Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fashionista to Watch: Abigail de Casanova

Hi Darlings:

I joined the DC Fashionistas about a year ago and it seems like I blinked and they already had over 1000 members by far the largest group of Fashion industry folks in DC. This was all because of the drive of one woman…Abigail de Casanova.

I called Abigail for this interview one morning a few weeks ago and find her in the middle of painting. I am actually surprised but I was already aware that she was a makeup artist so it was not a far leap. She says “Anything that inspires you eventually connects with each other”. A Peruvian she had taken a class from art students during her last trip to Lima.

She has lived in DC metro area for the past 18 Years and already her impact will last decades. Abigail explains how she came to be part of the fashion revolution in DC. It was kismet that she attended a meeting for the fashionista group that she will soon find out was about to be abandoned by its original leader. She was merely seeking out like minded people in an effort to network. She had just started her business designing purses as well as vintage jewelry and clothing. Like the other members who attended the meeting she received email requesting that someone take over the helm for the group. Yet faced with this potential obligation Abigail questioned if this was the route she should take having just started her own jewelry and purse business. But with the encouragement of family she accepted the calling.

“It has been truly truly a blessing” she exclaims, “I never thought this would happen so fast and so big” The group has grown to a thousand in just a year and a half. Abigail says there are international members and some from other states. If you have ever attended one of the meetings you would not be surprised. Abigail is a constant force driven to make the group bigger than ever. She has organized the members and is a “friend” before a group leader. I have asked her questions on my own and she is always willing to be helpful and share networking contacts. She has encouraged the women in the group to work together towards the common goal of promoting fashion in DC.

Abigail did not actually set out to be a community activist on behalf of fashion and fashionistas and a local leader in what I call the movement for a recognized fashion industry. She was and still is an accessories designer focusing her creative talents in the area of purses, jewelry from vintage stones and vintage clothing. Abigail is also an award winning hairstylist (she won the 1999 Millenium Hair and Fashion show) and a makeup artist.

Abigail says beyond the group her next move will be to own a boutique. I have no doubt this will be a reality in the future and the rest of the Fashionistas will be there to support her.

According to her, “Fashionistas try to kick down doors. Create opportunities. People believe in what they do and the group.”

Hugs and besos.

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