Announcing fashion weekend!

“I used to think, ‘Sacramento’s not ready for fashion,’” clothing designer Richard Hallmarq confessed. “Then I realized that if I’m here, then obviously there are other people like me here.”

Although many of Sacramento’s independent designers cater to the demand for affordable reconstructed and recycled fashions, Hallmarq’s designs favor magazine-cover looks and expensive tastes. “I think my cheapest piece is $110, for a T-shirt,” Hallmarq said in a recent interview. “My clothes are costly, but they’re custom, and everything is in limited quantities. If you’re into fashion, and you’re serious about it, it shows, because you’ll buy stuff like that.”

There must be plenty of serious shoppers in Sacramento, because Hallmarq has had trouble keeping stores stocked. Eighteen months ago, the aspiring designer convinced a local boutique to take 12 of his garments on a trial basis. “After one week, the lady called me and said, ‘We need 10 more pieces because we sold all 12 already!’” Hallmarq remembered. He’s been working to keep up with the demand ever since.

Hallmarq’s designs are released twice a year, for the spring-summer and fall-winter seasons, at fashion shows Hallmarq stages himself. “At Fashion Week in Milan or New York, everyone orders [the clothes] a year in advance, because there is such a large quantity of vendors at those shows. It’s harder in Sacramento, because not a lot of buyers come in. Most of the people who come to my shows are from boutiques who want to order my designs now, for that season.”

Currently, Hallmarq’s clothes are available primarily through Franco Ferrini Apparel, located in Fair Oaks and San Francisco. However, Hallmarq hopes these outlets are only the beginning. “My goal is to be in Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue,” he admitted.

Hallmarq also has resolved to bring the attention of the fashion world to him—right here in Sacramento. “I’m going to have Fashion Week here, but I’m going to call it Fashion Weekend,” he said. If all goes according to plan, Fashion Weekend will take place this February and include parties for local designers, a vendor fair and a giant collaborative fashion show to cap the event. “I want to get people from Vogue, Surface and W to come,” he resolved. “I want to get some kind of notoriety.”

Although Hallmarq is still lining up participating designers, local fashion-makers Matthew Camp and Nemesis Clothing Innovations already have signed on. “I want people to experience what I have when I’ve been to Fashion Week,” Hallmarq said enthusiastically. “People don’t realize the magnitude of hype and fun that’s involved in it. … I’m trying to bring it to Sacramento. It’s going to be really hard, but I’ve got a lot of supportive people helping me already.” For more information, visit