Williamsburg Fashion Weekend Creative Director Gina Tron and Founder Arthur Arbit

While Williamsburg Fashion Weekend founder Arthur Arbit—sharply dressed in a rust-colored, ‘70s-era three-piece suit—raced between backstage and the runway’s spotlight, we had a moment to chat. We picked Mr. Arbit’s brain, which lies behind his mustard shades, for insight into the beauty, creativity, inspiration, and downright eccentricity of the biannual fashion show. Beautiful Savage founding editor Chad Saville was on hand to shoot behind-the-scenes photos and during the show itself, which you can see here.

How do you find designers for Williamsburg Fashion Weekend? Do you search for them or do they find you?
It’s a little bit of both. When I do an active search, the ones designers that I’m looking for are those like Uta Bekaia. Originally, my concept was to showcase shit that is all like Bekaia, but I realized if we’re going to gain any kind of respect as a fashion display vehicle, then we have to show clothes that people can wear. Okay, fine. Then you have to start looking at the little details of the clothes how they’re made. That’s very important.

Do you lay down strict rules for designers, like requiring them to produce their fashions locally with eco-friendly fabrics?
No, I’m flexible. You always have to be flexible. There’s a Japanese proverb that says if you’re too stiff, you’ll break.

Would you wear anything you’ve seen on the runway this weekend?
I’d wear [Derrick Kingston’s] cape thing with a skirt. I love skirts. I used to have a [Mitsuhiro] Matsuda skirt. Matsuda was an important Japanese fashion designer, but he died. He was [one of] the first to deconstruct fashion.


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