Grace Castro, Founder of MIAFFF, is
Expanding Miami's Fashion Dialogue
Photo courtesy Grace Castro
Three Quick Questions with Grace M. Castro
The festival is based at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, do you have a favorite café or restaurant nearby that is a good place for a break between films?
The Wolfsonian Museum Shop. I love being surrounded by books and cool stuff inspired by art and design, jewelry included, while on a coffee break.
Favorite Miami shop?
Frangipani in Wynwood. They have a great mix of fashion accessories, home, books, cool stationary and items for the office. It is my go-to place for gifts, even those I give to myself.
Best Miami Souvenir?
Is Cuban coffee considered a souvenir?
Why fashion and why films?
Fashion is fluid and constantly evolving creatively. Film is a great conduit for the type of imagination needed by brands, designers, and filmmakers to tell their story from season to season. The thematic genre of fashion film has never been as strong, capturing larger audiences increasingly each year, even at “a major theatre near you” (in my Moviefone voice).
How do you see fashion intersecting with other creative fields in Miami such as art, design and architecture?
I believe all sectors of art and design inform and inspire each other. Much like different cultures intertwining to create something special that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.
How do you think the culture around fashion has changed in Miami since you started the festival?
I love that fashion doesn’t have to be about buying and having the most expensive purse but that it can be appreciated in its most artistic form whether it’s through an exhibit, viewed in a historical context at History Miami, or through dialogue being had among a panel of fashion creatives, and yes of course, fashion as the main protagonist in a fashion film. I’m encouraged that increasingly there are more ways to enjoy fashion.
Where do you want it to be in the future? Or where do you see it going? Everyone has a different view of Miami fashion and the future. I have a positive outlook and so do those who have the initiative to create opportunities for us all to participate and grow as a burgeoning fashion capital.
MIAFFF is connected to Fashion Inspires More, a non-profit organization aimed at a supporting a new generation of leaders through fashion. Tell us more about the work that you do through Fashion Inspires More.
The vision of Fashion Inspires More (FIM) is to expand the fashion dialogue through art, technology and education. We work to initiate programming and partner with the community to inspire, empower, and bring awareness to the creatives, entrepreneurs, and the next generation of leaders to influence art, culture, and technology through fashion. Using a multidisciplinary and educational approach, FIM hosts workshops, panel discussions, talks, film screenings, exhibits, mentorship opportunities, and meet-ups that join the community.
Do you have any advice for those entrepreneurs looking to work in fashion?
Just start! If necessary, create a space for yourself where there is none –that’s when magic happens.
Do you have a favorite moment from last year’s festival?
Working in partnership with The Lynn and Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Archive to present a retrospective look at unique, preserved film and video images of fashion events and coverage by local television news from our city’s booming beginnings. Their archive of local fashion shows, industry events and early visits to the city by legendary designers like Oscar de la Renta is incredible. Miami had a rich history in fashion and they have it all available online for the public to view.
Any film favorites so far?
I have a several favorites. I like films that creatively inject a little fun and humor but my heart lies with documentaries. Documentaries like Bill Cunningham New York and Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel inspired me to start the festival four years ago. It was important to create a platform that encouraged the creation of more insightful and inspirational fashion films. The festival allows us to celebrate those who bring us those stories, real or imagined.
What should we be looking forward to at this year’s festival?
More great documentaries that dive deeper into the fashion creative/entrepreneur psyche and craft and great events hosted by great partners like Bloomingdale’s, Kit & Ace, and Microsoft Dadeland.