Poleci, Versace, Linda Asaf and Alexandra King for Saturday's 2nd annual Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show at the Austonian

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'What does it take to be a major fashion designer these days?" I asked Jeffrey Chow on the phone (pictured right).

He didn't hesitate with his answer. Chow, no stranger to industry buzz, got Vogue editor Anna Wintour's stamp of approval seasons ago.

"It's a little bit harder than 20 or 30 years ago to do a brand," said Chow, who now designs the line Poleci. "You have to be much more show-show. It's much harder to do it from scratch. People are buying less, and (they are) more demanding about what goes into a garment and design. It's our job to give them a reason to buy."

Certainly, we learned the tough lessons of the fashion business from the revealing documentary "Valentino: The Last Emperor," and we know fashion designers and design houses have gone to great lengths during the recession to stay relevant and keep costs down while trying to make sure their voices are heard.

Perhaps that's one reason Chow and Poleci executive Jean Claude Huon will make an appearance in Austin this week for Saturday's Runway to Heaven Charity Fashion Show at the Austonian (200 Congress Ave.). Doors for the event open at 6:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Poleci will share the runway with Austin designer Linda Asaf, emerging designer Alexandra King and heavy-hitter Versace, which is going through its own shake-up during this economic decline. Hair and makeup for the show will be done by a team from the popular Australian-based Kevin Murphy. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Austin Children's Shelter and Dell Children's Medical Center.'

Looks from Poleci's Spring 2010 Line
Photos courtesy
Luis Banuelos Arechiga

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