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ristina Charles wanted to move to New York City and then realized that everything she was looking for was here in Acadiana. A small-town girl from Baldwin, La, she moved to the Lafayette area 7 years ago and fell in love with the culture and food. She is a 2020 journalism graduate of Loyola University New Orleans. Her extensive background in marketing encouraged her to pursue a Master of Science in Marketing and Communications at her alma mater. For two years, she has been a contributing writer for various publications, including 337 Magazine, and feels like she is just getting started. Kristina enjoys fashion and lifestyle writing, binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy, and the finest of all desserts (cheesecake!)

All pages within 337 magazine are the property of 337 magazine. No portion of the materials on the pages may be reprinted or republished in any form without the express written permission of 337 magazine ©2021. The content of 337 magazine has been checked for accuracy, but the publishers cannot be held liable for any update or change made by advertisers and/or contributors to the magazine. 337 Media, LLC is not responsible for injuries sustained by the reader while pursuing activities described or illustrated herein, nor failure of equipment depicted or illustrated herein. No liability is, or will be, assumed by 337 magazine, 337 Media or any of its owners, administration, writers or photographers for the magazine or for any of the information contained within the magazine. All rights reserved.

Kristina is a lover of all things fashion and brings 337 Magazine inside stories from the area's largest yearly fashion event, Acadiana Fashion Week.

OWNERS/ PUBLISHERS 337 Media Editor / Creative Director: Abby Meaux Conques

337 CORRESPONDENT Kristina Charles


AFW SEASON 5 Slated for July 15-17, 2021 at The Grouse Room Head-turning fashion, fierce-walking, leg-strutting, and bold ideas are what you will find attending Season 5 of Acadiana Fashion Week, an event that inspires all who are involved and attend to leave the event feeling confident, proud, and fulfilled. What started off as a simple vision has grown into its "Half a Decade of Fashion Here in Acadiana" celebration. Founders Morgan Pete, Johnetta George, and Micheal D. Smith banded together to bring Southern Louisiana something it didn’t realize it was missing: a professional fashion week. The team’s dream was to create a local platform for local models, creatives, and photographers to express themselves through fashion, hair, photography, and all forms of art. Most view large cities like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles as fashion capitals and powerhouses, but the South has become the biggest underdog looking to take over. Models are constantly advised that they must move away or travel to these large cities to realize their dreams; the owners of AFW wanted to change that. Mike, Morgan, and Johnetta work with over 150 models yearly, and have seen a steadily growing turnout at each AFW. Perks for models include custom gift bags, apparel, robes, exclusive photoshoots, and endless networking opportunities for their careers. The group is known for giving all men and women a chance without size or height restrictions. Fashion week includes a series of events leading up to the shows: The Business Talk panel on the Monday of fashion week features industry professionals doling out gems of information to share with those who want to take a serious next step in all things fashion. The Tuesday of fashion week is marked by art showings followed by a kid’s night on the Wednesday. All roads lead to the opening night of the shows where the magic culminates with three full days and nights of couture-galore! Fashion week is turning into one of the biggest events in the area, just grab your tickets in support of the event, show up & show out! "Acadiana is a great place for the fashion industry to make its mark. We have the people, the hospitality, and the uniqueness to set us aside from any other fashion week there is. We know what makes us different from everyone else, and we want to use our creative minds to bring it to life through fashion and art." You can follow AFW on social @acadianafashionweek



ollaboration is key when it comes to pulling off one of the area's largest fashion events of the year. AFW is comprised of an elite team of businesspeople, models, artists, designers, media experts, interns, contributors, and enthusiasts. We are pleased to present to you the great minds and hearts behind AFW Season 5 to take place this July at the Grouse Room on Jefferson Street in Lafayette, Louisiana.

