Boston Fashion Week is here, and at the center of the whirlwind is entrepreneur Anna Foster. The Mattapan native runs A Maven’s World, a lifestyle brand that connects like-minded people through events like Fashion Week. Foster hosts several events in the coming days, including an opening night celebration at Royale nightclub with a runway and trunk show and a fund-raiser for Boston Arts Academy.
For Foster, Boston Fashion Week is about clothes, but it’s also about helping lesser-known designers achieve clout. She has organized events for the annual celebration since 2012.
“I work with different fashion designers and businesses on their brand strategy, and being a Boston native, I try to use my influence to connect them with people who can help them move forward,” she says. “It’s a time for different businesses to shine in Boston. . . . Normally, people don’t think of Boston as a fashion city,” she says.
This year’s events feature a blend of established and new talents from long-timers like Denise Hajjar to up-and-comers like Angelica Timas, Chevalier Homme, and I Am Kréyol.
“We’re in the age of individuality, which is why it’s great to work with different emerging designers. You’ll see Denise Hajjar, but you also have a Haitian designer who grew up in Boston, [Joelle Fontaine from] I Am Kréyol, and we want to connect all of these amazing people under one roof,” Foster says.
She takes the up-and-coming aspect quite seriously. On Oct. 1, she’ll present Kids Rip the Runway, a mini runway show featuring models from 4 to 16 at Lombardo’s in Randolph. The tots spent five weeks rehearsing.
“Several hundred auditioned, and we chose about 50,” Foster says. “By the time they get to the runway, their personalities have really blossomed.”
On Oct. 7, she hosts Black Fashion Boston, a symposium with fashion workers like I Am Kréyol’s Fontaine, photographer D. Irvin, model Omar Parkman, VanaVain stylist Vanessa Lundy, and stylist Patrick Petty, known for dressing the Wahlberg family at the South End’s House of Culture.
Foster hopes this kind of unity continues throughout the year.
“We want new and emerging designers and people from the industry to hear from some of the experts. I think what’s missing is a platform and a foundation. We [need that] connection and cohesiveness throughout the year,” Foster says.Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.