world for freedom, resilience, and hope. Jessica Minh Anh took these sentiments into consideration with her show that not only paid tribute to the unique and dynamic landmark, but also celebrated the rich diversity of America’s heritage.
Anh embraced the truly American concept of a cultural melting pot. Her show featured Peruvian designer, Norka Peralta, Lebanese designer Ziad Nakad, Spanish design duo of Chula, Laura Fontan and Diego Cortizas who are based in Vietnam, HAY UNITED activewear representing the Indonesian fashion scene, the Philippine designer Puey Quiñones opened the show with his lavish creations, Cat Footwear strutted their stuff, Alina German from Russia, and Reshma and Riyaz Gangji of Libas flaunted their beautifully crafted Indian designs.
Taking the spotlight strutting along the breathtaking sky view of the wall length windows, Jessica Minh Anh opened the show with her hair wrapped up at least a foot tall above her, incorporating her love of heights into the look and sweeping through the catwalk in a soft layered and feathered gown that floated around her created by Puey Quiñones.
Highlights from the show include structurally innovative gowns by Puey Quiñones, romantic and whimsical sheer dresses by Libas, intricate beading and powerful color choices by Ziad Nakad, and a patriotic nod to NYC architecture and illustrious silk creations by Chula.
Glam-Damn-It was lucky enough to grab Jessica Minh Anh while she was backstage prepping for the show and ask her a few questions about her extraordinary fashion shows.
So you have been known for doing fashion shows in internationally established cities, what makes this location special and different from the ones you’ve done before?
There are so many reasons for it, but obviously given the history and the fact that everyone is thinking about this feeling emotional, and I’m very proud of the fact that next time when they think about it they will feel extremely positive and happy. We are bringing so many cultures together. This is not only the first fashion show, but the first event at the new One World Trade center six months before it’s open to the public. It is a huge deal, and I’m very honored.
What inspires you the most about this location?
Well, the fact that I’ve watched all the videos, and I know the history. I just love the fact that it rise (sic) a lot higher than it ever was and that really inspired me especially when I love heights.
You’ve presented in a lot of amazing locations before like in Singapore, Paris, and London, what do you think it does for the clothes and for the audience to be in such an exotic place?
I think the location really does matter because it makes the entire presentation a lot more meaningful and more exciting, and it gets people to more inspired to do their next collection. Some designers have told me that the fact that they stay right there in the moment makes them think of their next collection, like how it inspired them and that’s really great rather than just being in the same location every season. That’s extremely boring to me.
You live in Paris, do you draw inspiration from that for your fashion shows?
I have done shows in Paris on the river Seine, twice, so anytime I really miss Paris I’ll just go back and do that. Rather than that I can totally move away for a while and explore new places and the fact that I’m in Paris really does make me feel inspired, because firstly to me Paris is the most beautiful city.
Since the One World Trade Center is an American landmark, what is the significance of having culturally diverse designers collected here?
Well America is a very diverse country, so the fact that we’re bringing designers from all over the world just makes a lot of sense, especially on top of America. I mean, a lot of designers, even though they live in New York, they are still foreigners and the fact that they live happily here in harmony really does show that America welcomes people from all over the world and we need to celebrate that fact.
What do you have planned for the future?
Everyone asks me that same question. It’s very difficult to reveal, because location is the key of my shows, and I normally only reveal three weeks or a month in advance and that keeps people excited. Like for example, I always have the travel magazines and newspapers asking about location location location. We never reveal until the last minute, and when we do we reveal to the whole world. Everyone will know at the same time to keep it fair.