MORGAN PETE Co-founder Of Acadiana Fashion Week Founder of Fashion Institute of Louisiana Sky is NOT the Limit (Organization Founder) Author Infinite Beauty Store Influencer IG @morganpete_

MICHAEL D. SMITH Co founder/ Creative Director of Acadiana Fashion Week Photographer Model Development IG @mikedphotography

JOHNETTA GEORGE Cofounder of Acadiana Fashion Week Founder of Gail’s Foundation Owner of Strutz Boutique IG j.net__

NICHOLAS (NICK) LATHANILE Executive Assistant / Head of Production AFW Owner of Melanin Milk Skincare IG @nicholaslathanile

BAILEY MELANCON Director of Press and Media for Acadiana Fashion Week Founder of Louisiana Creates and About the People Videographer Photographer IG @baileymelancon

INTERNS Akilah Morris @akilahnthebee Anne-Marie Auer @annemarie_Auer Kamryn Germain @kamryn.germain Kyler Jacquet @artbyinfrared

NIKKI JORDAN Head of Hair and Makeup Artistry for AFW Color Edge Educator Professional Hairstylist and Makeup Artist Owner of Blush Studio in Lafayette, La. IG @hair_and_makeup_by_nikki



here would be no AFW without our amazing designers.

Each with their own background, expertise, and artistic journey, it's our pleasure to introduce these spotlight designers from AFW Season 4.



strology has been a hot topic since the 1960s, The passionate sun, moon, and stars lover walked but did you know that you can physically “rep” us through her creative process and why she chose your sign? the Zodiac to creatively express herself. Designer Mone of New Orleans showed event goers her artistic expression of astrology when she showcased her “Zodiac Collection” at AFW Season 4 in 2020. “Fie” stands for “Fashion is Everything.” The sassy Scorpio illustrated each piece by the power color, personality trait and style of the 12 astrological signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.

“We’ve been through so much in the last year or so. I got heavy into science and started studying the zodiac signs. Each garment represents a different zodiac sign and the power color of the zodiac," she explained. "When meeting and dealing with new people, and building relationships, I’m always trying to understand them on a different level based upon their zodiac sign or chart. So, I was like, 'You know what, I’m going to do a zodiac collection.' This is what I am into these days, so why not put it on the runway? These girls bring those ideas to life.”

“My friends are Libras, Cancers and I am a Scorpio. I pretty much got their perspective on their attitude and their way of life. My dealings with different zodiac signs are how I formed my collection.” “I’m not a person who sketches, sometimes I write it down...but this one was straight from the heart. I just went into the fabric store and was like, ‘You know what, this is the power color.’ I grabbed the material and I went home and just constructed it from scratch.” "I participated in AFW3 in 2019. The only difference between last year and Season 4 was that Season 3 was one big show. You could have everyone come at one time for the entire show instead of having to miss out on people...or this designer that showcases at a different time, and another designer showcasing later that night. But it’s a good thing. I found it to be more organized because you have that leeway with designers going on at different times." "Sometimes throughout the year I get discouraged and wonder if I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing or 'Is this the right thing for me?' Then, I get here, and everyone tells me how beautiful my designs are... and the whole time I’m scared to showcase because I think something won’t be right, 'I’m missing this,' or 'I couldn’t do this,' or 'I didn’t have time to do that!' I get here and no one sees those imperfections. You can connect with different photographers, models, publicists, or anyone who is into art. That’s what I like the most about Acadiana Fashion Week, the reassurance that I am on the right track." Mone will not be on stage for Season 5, but she will be attending to enjoy the festivities and to meet fans of her work! You can check out her style at IG @fiebrand



