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Area fashion designers now have local fabric source

Area fashion designers now have local fabric source

As Arizona’s fashion industry continues to take root, a business at Tempe’s fashion incubator is supplying the fabric for that growth.

The Fabric Studio at 132 E. 6th St. is giving designers a place to get the material they need to create fashions and begin their careers.

“We act as brokers,” said Mari Elena Fagre, one of two partners in the business. “We know all about the products. We can help designers get fabric, and then get it again.”

“Designers get fabric to create something, but then getting more can be a problem,” said Mabel Cortez, the other partner. “The designers know they can get fabric on reorder from us.

“Fabric stores cater to the public only,” she said. “But here, now you have a place that understands designers because we are designers.”

Cortez has been a fashion designer for over 10 years, and Fagre used to be a swimsuit designer.

In April, they opened the Fabric Studio in the basement of FABRiC, the Fashion and Business Resource Innovation Center, a Tempe incubator. It operates at the site of the former Tempe Performing Arts Center. Its founders hope to make Arizona a fashion destination.

“It’s a unique place to have available,” Fagre said. “It’s a one-stop shop with the incubator.”

The Fabric Studio stocks a variety of fabrics – cotton, linens, silk, wool and more. And they can get them from Los Angeles, Japan, Europe, India and elsewhere. The studio also offers sewing tools and trims.

Fabric usually is sold in large quantities. Designers have a problem getting more than just a little at a decent price, so the Fabric Studio can pool resources and get what designers need.

They can also get it cheaper – wholesale for designers, and discounted retail for the public.

“One designer needed pleather,” Cortez said. “It was $30 a yard at Jo-Ann’s, but $18 here.”

An additional service the studio offers is consulting to help designers find the perfect fabric and trim for their collections.

“More designers out there need guidance,” Cortez said. “They’re trying to get on the map.

“We’ve helped designers in New York, Oregon, even Iowa.”

The pair are working on an online store as well, offering sourcing for fabric.

“Designers are excited by it,” Fagre said. “And not just fabric, but everything else.”

The two see a bright future, both for fashion in Tempe and for themselves.

“I see more brands produced in Arizona,” Cortez said.

“We hope to grow bigger and better,” Fagre said. “Not only get designers from Arizona, but from other states as well. Retail as well.”

“Right now, we’re relying on Google Maps, Facebook ads and word of mouth,” Cortez said. “We’re trying to do more advertising. By the fall, we hope to have a bigger presence.”

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How Kylie Verzosa Is Swinging Her Caped Dress

How Kylie Verzosa Is Swinging Her Caped Dress

Superheroes aren’t the only ones who wear capes, sometimes ordinary people do too. But we don’t always go for the red ones that Superman is known for. These capes can be seen on outerwear or incorporated with our tops and dresses.

Fall/winter 2017 runways showcased pieces with capes from Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Dior, and Chanel. Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa was also spotted wearing one for a shoot with Bayo.

Sies Marjan Marnie Cape-Back Wool Sweater

For rainy day dressing, opt for this mint green sweater from Sies Marjan. It’s a simple piece with a flowy cape design at the back. Wear it with your skinny jeans or pair it with pastel-colored trousers.

Daria Duchess Cape Top

The print on this reminds me of fine China plates. It also has an Oriental feel with its high collar and crisp white color. On the other hand, the cape can also keep you warm if needed.

Bershka Bodysuit with Cape and Low Cut Back

Show off some skin with this Bershka bodysuit. The capelet, which sits on the shoulders, is made of sheer lace that highlights your shoulders. Feel free to wear this at the beach or a music festival.

Stella McCartney Cecilia Cape-Effect Cady Gown

Dress up in a nice red gown at your upcoming fancy dinner like this Stella McCartney one. The floor-length cape adds drama to your look and flows just as you move. Just be careful not to step on it!

Zara Cape

Wear this cream cardigan over your top and wear a belt on your waist to give it shape. Or, you can wear it as is and watch the cape blow gracefully during your strolls.

R.A.F. by Plains & Prints Raf Wicket Pantsuit

Since the jumpsuit trend is kicking off this season, go for this one from R.A.F by Plains & Prints with a lightweight capelet. Wear this with flats or heels, depending on the event you’re attending.

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How to Make a Statement With These Minimalist Jewelry Pieces

Adding jewelry pieces to an outfit is a great way to take your look to another level as it can dress up any ensemble. Chunky rings and necklaces are great but dainty jewelry gives you more variety. With these types of accessories you can layer different designs like mixing metals and stacking different sized rings. You can also layer necklaces of different lengths and wear a bunch of chain bracelets. We’ve listed some stores that offer dainty jewelry pieces so you can start shopping this week.


Cinta is a local brand that uses raw metals that are sustainably sourced. They offer rings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces and earrings. What is most interesting about their jewelry is the design. They create unique shapes that you might not have seen before.

Heart & Bolt

Jewelry from Heart & Bolt mixes different materials for each piece. They have chain and cord bracelets with charms or bangles with different stones. You can pick from their many designs or have a piece made especially for you.

Stockton Row

Despite their jewelry pieces being dainty, they stand out. Silver and gold metals are mixed with bright stones in blue, pink, and red. They even have zodiac-inspired pieces if you are into your astrology sign.


Mejuri works with jewelers in both Toronto and Seoul to deliver luxurious pieces that use ethically sourced materials like diamonds and chains. Their line ranges from chain bracelets to birthstone necklaces and even thread through earrings.

Micki Olaguer

Micki Olaguer makes her jewelry designs pop with her use of geometric shapes and colorful stones. Her dangling earrings are the perfect accessory that will frame your face and complete any outfit.


Namì, which means nice in Ilonggo, is a brand that creates timeless jewelry that you can wear everyday with any outfit. The pieces are crafted from sterling silver and are handmade in the Philippines. Their collections feature chokers, toe rings, and bangles to name a few.

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