On the heels of Nashville’s Fashion Week, there is a lot of local buzz surrounding Memphis’ own first annual Fashion Week event. For this FACES of Memphis post I wanted to introduce you all to THE FACE (and brains) behind MFW, Abby Elzemeyer. The youthful founder of ETA (Elzemeyer Talent Agency) set her sights on a project uniting models, fashion, and a bit of civic pride during this upcoming visionary two-day event. We can’t wait!
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Education: Theater and Film from NYU and University of Alabama
Occupation: Talent Agent
What are you most passionate about?
Creating a Memphis that makes people proud.
What led you to launch ETA (Elzemeyer Talent Agency)? Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do when you “grew up”?
I grew up acting in plays and then attending high school and college for acting, so being a talent agent was a natural fit for me. I love the feeling of booking an actor or model and the excitement they have for their jobs.
How have you seen your business grow so far and what comes next?
We have seen the business grow with both the talent we represent and the caliber of jobs we are booking. We have also expanded the agency to represent bands and speakers.
What inspires you?
Creativity in others. I love to see people making their dreams happen. That pushes me to work harder on my own dreams and aspirations.
What has been one of your most favorite projects to work on and why?
I’m currently working on Memphis Fashion Weekend and it has been a real dream. I started working on this event from the ground up and am so excited to see its completion at the end of March.
How did the idea for Memphis Fashion Week come about?
After attending Nashville Fashion Week last year and seeing how many cities around Memphis have an event like this, I realized it was time for Memphis to get on the band wagon. There are so many great designers, models, and artists in Memphis and I want to make sure we hang on to them for years to come.
Have local businesses and designers been responsive?
We have had such wonderful support from local stores and designers. James Davis, Joseph, Kittie Kyle, and Oak Hall have really stepped up to help us out this year.
Can you tell us some of the designers who will be featured in the first ever MFW and where these events will take place?
There are two nights of designers. The first, Friday March 30th, takes place at Jack Robinson Gallery and will feature Ellis Dixon, Carol Peretz, and Philosophy. Saturday night March 31 will be at the old A. Schwab building and will showcase Annie Griffin, Bill Reid menswear, What Goes Around Comes Around, and Neil Bieff. There will be after parties at Brass Door and Itta Bena for VIP ticket holders.
These are some non-traditional spaces, what was your vision for this event?
MFW is not only about fashion, but about Memphis in general. These spaces have such great Memphis history in them and we want to showcase the spaces that Memphis has to offer.
Speaking of events and fashion, your own wedding is coming up this summer! Can you tell us some fashion-forward elements that you will incorporate into your big day?
Yes! We are getting married in a small town in Italy and are really looking forward to simple romantic elegance in our wedding. Because the wedding is small we will not have traditional bridesmaids and groomsmen so we will get to play a little more with their attire. The girls will wear an assortment of white dresses and we will have the guys in bright shirts and casual suits. We are lucky enough to be bringing the amazing Memphis photographer Chad Mellon with us, so I know the shots will be amazing.
What are your hobbies?
Right now, learning Italian!
Spending an entire Saturday on the porch reading a good book.
Where do you take your out of town friends/family when they come to visit you in Memphis?
During the spring I love to take people to the Levitt Shell. It’s such a great space to be with friends and family.
You’re in the business of talent; do you have any secret talents?
I have to say I am really good at Badminton.
What one word best describes you?
I live in jeans, so I am really looking forward to getting my hands on some bright pants for spring.
Would you share with us your ideal dinner party play list?
I really love Memphian Amy Lavere and have just come across The Secret Sisters who opened for Paul Simon when he was here last year.
What are three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God)?
My iPad, my engagement ring, and my dog Denver.
All proceeds from Memphis Fashion Week benefit ArtsMemphis. General Admission tickets are available while they last for $35 per night and a select number of VIP Tickets (I hear jewelry designers Brave Design and Angel Court are doing something special for VIP guests!!) which grant you access to both nights, VIP lounge access, gift bag, priority seating and after party invitations are available for $150.
To purchase tickets visit: Peria (Midtown) | Southern Couture (E Memphis) | Lavish (Collierville) or buy online at memphisfashionweekend.com. If you are interested in volunteering, please email [email protected]
A special thanks to our amazing photographer, Christen (Jones) Morrison, for her fabulous work featured on StyleBlueprint Memphis today. Be sure to check out her website here: www.christenjones.com