reaking free, yet making it look mod-ish was HKP’s edgy statement at AFW Season 4. Designer Hashall K. Payne launched the “Chains Collection.” The collection pays homage to the time-tested idea of being released from all of that holds you back, and turning it into something beautiful. Notable elements in her collection were vibrant green leather and light grey chain straps with a sporty feel. The New Orleans designer has been sewing since she was 7-years-old and says her personal style is edgy and chic. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hashall managed to find creative inspiration from her surroundings. “Whether it’s a leaf falling from a tree or a car passing by, I take that and turn it into anything I make,” she mentioned. Her inspiration from the everyday gave AFW ultramodern tailored pieces featuring leather joggers, two-piece sets, oversized jackets, tight-fitting bodycon dresses and a grey split-thigh pencil skirt. “I spent just about a month and a half on each piece. Then, I took about a week and a half on each piece to perfect it. Now that I've finished I feel very happy and relieved,” she said about AFW Season 4. Her brand showcased in the Austin and Greenstreet (Houston) Fashion Weeks, but AFW 4 was her first time showing in Acadiana. “I love the atmosphere, it’s very vibrant and everyone was very welcoming, easy, and pleasant. I really enjoyed my whole experience here. At first, I was really scared and now I am really excited and ready to see what’s next.” You can catch HKP's signature looks at this year's AFW Season 5.




he’s new to designing, but definitely not new to the runway. Rachel Ann is a former model turned designer for Acadiana Fashion Week. Her collection of shaggy faux fur, puff sleeve blouses, embellished skirts, and array of vibrant colors kept everyone near the runway wanting more. She is based out of New Orleans and her boutique describes her personality: fun, bubbly, and vogue-ish with a hint of glam. She closed out her show by sharing her victory walk with her Mom, both wearing matching long-sleeved, pink and purple iridescent sequin blouses. Rachel shared with us that opening a high-fashion boutique has always been a dream of hers. “I love styling and coordinating different pieces for all my clients. I mean...don’t we all love being fashionable? I am here to help my clients with just that and I will do whatever it takes to help them to find that perfect outfit. I want every woman who shops with me to embrace and feel the phrase, ‘Confidently Beautiful.'” Rachel credits her creativity with the company she keeps. “I wish I could take credit for everything, but I feel most creative when I’m surrounded by individuals who help me to think outside the box and motivate me to continue to do better. You are who you are because of who you surround yourself with. I’m so thankful for the people in my life that push my creative side and let my inspiration shine.” Rachel is a 2018 & 2019 AFW model alum, and this year was her first year participating as a designer. “Despite the pandemic, this year at AFW has been just as exciting as the previous years that I’ve participated in! I’m so thankful that AFW was able to happen,” she mentioned. When asked about her design process, she describes herself as always being prepared. “I buy pieces that can work together and pair designs as they come in. When it comes to a runway show, it makes it easy and quick for us to style the appropriate items together to create the ‘WOW’ factor that designers search for.” Personally, we can’t wait to see what Rachel has in store for AFW Season 5 Currently you can find Rachel Ann’s exclusive shop online. Instagram: RachelAnnBoutique Facebook: RachelAnnBoutique



ou may have seen him on the baseball field but now he’s also known for walking the catwalk at Acadiana Fashion Week Season 4. As a Texas A&M University-Texarkana alum and studio tech for KATC-TV 3, Phillip Derouen has proven to himself that personal drive can help you to attain professional goals. “I always wanted to pursue acting and modeling, but baseball took up the majority of my life, so I couldn't really dive into the creative side of life. But now that I'm away from baseball, I can finally start pursuing those dreams,” said Derouen in a recent interview. When asked about his experience during AFW Season 4, he mentioned, “It was like a movie. Each model had their own unique look, it was so amazing to see everyone owning their outfit in their part in the show. Rehearsals were a day before the show and everyone was still meeting everybody. But once everyone got comfortable with one another, we immediately became a little family that felt like we knew each other for years. As for on stage, that was like ‘LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!’ I literally felt the adrenaline and goosebumps because all of the lights and eyes were on me, which made it feel like a movie. It is truly a feeling and experience I'll never forget.” Derouen modeled for brands Len Jewels, BeSpokeBaptiste, and WhoCares Clothing at AFW Season 4. He will be back in action for Season 5 at AFW.




eet Isaiah Savoy (“Nyck Bentley” to his friends). The Lafayette makeup artist of two years was introduced to Morgan (with AFW) at a photoshoot, originally looking to be a model for Fashion Week, but makeup is his prime passion. How did you get into makeup artistry?

