This week, we’re thrilled to feature a new addition to the San Francisco fashion scene: Designer Fashion Circle (DFC). Spearheaded by gown designer Chona Pike, DFC was founded by a team of fashion industry veterans and enthusiasts, all of whom have collaborated on photo shoots and runway shows in the past.
About the Designers:
Chona Pike, DFC’s founder, grew up with her aunt, a designer and seamstress, who inspired her to pursue her passion for fashion. Over two decades later, Chona continues to indulge her love for designing and sewing, making everything from baby bibs to prom dresses. Famous for her luxurious collection of mermaid style evening and wedding gowns, she started participating in fashion shows just three years ago and has built a robust side-business selling her creations. An accountant by day, Chona is passionate about DFC and says “it’s a new exciting step in my life.”
Sudha Muthu’s interest in design was sparked as a teen working in her mother’s custom design clothing shop. There, she experimented with a variety of unique and unusual fabrics, which inspired the final design. Today, she continues this practice, creating children’s wear, cocktail dresses and evening gowns as well as casual clothing using novelty fabrics, each piece custom fitted to the wearer to keep up the high quality of the garments and ensure customer satisfaction.
Theia Grazi Clothing is owned by California native Amy Wong and Russian-born Anya Ignatyeva, who met in college. Although raised on opposite sides of the planet, the duo has found that their cultural differences (along with their shared love for fashion) have only fueled their creativity. Theia Grazi creates limited-edition ready-to-wear pieces with European influences, all proudly “Made in the USA.” Signature pieces feature modern lines with contrasting details like peek-a-boo plaid or brightly-colored buttons.
About the Team:
The rest of DFC is comprised of Tonya Williamson (Runway Model Manager), Setts Estaniel (Lead Model/Trainer), Michael Le (Marketing/Events), and Nicolas Ardelean (Photographer/Graphic Designer), all of whom share a love for the fashion industry.
While most of the team members currently have full-time jobs apart from DFC, the project enables them to fulfill their creative passions, indulge their hobbies, and hone their many talents. As Setts (a Business Operations Specialist for a data storage company by day) puts it, “What better way to utilize my degree in business management and modeling experience than to be part of this exciting endeavor, where I get to work behind the scenes and on the runway.”
“I love what I do and feel blessed that my profession allows me to help others see how beautiful they really are,” adds Monina.
DFC aims to produce a series of photo shoots, fashion shows, sample sales and trunk shows to not only promote the designers’ creations but also feature the amazing work of the creative team, from the make-up artists/stylists to the photographers and graphic designers.
Currently in the works are a 2013 Calendar as well as a Holiday Fashion and Trunk Show.
Slated for Friday, November 16 at Americana in Mountain View, the Holiday Fashion and Trunk Show will highlight the designs of Chona Pike, Sudha Muthu and Theia Grazi Clothing. The event kicks off with wine and hors d’ouevres at 6pm and a fashion show at 7:30pm. Best of all, guests will have the opportunity to purchase select pieces featured on the runway. A limited amount of tickets are still available online at EventBrite.
DFC is always on the look-out for fresh talent, from budding fashion designers and stylists to models of all ages. Connect with DFC on Facebook or contact Chona Pike at