Austin Fashion Week 2014, a look inside a Mash-up Team

Austin Fashion Week 2014 is Thursday, April 24th through Saturday, May 3rd. It has many components such as runway shows featuring local designers, brunches and cocktail hours for exposure and networking, and the unique Mash-up Team Competition. My favorite part, the event that I never miss, is the Awards Show. This is always on the last day of the week. In the past I have won Best Mash-up Team Critics Choice 2010, Best Mash-up team People’s Choice in 2011, Nominated for Best Hair Stylist in 2011,  Nominated for the Rising Star Award in 2012, and Nominated for Best Mash-up Team Critics Choice in 2013. I love that the organization is still so small that they recognize the little man. That being said, AFW is still so young that it does have its glitches from time to time which is to be expected. This is the 6th year that they have put it on and I couldn’t be more proud to say this is my 5th year to participate. I can not imagine the success it will have in 10 years. I have reaped so many benefits like; networking, portfolio building, experience, confidence in my craft and making friends.

A look inside a Mash-up Team

Voting is LIVE and we need your help!

“A Step Too Far”
Photographer Steve Wampler
Wardrobe Design Jessica Faith Marshall
Stylist Michelle Zuzek
Model Bethany Bond
Makeup Katie Astoria
Hair Rachael Dunn

What sets AFW apart from other fashion weeks is the Mash-up Team Competition. This is where groups are randomly put together with 1 photographer, 1 model, 1 wardrobe designer, 1 make-up artist, 1 hairstylist, 1 accessory designer, and 1 stylist. There can be 25-40 teams competing a year. All of the artists sign up individually and have the challenge to work with people we have never met before. It is very interesting because you get quite a mix of genres- but that is what makes it so fun! In the most recent years, participants were given the option to put their own teams together. This happened for a lot of reasons; flaky designers, clashing of personalities, or the opposite where they worked so well together they want to continue to, etc.

This year a photographer, Steve Wampler, and I put together our own team. He may sound familiar because we have worked together many times (AFW 2012 & 2013, Bella Salon & Spa photo shoots and NAHA). This is the second time we put together a team and I must say this is our greatest collaboration yet. We began the round up of our group in November of 2013. First, Steve found Michelle Zuzek – a fashion blogger at They coincidentally met at a wedding that Steve was photographing in which she was a bridesmaid. Steve also found the model Bethany Bond on Model Mayhem. You will see more of her later because we worked with her once before for our NAHA 2014 photoshoot (blog post will be released soon!). Michelle found us our wardrobe designer, Jessica Faith Marshall. She is a friend of hers and a 14 year old prodigy from Dallas, I found our make-up artist Katie Astoria at She and I have crossed paths once or twice in the industry and I am so glad we finally got to work together. We named our team “A Step too Far” because we want to encompass a feeling of modernism, minimalism, avant garde, androgyny, cinematic, futuristic, and out-there.

2 meetings Later, we executed 2 run through photo shoots, and 1 final photo shoot on 2 locations using lighting effects and fog machines. Special thanks go out to Johnny Golden for assisting Steve with the photography.

Here is a slideshow titled “From Concept to Reality” of our mash-up team behind the scenes.

I hope you enjoyed a look into our brain baby. Please vote for us on from as many IP addresses as you can get your hands on until midnight of Wednesday, April 23rd.

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