Season 4 was my first year at Acadiana fashion week. I was there all three days just working and putting my all into it. Waking up at 5am to be there for 8am. Going to sleep at 3am to be back up and ready for 8am. It was hard but I thank God I made that move.

Over the hundreds of people I met, I only knew about two models (besides the owners and executives). About three years ago in December, I went into a That morning when I woke up, I had about 3,000 foldepressive stage. Honestly, I wanted to commit sui- lowers. By the time I left Fashion Week I checked my cide. My outlet was makeup. I ended up getting into Instagram that was about 4,000! makeup, though I was not good at it, at the time (lol). I kept bettering myself and after one year I could You seememd very comfortable throughout the turn myself into an avatar. show and seemed to have a knack for making others feel good. Tell me about that. Tell us about your makeup journey. I try to make anyone feel comfortable in any situaWhen I first started, one of my cousins made the joke tion. You can open up to me and become close to me. that I used eyeliner to do her eyebrows. It was black I want you to feel welcomed when I’m doing your eyeliner so it looked horrible! First, I started off with makeup. I want you to feel empowered, confident, mascara doing eyebrows and then I moved into eye- and like you can be yourself. I met a model who was liner. After eyeliner, I tried using Halloween costume scared and shaking in my chair. She was really termakeup (red, black, and white). I started to use the rified. I assured her it’s ok and I’m not going to hurt black to fill in my eyebrows! I would always practice you. I'm just here to make you pretty. By the end of on my cousin and then I started getting into myself that night she was networking with everyone! and practicing cut creasing. As I continually did it to other people, I got better over time.

Technique backstage: what was the AFW makeup look? Kids night was mostly eyeshadow and an eyebrow. The next two nights are wild! I was limited to 10 minutes for each model and different designers wanted different looks like cut crease liners. This would typically take me 30 minutes to but I managed to pull it off in 10 minutes. I even accomplished a full glam in less than thirty minutes. It was crazy! I mean, smokey eye and all of the dramatics...and I had to make it work. I made a promise to Morgan that I would have everything done and under control. I give it most at 20 minutes. I was RUNNING, LITERALLY. Once I did the eyebrows, I would have to conceal them! I was moving quickly! This was my first time being rushed for each individual. It was model after model after model. How did you come up with the makeup styles for AFW? Some designers wanted a particular look. Others we could freestyle it just with certain colors. My go-to makeup look is not natural, haha! I would rather do a cut-crease, wing liner, double wing liner. I’m not for the “Don’t put any eyeshadow on.” No, I don’t like that! I’m really big on sanitizing. Every lip and mascara my brushes had were switched to disposable ones. With COVID, it’s hard because for those who want eyeshadow you're literally in their face. So, I had to wear my mask and rely on it. It’s not easy but it’s what we have to do. Makeup breakdown: First night: Glitter and geometric liners Second night: Natural, bronzes and gold, full face Kids night: Mostly eyeshadow and browns, blended out with pink and gold inside. See Nyck in action again at AFW 5!





SEASON 4 PHOTOGRAPHERS CamWithTheCam D. Lee D. Lens John Weatherall Leo M. Seals Malik T. Jones ShotbyANA Shotbygranger Yusef Davis


CATCH THESE DESIGNERS AT THIS YEAR'S AFW SEASON 5 1990 by S.Claxton (Swimwear) A'Cole JO design Studio Soul of Sol Swimwear Poison Ivy Trendz By Trellz JSMN Designs Jori Yelir Tiffany Robinson (Rockstar 86) LenJewels Ebony James Mike D. Photography L'Jai Amor Zahnenden Handbags Rachel Ann Boutique HKP by Hashall Designs Who Cares Clothing Seam25