#92: Lonza Dennis
If there's a fashion show in town, Denver fashion blogger Lonza Dennis is there, camera in hand, ready to cheerlead for local designers with her online First Class Fashionista "blogazine." Whether covering the beat or promoting her own charity fundraiser, Paint the Runway, the hard-working Dennis goes above and beyond for the design community, behind the scenes and beside the runway. And for her, branching out into fashion-world public relations is just the next step. How does Dennis find her groove? Find out in her 100CC questionnnaire.
Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why? Lonza Dennis: I would say that would be my mom. A lot of great people can say, "Thank you, mommy" for the person they've become. Mom impressed upon me the importance of giving back and making a difference in your community, no matter how big or small. When I was a kid, my mom always said, "Do at least one good deed a day," and she led by example. I would collaborate with her on her nonprofit Community Clothing Exchange, which received referrals from the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Catholic charities and safehouses for victims of domestic violence.
During the holidays, the exchange also provided Thanksgiving food baskets to families in need and assisted the mayor's office of Oakland, California with its annual toy drive. Additionally, in the late '80s, the Community Clothing Exchange led my mom to collaborate with an organization called Sisters United, which provided access to the arts for disadvantaged inner city youth. I remember going to my first play at the Paramount Theater in Oakland back then: Sojourner Truth's Ain't I a Woman.
Red Ball Denver, 2012.
First Class Fashionista
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?
I am going to keep this one short: Barack Obama. Why? He is the first African-American President of the United States.
What's one art trend you want to see die this year?
Honestly, I can't think of any art trends I would like to see die this year. Maybe it's because I believe in the freedom of expression as long as it is not harming anyone or anything.
What's your day job?
I am the founder and creative director of First Class Fashionista, a Denver-based lifestyle, fashion and beauty blogazine. FCF has been supporting the Denver fashion scene since 2009. I am a blogger, brand strategist, social-media marketer and full event and fashion PR professional. I have an expert understanding of the role social media plays in networking and business development.
My team and I have successfully produced and executed several successful marketing and PR campaigns for both big and small brands, local and nationwide. We get people to your events. We drive traffic to your website. We get you and your company noticed. I was the official blogger for the first Colorado Fashion Week, and the First Class Fashionista team has partnered up as a media sponsor/social media marketer for charitable events like the annual Max Fashion Show. Red Ball Denver, World Trade Center Denver: A World of Fashion, Westword's WhiteOut and Wine, Women and Shoes.
At First Class Fashionista, we truly understand that quality, original content and services is king for return on investment in the search engines, and we can even create it for you. We can also revamp your look for any occasion. Additionally, I mentor promising fashion design, marketing, videography and photography students who want to jump right in to our Denver fashion community and establish a lifetime of networking connections.
A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?
Everybody thinks about how unlimited funds would benefit their own family. I would fulfill my dream of creating a substantial revolving scholarship fund, which would need to be paid back by every recipient. It would require a certain grade-point average or a comprehensive drive analysis in addition to community service hours.
What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?
I know this is the obvious answer, but so it is. Get involved. Support the arts. Use your dollar and your time to support the arts. Our first priority should be to support or create in-school and after-school programs. We should show our support for our actors, musicians, DJs, fashion shows, museum exhibits, art and food festivals, and all of the independent art, architectural, clothing, jewelry, shoe designers and small bushiness boutiques that are in our community.
Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?
I have to admit that my absolute favorite Colorado Creative other than Brandi Shigley of Fashion Denver is Charlie Price. He is Denver's most recognized hair designer, a Shear Genius star and Denver Fashion Weekend producer and choreographer for 303 Magazine, published by AB Aharoian.
Westword WhiteOut, 2014.
First Class Fashionista
What's on your agenda in the coming year?
To continue to support and help sell out important charity events, as well as offer full event, beauty and fashion PR and marketing with First Class Fashonista. Our official launch for FCF PR is set! We are known for helping to selling out fabulous fashion events! We make great hosts. You want social influencers at your event! We also offer total makeovers -- from website to personal shopping and style consultation.
Who do you think will get noticed in the local fashion community in 2014?
Thinking along the lines of the national recognition Mondo Guerra and Stephanie Ohnmacht are receiving now, my best guess would be Denver designer Gabriela Martinez of Gabriela Designs. She has received more than her share of awards, and she was awarded "Fashion Designer of the Year" at Denver's RAWards.
Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.
To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.
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