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Style Week Orange County to begin Saturday

Annual fashion celebration features runway models, designer showcases and more.

September 26, 2013|By Rhea Mahbubani
  • In 2010, Cadillac partnered with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising/FIDM for the debut of the runway competition among local students at Style Week Orange County.
In 2010, Cadillac partnered with the Fashion Institute… (Michelle Larson )

Kendra Scott's jewelry empire began with wire-wrapped stones, a tea box and $500.

Oh, and her 3-month-old Baby Bjorn-clad son, Cade, for company.

In 2002, the Austin, Texas, resident dipped into her savings to convert her passion for fashion into a full-time business. Her decision, although decried by many, was aimed at digging her family out of a particularly deep financial pit.

The risk paid off when every local boutique door she knocked on led to an order. Armed with a mini-collection of only about two dozen pieces, she kept her promise to her husband and doubled their starting costs.

"I began designing jewelry when I was in my 20s as a hobby after realizing there were certain jewelry pieces I wanted but couldn't find," Scott, 39, recounted. "My friends began asking me to make jewelry for them too, and I had an 'a-ha' moment, realizing I could make a career out of this."

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After launching her line out of a spare bedroom, Scott has, in the ensuing 11 years, established eight stores nationwide. The one at Fashion Island, which she deems "undoubtedly our most gorgeous," will feature prominently at the upcoming Style Week Orange County from Saturday to Oct. 5.

A frequent visitor to the coastal communities of Southern California, Scott, whose appreciation for fashion dates back to when she was a toddler trying on her mother's heels, remarked that she had long dreamed of being part of Newport Beach's outdoor shopping center. She got her wish earlier this year when her eponymous boutique was greeted warmly by the community.

For its first time participating in the event, Kendra Scott Jewelry will host a special Girl's Night Out from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, including light refreshments by Paul Martin's American Grill, two masseuses and a gold or rhodium Bethany Bangle — one of her top-selling items priced at $85 — as an accompaniment to all purchases.

But, shopping alert: the fun at Style Week doesn't end there.

On opening day, celebrity fashion designer and Project Runway alum Nick Verreos will host "Cadillac Couture: Design Competition" at 7 p.m. at the Irvine Spectrum Center. The automotive behemoth has teamed up with the Irvine Company as the presenting sponsor of the weeklong festivities for the fourth time.

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