By Mariana Frontera
Fashion is not only an art but an international means of self-expression. Visionary Jay Calderin decided to transmit his message and views by creating Boston’s very own fashion week. This week of events would cater to fashionistas all over the city and would also bring communities together.
As a young adult, Calderin quickly recognized his appreciation for fashion. His learning commenced at the High School of Fashion Industries in New York City, the pulse of American fashion. This learning environment exposed Calderin to a variety of styles and trends that he could appreciate and conceptualize. “Once I began to learn how to bring my ideas to life with real skills, I was hooked on fashion,” said Calderin. The exposure and skills he gained from his earlier education trained him to see the world with different eyes, allowing him to take his visions and transfer them from a dream to a reality.
Calderin’s inspirations come predominantly from Diana Vreeland, Madeline Vionnet, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Christian Bérard. These iconic individuals paved the way for Calderin to go after his dreams and create a remarkable opportunity for his career, for his designers, and for the Boston community.
“I like to describe Boston fashion as smart. We have access to anything and everything here, but we won’t follow trends blindly,” said Calderin. As opposed to residents of New York, where Calderin began his fashion life, Bostonians are careful and intelligent about what they invest in. It could be said that Bostonians are less likely to be risk takers because of their reasoning and their “need to make sense for who we are and where we live.” It does not matter whether an item is an investment piece or a simple fast fashion; Bostonians will measure their losses.
Although Boston could be considered a safe place for fashion connoisseurs to express their tastes, Calderin disagrees. “There is a great wealth of talent here,” said Calderin. He argues that talent can be represented in a diverse way, and Boston is the perfect place to do so. This talent, combined with Boston’s sense of community, is what inspired Calderin to create a fashion week in Boston. Whenever he creates a visual of a new project, Calderin is clear that no comparison to New York Fashion Week is required; it’s pure innovation.
The fact that Calderin began his career in New York City invites a question: Should Boston’s Fashion Week resemble New York’s? Calderin made it very clear that the answer was a big no, stating, “The measure of a good fashion week in any city is whether or not it stimulates innovation and reflects that city’s aesthetic.” Calderin was determined to continue Boston Fashion Week, for he saw great potential in the city and its people.
Since the inception of Boston Fashion Week, Calderin’s vision has grown. An example of this growth can be seen in the addition of The Tent. “[The Tent] served as a home for a large series of runway shows throughout the week,” said Calderin. Calderin simply wants to keep each year fresh and relevant to the contemporary direction of the fashion industry.
The future of Boston Fashion Week is unknown, but there is no doubt it will continue to grow and inspire those interested in learning. It will create a sense of pride among Bostonians and will educate them on the beauties of their city and the talent inside it. Jay Calderin inspired many to take risks and appreciate what they are given without blocking out the possibilities.
Photos By Daniel Gagnon Photo