Simon Fashion Now: A Preview With Jacque Ellis


This weekend Town Center at Boca Raton will once again celebrate Simon Fashion Now, a free, two-day event which highlights the top must-have trends of the season which can be immediately found on the racks of our local retailers.

The event kicks off Friday, September 28 with a reception honoring Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s “Partners in Pink” community effort. This is an invitation-only event, but it is swiftly followed by a public runway presentation, showcasing some of fall’s most desired looks from Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, Anne Fontaine, Brooks Brothers, CH Carolina Herrera, Charles David, Custo Barcelona, Elie Tahari and Porsche Design. Join us at Town Center’s center court to watch the show!

The fun continues on Saturday with exciting runway shows debuting throughout the day, ongoing mall-wide Style Stops, runway giveaways, Design Wars (judged by yours truly!) and Ready, Set, Style.

Participating retailers include Nordstrom, American Apparel, Ann Taylor, Anthropologie, Arden B., Banana Republic, BOSE, Brighton Collectibles, Caché, Campo Marzio Design, Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Foot Locker, Francesca’s Collections, GapBody, GapKids, babyGap, GUESS and GUESS by Marciano, Gymboree, Juicy Couture, Lady Foot Locker, Lilly Pulitzer, Lucky Brand, Marmi, Men’s Wearhouse & Tux, Original Penguin, Santa Lolla, Skechers, Soma Intimates, Steve Madden, Sunglass Hut, Swarovski, Tommy Bahama, Tous, True Religion Brand Jeans, Tumi, White House│Black Market, Vince and Wolford.

We had a chance to speak with stylish event maven Jacque Ellis, who helped create Simon Fashion Now back in 2008. Ellis travels coast-to-coast to help plan and execute the fashion tours. We spoke we her on Boca’s exciting upcoming weekend.

BRM: Boca Raton is part of Simon Fashion Now’s six city tour. Are you able to personally attend each market’s event? What do you enjoy about the tour?

ELLIS: I do get the luxury of going to each and every market. It really is one of my favorite things. Simon Fashion Now is a national tour, but each market and each mall has its own personality. I really enjoy seeing [from] market to market how our attendees and shoppers are translating trends to fit their needs. And of course, the different retail offerings that we have each of those properties is always fun. I might get introduced to either a new retailer or a new brand that I hadn’t been familiar with, so that’s one of my favorite things about the tour.

BRM: What can new and returning shoppers and fashionistas expect this weekend?

ELLIS: It is going to be as action packed as every other year. The retailers and brands at Town Center at Boca Raton really turn out to be a part of Simon Fashion Now, which makes it really fun. Attendees are going to see a wide variety of offerings from luxurious to affordable fashions. I think that we all have become more savvy on how to spread our dollars and get the most bang for our buck as we are making those purchases and making those luxurious brands to compare with some more affordable offerings. We are seeing a lot of our shoppers like that. We have a fun-filled two day weekend.

We have Design Wars which we’ve done in the past, but this year we are pairing with some of our restaurants, so food will be incorporated with fashion. That’s something new. And we always like to have some local celebrity models thrown in with our tour models, and Town Center at Boca Raton we are really excited to have some of the firemen join us. We’ll have some of the calendar firemen joining us on the runway on Saturday.

BRM: Speaking of Design Wars, this year I will be helping judge the event. What else can you share about this year’s fashion face-off?

ELLIS: Design Wars is really all about showcasing the up and coming talent and in this case its the students from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. It is so fun to see what they can come up with in such a short amount of time with such a limited budget and I have yet to be underwhelmed. I’m always overwhelmed with the creativity and talent that we see in these markets so I think you are really going to enjoy it. And then when they get the challenge of being paired with some of our restaurants and food vendors from the Cafes at Boca, I think that’s going to be a lot of fun.

We are also going to put some judging duties in the hands of our shoppers, and they can come out that Saturday of the event and see the looks after they’ve been shown on the runway, up close and personal in the Cafes at Boca and they can text in their fan favorite vote.

BRM: What are some fall trends that you are seeing highlighted along this tour?

ELLIS: Fall fashion is probably my favorite and I have the luxury of living in the area of the country where I get a big change of season, where the temperature drops, and I can really take advantage of it. But just like Houston, Boca has some of those warmer temperatures. I was excited to see some of the more prominent trends being done in a way that can easily transition into some of those markets where the temperature doesn’t really dip so low. The little red dress we saw a lot of on the runway from CH Carolina Herrera to a more affordable option at Banana Republic.

We saw a lot of shift dresses. A shift dress is great because it really can fit a lot of different body types and its age appropriate if you are in your 20s or if you’re in your 50s. I think the dress is a great piece and we saw that a lot in red. Some were sleeveless and worn on their own, others accessorized with a leather jacket. Leather we saw a lot of as well for fall. Throwing a cute leather jacket over the top of a shift dress can make it a little more casual and fun. And leather jackets that were in different weights. So if you’re in a market where it doesn’t get as cold, there were still offerings of that. And we saw leather details and trends on some of the looks as well, so lots of different ways to incorporate leather. I feel like animal print we talk about a lot from season to season but the reptile print really did show itself again on the runway.

We hope to see you at Simon Fashion Now this weekend!