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New Orleans Fashion Week is proud to host The Fashion Awards Gala, as part of a continual effort to build and bring awareness to the gulf coast fashion industry.  The gala salutes individuals and recognizes their excellence and significantly impacted made in the region that help shape the fashion community in the Greater New Orleans area and beyond.  

Submit your favorite Fashion Aficionado.  This individual should be pioneering leader setting the industry standard for innovation, creativity and excellence in the fashion industry. Individuals should exhibit tenacity and energy in their contributions.  A selection committee will use the nomination forms and independent research to make final selections. Nominations are being accepted now through September 23, 2016.  Click here for nomination form



Yvonne LaFleur 

Yvonne LaFleur has seen it all in her more than 40 years in the retail fashion business, starting with a store that specialized in jeans hand-altered to fit perfectly to a high fashion emporium that can fill women’s fashion needs from lingerie to a custom-made hat, plus everything in between. 

Learning both the design skills and the fashion industry alongside her aunts, the thriving arts and colors of an ever-changing New Orleans culture heavily influenced her merchandise. First, she opened the female empowering YOU Boutique in 1969 stocked with less expensive, trendy pieces. She eventually introduced her own more upscale creations into the store’s inventory, which brought in a more upscale clientele. She transitioned from YOU boutique to the stores self-titled name Yvonne LaFleur.

Today, in the Riverbend, the 10,000 square foot fashion emporium showcases Yvonne’s personally curated collection carrying designs from all around the world. Drawling not only inspiration for her clothing from the south, customers can expect to find fashion with a hearty helping of southern hospitality when they enter the world of Yvonne LaFleur. 

Raoul Blanco  

Raoul was born in a time when it was taboo for a man to sew, but even that could not stop him from becoming a successful couturier. Born and raised in San Paulo, Puerto Rico, Raoul found both inspiration and education from his grandmother.

After winning The Elizabeth Arden’s “Cup of Elegance” competition for a design worn by Rose Perez, Raoul relocated to New York in the early 1980s to further pursue his fashion career. In New York City he started working as a freelancer for an array of top designers, most notable among them, Liz Claiborne. The vice president and buyer for Henri Bendel recognized Raoul’s excellence and became his first major buyer, followed by numerous others.

Despite success working alongside top designers, Blanco has always loved working directly with the women who wear his gowns. He returned to the tradition of his grandmother making individualized garments. His gowns are made of the highest quality fabric and are crafted for clients worldwide. Raoul has designed for clients all around the world, notably 

Ashley Porter  

The Porter Lyons collection is the brainchild of designer Ashley Porter, a San Francisco native who moved back to New Orleans to start her line after leaving behind a promising career in finance. After graduating with a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in Los Angeles, and stints at Balenciaga and Ralph Lauren in New York, Ashley set out on her own to design and manage her own brand.  

Ashley Porter derives her inspiration from cultures around the world. Ashley grew up in Northern California and is currently based in New Orleans where her family heritage dates back to the early 1860s. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Master of Finance from Tulane University, and also has a graduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. After working for Balenciaga and Ralph Lauren in New York, she returned to New Orleans to further explore the culture. Ashley uses design to give back to the culture that inspired her first collection.

Steven Forster  

A New Orleans native, Steven Forster has been a professional photographer for over thirty-five years. He has had more than ten thousand photographs published worldwide for such prestigious clients as Random House Books, People Magazine, Fox Sports, Elle Magazine, TV Guide, and many others.

Celebrated not only for his work in publications, his work lives permanently on the walls of the NOMA, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and The Historic New Orleans Collection. His work has been included in exhibitions of master photographers including Ansel Adams, as well as of artists such as Yoko Ono and Tony Bennett. Forster’s catalog of celebrity photographs is colossal, including major names such as Ella Fitzgerald, Reese Witherspoon, Larry King, Brad Pitt, Stevie Wonder and everyone in between.

He now writes and photographs for the New Orleans Advocate in his “Steven Forster’s Party Central” column. Forster’s is the recipient of a multitude of awards, has been dubbed “the Poet of Photography” by Figaro Newspaper, and “the Richard Avadon of the South” by Times-Picayune critic, David Cuthbert.

Lisa Tudor

Native of Pineville, LA and graduate of LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, Lisa Tudor has produced award-winning fashion photographs for editorial and commercial clients for over 30 years.

Lisa originally served the in-house fashion production and marketing needs of Saks Fifth Avenue New Orleans during its Grand Opening phase. Since 1986 she has served as contributing editor and stylist at Renaissance Publishing Group LLC, home of New Orleans Magazine, New Orleans Bride Magazine, St. Charles Avenue Magazine and New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles.

She has produced fashion features, advertising campaigns, catalogs and events over the years for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Adler’s, Rubenstein, The New Orleans Film Festival, International House Hotel and a myriad of other regional outlets.  Her editorial and commercial print work has appeared in national publications including Allure, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, People, Teen People, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Life & Style Weekly, and Ladies’ Home Journal.  

Glenn Michael Millet

Glenn Michael founded Glenn Michael Salon to solidify 35 years of business and beauty credentials.

