StyleWeek Northeast (formally StyleWeek Providence) was founded in 2009, and hold two week long events every year that showcase local fashion designers. Their mission is to create a successful model of a Northeast fashion event that directly and economically impacts it’s designers, sponsors, partners and vendors. SWNE first started holding their events at the Providence Performing Arts Center, and have recently moved their events to the Providence Biltmore. As the company continues to grow and gain momentum in New England, it is in need of it’s own space. Currently, SWNE rents out office space along South Main Street in Providence, and then works with the Providence Biltmore to hold events. The President and Founder, Rosanna Ortiz Sinel has a five year plan where SWNE can find a more permanent home, where a number of activities related to the fashion industry can begin to take place. SWNE promotes many local designers in the New England area and more recently have teamed up with student fashion designers from local colleges and universities, such as Brown, RISD, URI, MassArt, and the Boston School of Fashion Design.
SWNE also helps the capital city keep its nickname as the “Creative Capital”. Providence Mayor Angel Tavares says that SWNE will, “...give us an opportunity to showcase Providence as a center for innovation...” The events bring in many people from all over the world, and has become an economic boost to Providence. In addition to the two weeks of fashion shows, SWNE also hosts buyer collectives, continually works to promote fashion designers, hosts student competitions, and collaborates with industry insiders, photographers, and a variety of other professionals. It’s time that SWNE has a place that they can call their own.
This new place will become an area where collaboration and fashion concepts can be free flowing thoughts. The SWNE HQ will not only showcase the fashion of local designers, but also become a incubator for the avant-garde and other haute couture movements. This could allow Providence to become a center for fashion. The collaboration and interactions between designers and others will create a synergy that can be utilized to power the creativeness of the fashion designers.
The project is based heavily on the idea of observation. Throughout the building, there are a variety of views looking into and out of the building. Certain views are obscured or hidden, but there is always something to observe. But whatever the views are, the building becomes a backdrop to the fashion that is being displayed and shown. It acts as a stage set to show off the latest trends and styles that are showcased by the designers that work within the building.
The programmatic spaces of the building again rely on observation. Varying levels of opacity allow the buildings users and visitors to either see everything, or silhouettes within a room or space. The more public spaces, such as the shops, and exhibit space are fully translucent. Some of the semi-public spaces, such as the offices, classrooms, and photo studio, are a little more opaque. And the private work spaces, or designer studios, have very opaque walls, which only allow outsiders to see silhouettes of the people and activities going on within the space.