BEING in the “glamorous” world of fashion, what you usually see portrayed is all based on the highlight reel – the accomplishments, achievements and the finished product. The successful company that was built overnight, the seamless event that goes off perfectly, the beautifully curated collection walking down the runway. It all magically comes together, and the best of the best make these things look effortless.
But what you don’t see, even with all the talent and experience, is building amazing shit from the ground up is never easy.
LET’S take it back to nine months ago. As a BostonMan Mag Legacy Club member, I was able to see first-hand how Matt had built up this amazing community over the years and was pulling off the dopest events in the city. So when we started throwing around a possible collab for his five-year anniversary celebration, I felt so honored to be a part of it. It’s not everyday you’re considered for a collab with the king of the city on such a monumental undertaking, right?
But I’d never produced a runway show before. On the other hand, how could I say no? This was a huge opportunity for me, my company and brand. And at the historic Park Plaza no less. Go big or go home, right!?
Even with this little narrative swirling around in my head saying “could we really pull something like this off!?”, Matt and I started developing the concept that would become The Runway Ball.
For me, being involved in a runway production is like the ultimate dream come true. I’ve always been fascinated with how fashion designers can just “create”. So when designers have said to me they have to go to New York, Paris etc. because it’s not an industry well-recognized in Boston, it actually makes me angry.
I know we have so much talent here in our own city. So it became a goal to do something in support of the fashion community with a high-profile platform to acknowledge them. The Runway Ball was the perfect event to help bring this to life.
I started reaching out to the fashion community in Boston and got an overwhelming response. As a perfectionist in my work, taking on these seven designers for the show felt like my largest clients to date.
My goal was to collaboratively produce a show that was both on vibe with our “Hollywood at Night” theme and ensure the designers stayed true to their own brand aesthetic. I had to deliver something next level and set a new standard for fashion production in Boston. And the pressure of that standard of excellence began to set in in the coming months.
The intricate process of producing a runway show and efforts involved in delivering an impactful experience has been eye opening. Behind the façade lies a world of creative challenges, logistics management, and intense collaboration. What started off as my assistant stylist and I working on creative direction quickly snowballed into full event production, recruitment of designers, management of sixty models plus a full team of makeup artists and hairstylists. My wardrobe team grew to help with loads of communication across designers and preparing the styling for the collections. At times I’ve felt like I was drowning, spending more hours up at 5am and working late than ever before.
Now you may be reading this and think I’m complaining about this opportunity I once dreamt of. But building a brand, running a company, producing a show etc. – there is some level of sacrifice and trade off. Especially as entrepreneurs, when we’re constantly trying to expand and do so many new things, there will be feelings of uncomfortableness and fear no matter how seasoned you are.
As I’m writing this about two weeks out from the show, with still so many pieces to come together, I’ve gone back to focusing on my passion for the community that’s been involved. The talent of the designers that have spent hours creating one garment, let alone full collections to show. The willingness of so many artists, stylists, photographers, and volunteers that are helping to bring this epic night together.
And especially to Matt Ribaudo, who has believed in me from the beginning to take on such a large project with zero hesitations about my vision. Thank you so much for letting me work alongside you.
THERE is always an unseen world of creativity, flawless coordination and often times, sacrifice in any project. The passion and efforts put in by behind the scenes are what make the show or business come to life. So the next time you attend a runway show, witness the event unfold perfectly or see that magazine business “explode overnight” – take a moment to appreciate the grind and dedication that has made it all possible.
Amanda Vargus spent her career in the music industry before pivoting into fashion. She excelled in the industry as a Luxury Manager with The RealReal, a high-end resale website, where she specialized in closet editing and was in charge of merchandise acquisition in the northeast. Now Amanda runs her own independent personal styling company, Wave +Woven, and consults with entrepreneurs, executives and elite professionals to create more exciting and functional wardrobes. Helping clients find their original and unique style through fashion is her passion.