As a Master Stylist, Glenn Michael’s work has appeared in numerous consumer and trade publications, television and print. He is sought after as an industry adviser, educating thousands of stylists, salon owners and educators throughout the world of beauty, business and communications. Glenn has represented the beauty industries top companies such as Aquage, P&G, Evolve, Rusk, Zotos International and more.

Glenn is an active member of both Intercoiffure, a most prestigious beauty industry organization representing the top 1% of salon owners in the world and Fashion Group International.

Glenn Mosley 

 Glenn Mosley started his career in an avant guard manor, fitting to his signature personality. The completely self-taught artist began his career playing on the face of a teenage girlfriend and working in a photography lab where supervisors took note of his natural gifts and later recommended him to Barbizon.

Honing his craft all over the country, Glenn spent time in Los Angeles, New York and after starting at Saks New Orleans working with high end line cosmetic line Channel and ​Bobbi Brown. In NYC he worked at​ premier department store Henri Bendel, fashion photographer Carlton Mickle, David Anthony and Romney Car​uso.  Celebrity clients include Charlize Theron, Anita Baker Naomi Campbell, Elle Macpherson, Tyra Banks and countless others. Glenn’s creative eye, natural talent, enchanting personality and dedication to his craft allowed him to excel through all areas of the beauty industry.

Bianca Finch

At 14 years old Bianca Finch attended her first model casting for New Orleans Fashion Week, with no previous modeling experience. She quickly became a designer favorite and walked more like a veteran runway model than a high school age novice. Finch was named the winner of the JRP sponsored NOFW Model Walk Off. Through work with Craig Magleby, Bianca traveled to Los Angeles, CA for a scouting trip and was signed with NEXT AGENCY.

 Bianca is the daughter of Greg and Maria Finch. She has three sisters Shelby, Meagan and Sydney. Only a high school sophomore at Archbishop Hannan High School, she has a street style to rival her predecessors in the fashion world.  She enjoys all things fashion, shopping and socializing with her tight knit group of friends, who she often tries to recruit into her modeling world as well.

Kristine Pichon

Kristine Pichon Owner and Designer of K'Pich is a local fashion designer that honed her talent at a young age in sewing and drawing. Drawing influence from her creative family and heritage, she decided to pursue her fashion dreams. After graduating from Xavier University in Fine Arts, she moved to New York and received a degree in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design.

Having big dreams for her label K'Pich, she returned to New Orleans and continued to custom design garments for her clients and also donate her custom clutches and garments to different charities and schools throughout the city and nation wide.

Recently Kristine Pichon won New Orleans Fashion Week for 2015 for Top Designer and the People Choice. She also was a finalist and winner of this years Millennial "Salute To Service." She has gained exposure from featured articles in Art +Design, Face, and MOI Magazine. She describes her designs as "The New Era Of Class" aiming to make women feel beautiful and unique.


Micaiah and Tabitha Bethune

Tabitha Bethune, a New Orleans native, and husband Micaiah Bethune from Detroit, founded The Wild Life Reserve. The dynamic duo started their company as an accessories brand and has since expanded to include full women’s and menswear lines.

Located on St. Charles, WLR partners with emerging designers and helps them to create a brand around their clothing and launch a full business.  

In the past year, they’ve designed the collection for the New Orleans Airline- Glo, won two awards for New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, been featured in the National Geographic magazine, and won over 35 thousand dollars in businesses awards. With this funding they have been able to support other fashion labels to launch their own brands.

The Wild Life Reserve creates limited edition clothing, their aim is to protect fashion and promote growth within the fashion industry. WLR is not just a clothing line, but a fashion movement. 


Lucille McDonnell

Experienced retail buyer and philanthropist, Lucille spent 40 years in retail marketing making connections with the most elite members or the fashion community while creating scholarship programs for emerging fashion industry professionals.

Lucille stumbled upon the fashion industry on accident; she had originally dedicated her time to singing. After cancelling at a job with DH Holmes, she worked to revive a failing Revlon. After discovering falsifications of records, she earned a strong industry reputation and landed a coveted position as a jewelry buyer for Adlers.

She continues to guide young professionals through her work with Fashion Group International urging fashion industry professionals to seek both education and experience.


Louisiana State Museum

The Louisiana State Museum was founded in New Orleans in 1906, is a statewide system of National Historic Landmarks and modern structures across Louisiana. The Louisiana State Museum has one of the largest and finest costume and textile collections in the United States. Overall the museum’s collection ranges from late 18th century to the present with the majority of objects having a Louisiana provenance. Of the approximately 15,000 objects in the collection, one third is the costumes and accessories collection, one third is the textile collection, and one third is the Carnival collection. The Carnival collection, a permanent exhibition that showcases the extraordinary tradition of Mardi Gras through rare artifacts, scores of magnificent costumes, and spectacular displays. Collection items are handmade by couturiers, dressmakers, artisans, and homemakers. Noteworthy exhibits and collections have included Geoffrey Beene, Oscar de la Renta, and Mignon Faget.

Wayne Phillips has acted as the Curator of Costumes & Textiles and Curator of Carnival Collections at the Louisiana State Museum since 1998.  He is responsible for a collection of over 25,000 artifacts, including historic and contemporary clothing, accessories, and textiles of all kinds, as well as an encyclopedic collection of artifacts documenting all aspects of Louisiana Carnival celebrations statewide.