Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Reality Check

Joe Zee - host, ALL ON THE LINE 
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from my stylist friend Steffany Allen about an awesome opportunity.  Joe Zee, the fashion personality and creative director of Elle magazine, tweeted that the producers of his reality show, All On The Line, were searching for the next batch of "veteran" fashion designers to participate on the show's upcoming season.  Only a month earlier, Ingrid, my co-worker at the plantation, mentioned All On The Line was something I should check out.  When two or more people make the same suggestion, I believe that the universe is speaking to me.  And I need to listen.

If chosen, I would present my collection to buyers of a reputable store and it would, in all likelihood, be picked up by that store.  With a wave of Joe Zee's magic wand, my line would be refreshed, relevant, and ready for retail.  Now with a distribution channel for my label, curvy women would finally have a way to purchase my designs.  That idea really appealed to me.  So I sent an email post haste.  Here is what I wrote:

 Good Evening,

My name is Wilbur. I am an emerging designer based in New York City. I've been working at it for 13 years and last year I launched a line of dresses for full-figured women size 14 to 20. But it has not been an easy road. And I am still trying to get into retail stores. I need Mr. Zee's help. I think he may have the answers to get me over the proverbial hump. Please check out my website at www.skwilbur.com and my company's facebook presence at www.facebook.com/sortakinda. I'm drowning in designer disappointment!

Peace & Fashion!

The response from the casting people was swift and immediate.  I received a questionnaire to fill out.  Once completed, I sent it back as quickly as I could.  I then received an email from one of the producers who wanted to have a phone conversation.  Long distance from the west coast we bonded.  He said he loved my story, but he needed me to shoot a casting video to present to the network.  "Can you get it to me by the beginning of next week?" he beseeched.  My heart sank.  I would be spending a relaxing weekend in Washington D.C. with my honey.  "That's impossible, but I can get it to you early the following week," I responded trying to disguise my disappointment.  Reluctantly, he allowed me a one week reprieve.

This weekend past, my business partners and I gathered at Ashanti's apartment and videotaped a conversation with Steffany and the founder of Full-Figured Fashion Week, Gwen DeVoe, as we touched on all the bullet points of my almost 13 year history in the fashion industry and why being on the show is important to me.  Unfortunately, we hit a snag trying to download the video, but it will be overnighted to California tomorrow.  Now I need to play the wait and see game.  But I am taking it all in stride.

Today I was called for another reality series.  I had originally met this group of casting people last year, so imagine my surprise when I got the call from Ashanti saying they wanted to see me again.  Apparently, it's for a show that will be airing on the Lifetime network.  I showed them a couple of my dresses and I was interviewed by the woman from casting who was off-camera.  Armed with only my sparkling personality, I tried to endear myself to the ladies assembled.  Again, I've gotta watch and see what happens.  But if the old adage is true, "When it rains, it pours", then I am deluged in reality.  And I don't mind getting a little wet.

Peace & Fashion!

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