House of Mann
Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Kicks Off With Fashion Show
Sparkle City -- Spartanburg, SC -- will shine bigger and brighter than ever when The House of Mann hits the catwalk on the opening night after-party of Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Saturday, June 1, 2019, at West Main Artists Co-op.
“This is going to be a really big splash for Spartanburg and the Festival,” Director Sandy Staggs said. “I don’t think there’s ever been anything like this in Spartanburg, and these glamour fashions will undoubtedly open some eyes and drop some jaws. It’s going to be a great way to kick off the Festival with a glittery bang.”
House of Mann is an international fashion brand by Spartanburg-born and Carolina-based artist Brandon Hilton and his partner. Having been seen in magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Paper, House of Mann is renown for its colorful, glittery, and revealing gender-bending fashions for men and women. It has dressed some of pop culture’s biggest names, including Alyssa Edwards, Kim Petras, Laith Ashley, Allie X, and Desmond Is Amazing.
At the Fringe Festival, House of Mann will premier its new summer and fall collection. The runway show and after-party will start at 8 p.m., immediately following the Festival’s opening reception. The reception is free; the fashion show/after-party is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
“We are putting on the ritz,” Staggs said. “The music will be loud, the lights will be flashing, and the models will strut their stuff in clothes that defy the imagination. Victoria’s Secret’s Angels now have competition.”
Although this may be a first for Spartanburg, it is not the first time that The House of Mann has dazzled Carolinians. Its fashions were seen in 2018 at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC. And just this past March, its international campy style was seen in Abbeville, SC for a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Greenwood. HOM’s 2018 fall and winter collection was first revealed in Charlotte, NC, the company’s headquarters.
In preview of the premier, Hilton said his summer and fall collection will feature lots of mesh, metallics, sequins, and even some fringe. “We have a very eclectic approach to fashion, since we began as a costume company,” he said. “Attendees can expect larger-than-life costumes and over-the-top performances. It’s going to be the first fashion event of its kind in Spartanburg for sure.
“Being from Spartanburg, this is a nice milestone in my career,” he continued. “I’m so glad to be able to get the Festival off to a quick start, celebrating art in my hometown. It’s going to be very special for me. Through my work, I’ve been able to do all kinds of really cool things, and it is my hope that this will get people’s attention and inspire them. Like, if I’ve done all these things and I’m from Spartanburg, anyone can.”
Most of HOM’s clothing is custommade, but its current fashion statements can be seen online in various videos and on the company’s website: TheHouseOfMann.com. The clothing includes handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, pants (bottoms), shirts (tops), dresses, harnesses, jackets, jumpsuits, leotards, outerwear, and underwear.
Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival is the brainchild of Staggs, who is also the founder of Proud Mary Theatre Company, the first and only theatre company dedicated to giving a voice to LGBTQ+ stories. The Festival will be a month long -- June 2019 -- and will feature about 30 performances, including the Tony-winning Broadway musical Fun Home. Other major attractions include performances and appearances by the Rev. Jim Dant of Greenville, who has been in the national spotlight for his book This I Know: A Simple Biblical Defense for LGBTQ Christians; and film director and producer, television writer and producer, playwright, and actor Del Shores, who is well known for his works Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will?, Southern Baptist Sissies, and Sordid Lives. Several other regional playwrights, musicians, actors, and writers will also present their creative output. The Festival will end Saturday, June 29, with a live concert featuring no less than six bands. Also, there will be an art exhibition -- Out of the Box -- featuring unique, odd, and strange work of art by artists from far and wide. For more info, please visit online: SpartanburgFringeFestival.com.