The phrase “high fashion” often brings to mind Paris, Milan or New York.
Nune Hov hopes to add the Pacific Northwest to this list.
On Friday Nov. 19, the 20-year-old Redmond resident directed and produced the first-ever Northwest Networking Umbrella (NNU), an event featuring local fashion designers, artists and musicians. Held at the Full Gospel Christian Center in Redmond, NNU was one of the first events of its kind held on the Eastside.
Hov, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Southcenter, has wanted to put on an event like this for a while. She said NNU was her way of bringing fashion to the area.
Hov said the event was also referred to as the Green Tie/Green Carpet event as a nod to the Emerald City as well as all designers’ use of natural and organic fibers or repurposed items.
The event showcased local talent, but Hov hopes to make NNU an annual event that will expand to feature more widely known names.
“Right now I’m stressing local design because I want to make an emphasis that there is fashion design and there is art (here),” she said.
In addition to a fashion show and live musical and dance performances, local artists and retailers had their goods on display and for sale. Hov said the event was also a venue designed for fashion, craft and music industry professionals and up-and-coming talent to meet and network with each other.
Marika Neupauer and Katerina Pokludova, cofounders of Marika’s Velvet Bakery, were among the vendors and appreciated this aspect of the event. Neupauer said having a common meeting ground for them to meet other businesses and entrepreneurs in the area was great — especially since their bakery has only been open since October. Neupauer and Pokludova became involved in NNU through their connections with Hov’s mother and after Hov tried their baked goods.
“She was amazed,” Neupauer said. “She thought we would be great here.”
Neupauer added that being at NNU made sense to them because they view their products as art.
Vickie Evensen traveled from Marysville to support her daughter Linda Evensen, who was one of the models in the fashion show. Vickie said Linda just finished her model training at the end of October and NNU was her first show. Linda said she liked that the show featured local talent, adding that this was likely a big draw for attendees.
“It kind of gives you a taste for all things out there,” she said.
More than 100 people attended NNU.
Linda also said she liked that different mediums of art were showcased because there is not much opportunity for people in these industries to get together and network. She said she particularly enjoyed the musical performances.
Hov has had a few years of directing fashion shows and said NNU was one of her biggest shows.
Seven designers were spotlighted including Laksmi McKenna, Carol Franklin, Olga Earle and Hov. There were a total of 54 garments worn by 24 models in the show. Despite its size, Hov said organizing this portion of the event was easy. Working with vendors and performers was new for her and difficult, but she said the hardest part was relying on others to do their part.
Hov became involved in the fashion industry after earning her associates degree in business through Running Start at Redmond High School. She began modeling and acting before eventually teaching in these areas. She’s been organizing shows and performances for her family and friends since she was young. The fashion shows and NNU are an extension of these smaller performances.
Although she is still a student, Hov works three jobs: teaching at John Casablancas Modeling in Bellevue, assisting at a market and opinion research company and the occasional modeling, acting or fashion show directing gig.
It’s a lot to balance, but Hov manages because she likes to keep herself busy. When she started organizing NNU, Hov was a little intimidated by the additional workload, but she didn’t give up. Many of the NNU panel (interior designers, makeup and hair team, etc.) worked on a volunteer basis but with Hov funding the event herself, it wasn’t cheap.
“It’s expensive,” she said. “I’m hoping to at least break even.”
Hov said she also hopes to turn NNU into a charity event in the future.