Interview: Angie Fec

I thought this was a great time to share this interview having just concluded the first annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week this past week.  You can see some of my photos from Fashion Week (and many more to come) on my 412foto Facebook page.  Check out the wrap up article on this event and great photos from the photographers at the Tribune Review.

Many of you already know and love her, but perhaps some have never heard of the talented Angie Fec.  Angie and her company Sew Addicted are well known in the Pittsburgh area gracing runway shows across the region or being used in countless photo shoots (including a few of mine!).  So I thought you would all enjoy learning more about the woman behind the fashions.  Sew read on and tell 10 friends about this interview and the latest updates via my 412foto Facebook page.

Angie in front of the camera for a photo shoot at a local pinball company. Photo by 412foto.

So let’s start off with the basics…. How old? Where did you grow up? Schooling? What part of the region are you in now?

26, Allison Park, Hampton School District, now I live in shaler, very close to the city tho!

So you are the owner and designer of the local clothing/fashion line called Sew Addicted…how did that all start for you?

I always knew I wanted to do something in fashion, so I went to school for the business end of it, began creating and POW! taught myself to sew basically, and had some people just keep telling me over and over “you have something special” sew I went for it 🙂

Have you always had a passion for fashion and design?

for fashion YES…. design… I didn’t remember til recently, but I always used to make dresses for my beanie babies and barbies out of fancy socks and stuff! hahahah

Angie’s fashion as modeled by Abbie. Photo by 412foto

Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?

Really from the fabric! I see a certain fabric and automatically know what I want to do with it 🙂 I am backwards, I dont plan something then look for the material.

Any clue how many unique items you have made to date?

couldnt even count! hundreds easily 🙂

How who you describe Pittsburgh when it comes to fashion? Are we a hidden gem? Slow to adopt new trends? Unique in some respect?

Pittsburgh I would say is on it’s way…slowly but surely. Definately behind but becoming more and more open to dressing OUTSIDE OF THE BOX. I don’t see a whole lot of unique dressers, but there are some VERY unique designers 🙂

Are there a lot of independent designers in the region or is Sew Addicted a rarity in these parts?

There are a decent amount for sure, who are VERY talented, But I am proud to say I am probably one of the most known right now just because I MAKE myself known haha. I probably blast myself and my work out in people’s faces a bit more than most

As many from the area already know, your fashions are highlighted in runway shows throughout Pittsburgh at various venues. How many such events do you do per year or month? What was your biggest event to date (give me some details like when it was, where, how many models, MUAs, etc)?

I have done close to 50 fashion shows to date. I have slowed down on shows recently, just accepting bigger shows, benefits, or ones that I do annually due to the wear and tear on the clothing basically, and have focused more on photoshoots recently being more beneficial 🙂 My biggest show would be my 2nd lingerie show at Altar on February 9th 2008! There were over 500 people for my SEW SEDUCTIVE SOIREE… I had hair designs by Mane Attractions and several independent makeup artists. There were about 25 models, most wearing 2 outfits a PIECE! It went fantastic 🙂

You obviously have worked with a wide variety of makeup artists, models, and photographers in the region. Any tips for these folks on how to work with independent designers such as yourself or just tips/insights into the industry as a whole?

DON’T BE A DIVA! A lot of people in this industry tend to let things go to their heads. We should all be in this together. We are on our RISE in Pittsburgh Fashion, and by people being catty or snobby they are only hurting themselves 🙂 There are a lot of talented people, and being competitive is OK, but some people take competition a little bit too far.

I am a photographer and one of the challenges I often face is being limited by the wardrobe that a model has in her closet to work with on a shoot. How would I best approach a local designer or boutique and work out an arrangement that is mutually beneficial?

Obviously a quality model, with proof of a good portfolio by both the model and the photographer 🙂 and VERY important A CREATIVE CONCEPT  If I know I am going to get some photos that will help my portfolio out, and it is a really cool idea, then I am totally game!

You are also working at Altar Bar as their Marketing Director. From what I recall, you have really put Altar Bar on the map in the region with all of the events and performances there. Tell me a little more about the work you do there.

Yes, I have been there for about 2 1/2 years. Starting out was quite a struggle. I got my job there b/c of my fashion shows I had been holding there. They stuck with me, I taught myself a lot of stuff and worked with some great people. We finally pretty much got it down, and Altar Bar is VERY successful now! I deal with most of the advertising, all of the private parties, website updating, public relations and all of that fun stuff! I am not responsible for the majority of the bands scheduled, but I do work hand in hand on promoting most of these shows.

Has working at a popular night club been of assistance in your pursuit of being a fashion designer?

Yes it most certainly has. The job and my label go hand in hand a lot~! I use the place of course for fashion shows, and because of my line and job, usually when someone is looking into having a show they choose Altar! I will auction off some of my goods at several benefits as well. And have designed some items for Altar Bar.

Many of the events at Altar or even your own fashion shows have had connections to charities in the region. Tell me a little more about your charitable connections/outreach.

I have dealt with several non profit organizations and such. Every year I have a SEW PINK party, which benefits Breast Cancer. I have worked with the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Glimmer of Hope(several times), Keep A Breast, as well as Cystic Fibrosis(several times), two different private Battered women and children centers, Children’s Hospital, the Lemieux Foundation and more! For all of these I have done fashion shows and donated items for auctions.

Renee modeling Sew Addicted fashions. Photo by 412foto

I saved one of the more exciting developments for last. I know you are in the process of launching a new store to showcase your fashions. Tell me more about this venture.

YES! 🙂 Finally… Now THIS is really my lifelong goal. I have known for years upon years that I wanted to have my own boutique, and it is VERY close to coming to life! Details are pretty much set, but I cannot release all details til confirmed! Let’s just say it will not be your average small boutique. There will be a very unique feel to the place and concept! It will be more of a place to come and enjoy rather than just walk in shop and leave! Hoping to have info confirmed soon!!!!!!!!!! BUT I DO PROMISE there will be a HUGE party when it happens!

I know that you like to travel and you have been doing a decent amount of it over the last year or so. If you could have Sew Addicted fashions featured in a photo shoot anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I do as much as I can although my job keeps me from it quite a bit! But I have tried my best! Honestly, I LOVE japanese fashion!! They have such amazing city lights! Would love an urban shoot in the middle of tokyo!

If you could pick any actress, music artist, or celebrity in general to model your fashions on the runway or to a big event, who would you pick?

definately Rihanna or Lady Gaga!!! HANDS DOWN NO QUESTION they both have the best taste, are very unique~!

To stay up to date on the latest happenings with Angie and Sew Addicted check out Angie’s Facebook page or her Sew Addicted Page. You can also heck out additional photos and an article on Angie in the Fall 2010 issue of Pittsburgh Fashion Magazine.