Orlando International Fashion Week (AKA Orlando Fashion Week) was founded in April of 2014 by siblings Robert and Jessica Henlon and close friend Starr Dalton. At the time, Robert and Jessica were business partners of “Ready Inc.”, a company that focused on graphics, web design and social media marketing.
After working with several small businesses such as restaurants, law firms, boutiques, and dental offices, Ready Inc. was hired to provide the promotion, marketing, and graphics for a stage play. Immediately after the stage play, Ready Inc. was solicited to assist a local fashion design student with his school project of producing a Fashion show in Downtown Orlando.
To research the unique request Rob and Jessica Henlon emerged themselves into the local fashion scene. During each event that they attended, Rob and Jessica took the opportunity to network and promote the upcoming fashion show that they were assisting with. As they met new people, Rob and Jessica Henlon were amazed at how disconnected the local fashion scene was. Several of the talented Designers, Models , and Hair and Make-up Artists were not familiar with the other events which they were not participating in.
Rob and Jessica Henlon met Starr Dalton at one of the last fashion events that they were researching. Starr was the first person that Rob and Jessica met who was familiar with every other fashion event and participant that they had researched. As a former model, Starr Dalton volunteered to lend her fashion experience to the student’s fashion show. The event was a marketing and financial success due to the combined efforts of the student’s vision, marketing and networking efforts Ready Inc., and the assistance of several talented volunteers.
After the student’s event, Rob, Jessica, and Starr decided to create an event that would unite the local fashion scene, and provide increased exposure of the participating talent. The amount of interest to participate required them to extend the event to a second day therefore, they named the event “Florida Fashion Weekend”. The success of both events, increased the requests from more fashion designers who needed assistance in realizing their dream of producing a successful fashion show.
Realizing that there was potential in fostering, and developing a culture of a niche industry, Rob, Jessica, and Starr decided to create a separate company, Fierce Entertainment Management (Fierce entertainment). Fierce Entertainment offered “consultation, production, services, and social media marketing for individuals and organizations, as well as producing their own events. The first event produced by the newly formed Fierce Entertainment was Orlando International Fashion Week.
“Orlando International Fashion Week” aka “Orlando Fashion Week,” produced by Fierce Entertainment, has roots as early as 2013, was trademarked in 2015, and was established as a 501(c)(3) in 2021. (see history)