Portland Fashion week, ranked #1 independent fashion week by Time magazine, saw a new organizer join the ranks this year. Director Jessica Kane, known widely for her personal blog, digital magazine Skorch, and creation of the viral Full Body Photo Project, will be leading the third longest running fashion week into its tenth year with innovative changes. PFW will be keeping the environment in mind at every level of the ten-day event, from the runway to the LED lighting, recycled printing and more. Although these positive practices excite the new Director, Jessica is most thrilled by a revolution that hits closer to home. For this Portland Fashion Week, plus size models will be holding their own on the catwalk along with fashion’s standard sample size models. As a plus fashion blogger, businesswoman, and trendsetter, this profound first captures everything she’s been working towards since she began changing the fashion landscape in her early 20s. Read on for our interview with this hardworking influencer and 2012 Portland Business Journal Woman of Influence Award winner.
You began changing the fashion scene at age 24. What inspired you to create your plus fashion magazine?
At the time, there were no other digital magazines showing women I could relate to. I have always believed that instead of complaining about a problem; make a solution.
Do you have a style mantra?
Life is too short to forsake comfort for a trend.
Right now you’re heading several projects, Skorch Magazine, your blog Life & Style of Jessica Kane, your marketing consulting firm Jessica Kane agency, Portland Fashion week, not to mention being a wife and mother… how do you manage it all?
I have a wonderful team on all fronts! It takes an army and very good time & task management.
Portland Fashion Week will be featuring plus size models this year in addition to the traditional catwalk models. What is your first reaction to finally seeing a fashion week showcasing the full-spectrum of body types on the runway?
Exhilaration. I started out my businesses to inspire plus size women, but through it all I slowly came to the point where it was just about ALL women. I feel the best way to end the divide of the plus and non-plus world is to slowly intermingle, and I’m beyond excited that I’m the first fashion week director to make such an important step.
Fashion is often criticized for needing to be more conscious of its carbon footprint and strain on the environment. PFW is addressing this by introducing an 80ft bamboo runway, a Carbon Mitigation Replanting Project, onsite recycling program and more. What was the motivation behind actively incorporating an environmentally conscious initiative into the week’s events?
It’s in our DNA in the NW, we are a very environmentally conscious community and we believe in doing our part.
What designer’s collection are you especially looking forward to seeing come PFW?
Especially excited to see what the alum and graduates of the Art Institute of Portland have to showcase on Future of Fashion Night, the best in emerging design.
Plus size women often dress according to a list of fashion “rules.” What tips do you have to dress a curvy figure without being confined by these arbitrary sartorial limits?
Traditional beauty is rooted in proportions that are pleasing to the eye, now I like to argue that you should forget any rules and just live you life and be you!
The Full Body Photo Project encouraging full-figured ladies to take photos of their whole body and not just their face really resonated with women. Why do you think the idea so strongly captured the public’s attention?
It was one of those things that women do involuntarily almost and with me challenging women to take a full body photo, it forced them to realize they did shy away and avoid them. I think it was an AHA moment for those women, as it was me.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
My husband, my son, my flat iron, my contacts, and my numerous tech gadgets.
Do you have any favorite apps that make the busy life of a businesswoman that much easier?
I actually ONLY have productive apps on my devices, not one game! I can’t live without Google Drive App, Dropbox, Gmail Mail App, all the social media apps and my TurboScan app that makes scanning WAY too easy!
We’d love to hear about any new projects you’re working on. What’s up next for Jessica Kane?
Just Portland Fashion Week from here on out! We’re just getting started.
Portland Fashion Week runs between Sept. 12th – Sept. 21st. Click here to see the line-up.
Check out Jessica’s blog and many projects on www.lifeandstyleofjessica.com/