Alison Hoenes opened up to Emmy Nominated Reporter, Kelley Hoskins, about her newly elected role as Regional Director of Fashion Group International of Saint Louis (FGISTL), and the importance of patternmaking in the fashion industry.
Kelley: What would you like to accomplish as Regional Director?
Alison: We are celebrating our 85th year and that is really exciting! My biggest goal is to continue to connect with the fashion professionals in St. Louis. Fashion Group International is not just fashion but also beauty, home, and lifestyle. To be able to bring St. Louis together across those industries in a collaborative manner helps us all to grow in our careers.
Kelley: What were your first thoughts when you found you were to become the new Regional Director?
Alison: I was very honored, because there are members who have much more experience than I do, and have been members so much longer than I have. I was also a little intimidated because I know that it is a lot of work. It is a volunteer position. It takes a lot of time and dedication. I was excited, but also a little nervous, hoping I could fill the shoes of the former Regional Director, Jessica Conick, who is simply amazing. I must move the chapter forward in supporting the fashion community here. It truly is a big role to fill.
Kelley: As a young Regional Director, what would you say to someone young trying to get into the profession, to encourage them to continue on?
Alison: I would say that fashion is a very exciting industry to be in, but it is a lot of work. It is not as glamorous as it looks on TV. Be aware that there are many jobs within fashion beyond designer. You should be open minded about the whole community of the fashion industry, and then find out what niche really fits you best. Be willing to put in the work. Be open minded and collaborative with others. That will get you a lot further than if you are competitive like the stereotype shows.
Kelley: Talk about one of your most memorable fashion events.
Alison: My senior fashion show for college. For me, it was most exciting to get to that point and to show something that heightened me. More recently, I really enjoy being part of planning and attending Fashion Group International local events. We did a virtual factory tour of three St. Louis manufacturers: Collective Thread, Evolution St Louis which is a high tech knitwear factory, and Stars Design Group which has factories all over the world. It is exciting to see that St. Louis is a fashion city, too! Not just New York and LA. It was inspiring to see these companies, both new and very long standing, right here in this city! The opportunity to tour their facilities and talk to their founders was quite a highlight.
Kelley: Tell us a little bit about your faith and how it has inspired your creativity.
Alison: Sure. I grew up Christian. I still am. I think initially it was hard to see where that would fit in within the fashion industry because what you generally see as a stereotype is that fashion is a very secular industry. It took a while to find my niche in it. That goes back to my feeling that fashion should fit our lifestyle and values. This includes our faith. It all fits together. Who I am as a person. Who I am as a child of God. Fashion should reflect that. What I wear should reflect that. How I relate to my clients and other fashion professionals that I am around should reflect that. I think it all blends together to create our life. It is not a separate thing. It all works together.
See the complete interview in the Summer 2021 Issue: