Sequim’s Sica Schmitz was seeking more greenery for her fifth Impact Fashion Show. She found exactly that — and her new favorite venue — at New Dungeness Nursery.
With a runway surrounded by trees inside a greenhouse, Schmitz moved her annual show from Los Angeles to Dungeness last week, with a crew of local and Seattle-area models, stylists, photographers and more creating an online version of the event.
“I’m so excited; we have models of all ages, body types and kinds of beauty,” she said. “It’s definitely the most inclusive thing I’ve been able to do.”
Online and through friends, Schmitz recruited 11 models to share three to five looks from more than two-dozen designers of clothing and accessories that focus on sustainable fashion.
To Schmitz, sustainable fashion is “taking care of this generation without jeopardizing the next generation.
“When it comes to fashion, it’s incredibly resource intensive; making and disposing. A lot of fabric goes into landfills and just stays there.”
Her nonprofit focuses on making fashion safe for people, animals and the Earth — promoting fair trade and wages, using animal-free materials and choosing innovative materials and sustainable practices.
Opting not to travel because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Schmitz chose to film her annual fashion show on Aug. 6 at New Dungeness Nursery.
It’ll debut online Sept. 4, and participants can choose to join a two-day summit with 10 panels and four workshops focused on sustainable fashion such as women-led fashion, fair trade and more.
Many of the designers are involved in panels, too.
Filmed by Silas Crews of Story Crane Productions, the runway show will be spliced together highlighting close-ups of jewelry and clothes and run about 20 minutes depending on editing, Schmitz said.
With regulations in place across the nation, many designers are going virtual for their shows with some opting to send models clothes and accessories and have them film and model themselves for editing, she said.
Bringing people together in Dungeness maintains the lighting and feel of the show, Schmitz said.
“These past couple of months, people have been so excited about it,” she said.
On set, participants wore masks except models on the runway. No more than two models were on set at a time with one behind the scenes and one on the runway.
The show was delayed a few times prior for various reasons, including for COVID-19, but Schmitz said, “we don’t know what life has in store but things can always come together in new ways.”
“It’s about getting less attached to how it came together and letting it come together in the right way,” she said.
That attitude led her to bringing the show to her hometown and the New Dungeness Nursery.
“It’s the best venue we’ve ever had,” she said.
“It’s so different here in Sequim versus L.A. There it’s such a process, whereas here, I just came in and asked.
“That’s the beauty of a small town. I didn’t know them before.”
Being flexible also helped, as the show’s original backdrops were stuck in Los Angeles. Schmitz instead recruited a local designer to help them create the paper backdrops the night before the shoot.
Schmitz also changed it up, inviting her friend Akia Ronai to pick outfits for the models instead of her, which she said felt like “an expansion to have her.”
When the models came down the runway, Schmitz said she loved the looks and surprise of it all.
One of the models, Cherie Kidd, a Port Angeles city councilor and Ms. Senior USA, said she’s intrigued by Schmitz’s message and she “created a wonderful effort that so many people believe in.”
For more information about the nonprofit and tickets for the Impact Fashion Show, visit https://impactfashion.org/.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.