Dolcessa Named Emerging Designer of The Year at Phoenix Fashion Week 2013

Categories: Fashion

Melissa Fossum
Katya Leoncio's brand Dolcessa was named emerging designer of the year.

Katya Leoncio's swimwear brand Dolcessa was named emerging designer of the year Saturday night at Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort.

Leoncio accepted the award, which comes with a prize package valued at more than $10,000 in goods and services, before Fashion Week's finale from avant garde Filipino designer Rocky Gathercole.

See also: Bri Seeley Shines at Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 at Talking Stick Resort

Melissa Fossum
Dolcessa's final look from Thursday's show.
Surprisingly, the Las Vegas-based swimwear brand that has been featured in Sports Illustrated multiple times beat out those who looked like front-runners, including Trang Nguyen and Doux Belle, which both revealed their collections last night.

This already-successful brand being named emerging designer of the year highlights problems with the competition. First, Dolcessa makes swimwear, while other designers create evening wear and others make T-shirts. So, from the get-go the playing field is uneven, because all designers are being judged on making wildly dissimilar garments that require different skill sets. Second, Dolcessa is a brand that's obviously well-connected, having appeared in such major magazines as People, Maxim, and OK, in addition to ad campaigns for Vegas' Cosmopolitan Casino and on Kate Upton in Sports Illustrated. Other designers in the competition appear to be learning how to construct a collection that isn't an utter trainwreck, let alone garnering national attention for their work.

Third, and most problematic: Dolcessa is, without question, an established brand, and should've never been included in this emerging competition -- unless all the rest of the emerging designers were at the same level. They weren't. And it's only confused further the premise of the competition.

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