Sears Public Relations And Communications
Kenmore Launches First Facebook Reality Fashion Show: 'So You Wanna Be a Designer'
Aspiring Fashion Designers Vie for $20,000 and a Kenmore Elite? Laundry
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The fashion
industry is exciting and challenging for novices and experienced designers
alike. Recognizing this, Kenmore has created 'So You Wanna Be a Designer',
a Kenmore Live Studio online fashion reality series, as a means for
Americans to venture into the business highlighting their creativity and
offering business benefits such as exposure to top designers, stylists and
photographers to learn the inner workings of the industry.
For six weeks the reality show will stream live on Kenmore's Facebook
page to show budding designers at work, making their dreams a reality.
Through the series, contestants will learn how to navigate the barriers of
entering the design world: how to create and launch a brand, and how to
price, present and promote designs successfully, among other things.
"Kenmore has long been on the leading edge of innovation, value and
dependability. As our customers' needs have evolved, we've worked to create
products that meet those needs," said Scott Freidheim, executive vice
president, Sears Holdings and president, Kenmore, Craftsman & DieHard. "Our
ability to engage with customers as they desire has also progressed. Today,
we are increasingly leveraging technology and online social networks to
engage with customers. This Kenmore Live Studio initiative is a first of
its kind and we're excited to be able to give a deserving designer the
opportunity to realize their dream of breaking into the design industry
through this reality series."
Starting tonight at 6:45 p.m. CT, Americans are invited to watch
episodes of 'So You Wanna Be a Designer' and vote* for their favorites at
http://www.facebook.com/Kenmore. At stake for the designers, beyond ultimate
bragging rights, are a $20,000 cash prize and an innovative Kenmore Elite?
laundry pair that boasts custom clothing care functionality. Under the
watchful eye and mentoring of host Debbie Yagel, a seasoned Chicago
designer and entrepreneur, the contestants will learn from leading industry
insiders how to break into the fashion business and become a successful
Challenges will be presented to the contestants every Tuesday at 9 a.m.
CT at the Kenmore Live Studio. Completed designs will be showcased live
during the Thursday night episodes at 7 p.m. CT beginning today through May
12. During the time they have to fashion their looks, designers are
required to spend two hours at the Studio interacting with Yagel and one
another and the Kenmore Live Studio will be live streaming this activity
throughout the series. Challenges will include field trips, meetings and
appearances to keep contestants on the go and inspired throughout the
"Having created my brand, Ootra, here in Chicago, I know how high the
triumphs and how low the hardships in fashion can be - especially in the
beginning," said Debbie Yagel. "I am proud to work with such an exciting
and unique program like 'So You Wanna Be a Designer.' Hosting this program
enables me to share my business insights in a competition that truly
celebrates the business of fashion with amazing designers as they come into
their own before our eyes."
Yagel, who serves as the face of Kenmore's 'So You Wanna Be a Designer'
series, will tap various heavy-hitting industry icons including her co-host
Isaac King, a wardrobe stylist for FORD Models, Inc. and founder of Black
Code to help guide the contestants in their journey. Following are the cast
members vying for top distinction in the premier season:
-- Tonya Pierce: A south Florida native, Tonya's mother taught her to sew
at an early age, which opened the door to endless design possibilities,
including creating her own prom dress. After a brief stint studying
marine biology, she moved to Chicago to study fashion design at the
International Academy of Technology and Design. Tonya's fashion
obsession revolves around giving people pieces they love to wear and
feel confident in.
-- Michael Pazmino: Born in Chicago and raised in Quito, Ecuador, Michael
is a primarily self-taught designer. While attending UIC for mechanical
engineering and moonlighting as a model, he developed strong fashion
ideas. He bought fashion textbooks to teach himself the skills needed
to enter the industry and today specializes in women's finer apparel,
but can and will design and construct anything under his label PAZMINO.
-- Jessica Davis: Bi-coastal in her upbringing, Jessica found herself in
Chicago at the Illinois Institute of Art. She describes her style as a
realization of inner beauty that includes classic silhouettes merged
with structured feminine trends. Her current collection, Everything
Lovely, is designed to make women feel lovely inside and out.
-- LaTonya Williams: LaTonya grew up in a family of designers who urged her
to find a path outside the family business. With a degree in
mathematics, she worked in the IT field for more than 10 years.
Determined and talented, she created her own line dubbed pitch black
gear and ultimately enrolled at the International Academy of Design
Technology where she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine
-- Anna Hovet: Born and raised in Grand Forks, N.D., Anna moved to Chicago
in 2003 to attend the School of the Art Institute. In college, she was a
stylist and fashion show coordinator at Akira and later was hired by
Kids Headquarters to design layettes for Ecko, Calvin Klein, Kenneth
Cole, and Target. Today, she offers Anna Hovet, a young contemporary
collection online and at multiple retailers throughout the Midwest.
-- Stephen Curd: Stephen moved to Chicago after graduating from Lindenwood
University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. He worked at
a small boutique to prove his design credibility and ultimately created
his own fashion production company. With a focus on men's clothing, he
has been known to design for the female who can pull off a masculine
look. Stephen dreams of taking over the fashion world one great
tailored-fit at a time.
The Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago will serve as command central for
the designers with access to the latest Kenmore sewing and laundry
appliances, free-range creative space and a direct line to Yagel, their
mentor throughout the process. Local Chicagoans, fashion fiends and reality
buffs alike are welcome to attend the live broadcasts weekly at 678 N.
Wells Street where they can watch as designers add final touches, receive
comments and critiques, and ultimately see who will carry on to the next
week's challenge. For those who cannot attend but want to keep up with the
series, visit http://www.facebook.com/kenmore.
*Viewers can vote up to five times per night from 7 - 7:50 p.m. CT each
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq: SHLD) is the nation's fourth
largest broadline retailer with over 4,000 full-line and specialty retail
stores in the United States and Canada. Sears Holdings is the leading home
appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, consumer
electronics and automotive repair and maintenance. Sears Holdings is the
2011 ENERGY STAR? Retail Partner of the Year. Key proprietary brands
include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and a broad apparel offering,
including such well-known labels as Lands' End, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer,
as well as the Apostrophe and Covington brands. It also has the Country
Living collection, which is offered by Sears and Kmart. We are the nation's
largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls
made annually. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its
subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For
more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at http://www.searsholdings.com.
Kenmore recently opened the Kenmore Live Studio, an interactive center
equipped with technology to stream exciting and innovative experiences live
online. Studio visitors can share their voice with the world as they watch
events that include chef and designer demonstrations, new product
unveilings and more, in real time via Kenmore's Facebook page. The Kenmore
Live Studio, located in downtown Chicago at Huron and Wells (678 North
Wells Street, Chicago Ill 60654), is open to the public every Thursday
through Sunday. Visit http://www.facebook.com/kenmore to learn more.
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation
Web site: http://www.searsholdings.com
CONTACT: Larry Costello of Sears Holdings Corp., +1-847-286-9036,
Larry.Costello@searshc.com, or Eileen Earley of Zeno Group for
Sears, +1-312-396-9796, Eileen.Earley@zenogroup.com