Morgan Pete graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a degree in biology, but while getting her degree, she discovered that her true passion lay in the fashion world.
As she pursued modeling opportunities, she had the chance to walk in shows like the Miami, New York and New Orleans Fashion Week, Macy's Fashion Show, Dillard's Fashion Show and the Los Angeles Raw Fashion Show, among others.
For the past two years, Pete has been mulling over the pull the trigger.
The 26-year-old and her crew are working to make the event reflect all the glamour of New York Fashion Week with a Southern twist.
“It's great to travel to New Orleans, New York or LA for fashion week but there's nothing better than having something in your own city,” says Pete. “We have great talent here in Acadiana, from the models, to the designers, photographers, hairstylists and make-up artists, and we thought it was time to bring our creativity to life.”
The response to the casting call put out by Pete and her board was overwhelming, with so many people signing up that they had to turn some away.
Two separate castings were performed, one was an open call in Lafayette and the other was an online submission casting to accommodate interested out of town models. According to Pete, each model was chosen based on their walk and personality.
“We wanted models who were confident on the runway,” says Pete. “I believe that models need to have more than just a great look, they have to know how to speak to people, respect others and be reliable. We wanted our audience to be enthralled with every model.”
The week’s activities kicked off with a poolside swimwear show at the Isle of Iberia on Wednesday night, featuring Destination Swimwear based out of New York and Six-13 swimwear based out of Baton Rouge.
Acadiana Fashion Week Activities will continue tonight and Saturday with summer and fall wear shows kicking off at 7 p.m., each night.
Designers will include local names like L'Jai adore by Paige Alexander, Mitchell by JaQuam, Who Cares Clothing, Ene Penny Couture, Jori Yelir and Paparazzi by Elle, as well as bigger names like Brothers on the Boulevard and designers from across the state.
The Marie Bleu Ballroom in Carencro, Louisiana, was specifically chosen because of the intimate atmosphere provided by the venue, a necessary element for the type of show that will be taking place this weekend.
The shows on Friday and Saturday will diverge a bit from the normal fashion show script, since models will walk through two rooms in the venue.
During the show, each designer will have about 10 to 12 models circulating throughout the two rooms.
One way Acadiana Fashion Week is showcasing local artists is by highlighting the works from local artists, like painter Clarence Ledee.
Attendees can view his work throughout the venue during each show on Friday and Saturday. The events for the week will be rounded out with a brunch and mixer on Sunday afternoon at Basin Arts in Downtown Lafayette.
Attendees can enjoy mimosas, music and food and networking with those interested in the fashion industry.
Pete is hopeful that the event will bring industry jobs to the area.
“We're hoping that Acadiana Fashion Week will continue to grow and eventually open up job opportunities for the people interested in the fashion industry in Louisiana,” says Pete.
For more information about Acadiana Fashion Week, to view a schedule of events or to purchase tickets for the events, visit acadianafashionweek.com.
- Arts and Craft Night at Cajun Brewing, Sat., July 29, 2 p.m. to 11 p.m., Lafayette
Come out to "Arts and Craft" night to party Cajun style. Local artists and craft beer will unite a day of art, live music, food, friends and Incredible beer.
Featured Artists Include: Dennis Burmaster who makes ceramics and Sara Virginia Yongue who does photography.
Music and Entertainment will be provided by The Good Dudes and Hillbilly Bradford Feat. Moonshyne Monceaux.
Music will be played from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
There will be drink specials, free food and there will be a five dollar cover.
- Mid City Rising, Sat., July 29, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Baton Rouge
Mid City Rising is the newest monthly show in Baton Rouge. Come out to The Collective for art, food, music and peeps.
Over 20 artists will be showing their works and there will be live music. Stay tunned for the menu including Vegan yumminess and other great food.
- Litmas in July, Sat., July 29, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., Lafayette
This year’s Litmas in July will take place at the Feed N Seed and there will be a cover of five dollars.
Featuerd bands include: KLINIK, CONCOURSE, WAYVZ and DJ INZY.
Come out to Vermilionville for the free monthly cultural film series, Les Vues, held the last Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Performance Center.
Les Vues is curated by filmmakers and enthusiasts, mostly from around the state.
Following the screening there will be an open discussion between the audience and the curator about the themes of the movie and how they apply to that culture as well as our own.
July's screening will be curated by Stacey Pfingsten, who will be showing the 52-minute documentary "Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island," as well as speaking about the Aug. 24-27 Architecture & Design Film Festival: New Orleans 2017. Admission to the series is free, but a suggested $5 donation will go toward curating and screening costs.