Meet Jay Calderin, Founder of Boston Fashion Week
August 30, 2022
Ahead of Cambridge Science Festival’s ground-breaking partnership with Boston Fashion Week we caught up with the Founder of BFW, Jay Calderin, who is programming the events, runways, exhibitions and conversations that make up SCIENCE + FASHION on Saturday October 8, at the Kendall/MIT Open Space.
Interviewer: I don’t think it’s overstating it to say that you’re partly responsible for Boston’s burgeoning reputation as a center of fashion, but how did you first get involved with the fashion scene in the city?
Calderin: That takes us back about 30 years! I had just moved to Boston not expecting a fashion scene, but within weeks I began to discover pockets of fashion all over the city. The scene was more fragmented at that time but it was exciting to find such a diverse pool of talent in the region. I launched a few projects in the interest of building community. First, a monthly magazine, which then expanded to include a weekly cable program and ultimately led to the founding of Boston Fashion Week. From then on Boston fashion has developed its own identity, grown stronger as a community, and continued to evolve.
I: Tell us about this year’s Boston Fashion Week.
C: This will be our 28th annual Boston Fashion Week. Every year is different and this fall most of the programming will be built around augmented reality experiences throughout Greater Boston. Collaborations like the one with the Cambridge Science Festival are allowing us to explore important ideas and issues related to fashion. Each day will explore a different theme—Science/Technology, Sustainability, Gender/Identity, Age, Cultural Heritage, Art + Craft of Fashion, Inclusion, and Buy Local. In addition to themed AR galleries in public spaces, there will be a mix of in-person and online experiences like runway presentations, special events, educational programming, and parties.
I: Some people might not immediately think that Fashion and Science go hand-in-hand, presumably you’d disagree with those people?
C: I would definitely disagree with anyone who does not think that there is a connection between science/technology and the fashion industry. Science and technology are the new frontiers in fashion, and the hubs for both are right here in our very own backyard. This region is a global proving ground for one innovation after another when it comes to the development of new materials, advances in manufacturing, tools for doing business, and design practices.
I: What should we expect from SCIENCE + FASHION at the Kendall/MIT Open Space?
C: It’s going to be a blast! I think people are going to be very surprised by how each element of the schedule will explore a different intersection of fashion + science/technology. No two approaches to the equation will be the same. After a day of being immersed in programs featuring so many creative thinkers, guests will leave thoroughly inspired.
I: And finally, is there an event or designer you’re particularly looking forward to seeing?
C: That’s a tough question. There is so much to choose from! I think it’s the mix that I’m actually most looking forward to. The day will be a prime example of the Boston Fashion Week motto—“Boston fashion is smart.”