FASHMOB: A Brief History

If you are reading this blog, you may be thinking about attending the latest FASHMOB XI on July 26th at Homewood in Asheville. This meetup has become very popular with models, photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and designers. No matter if you are a seasoned professional or brand new to your craft, FASHMOB is simply a fun time.

FASHMOB II at Crow and Quill - Asheville, NC

Betsabe Fregoso and Ginger Wilde at FASHMOB III

The history of FASHMOB in Asheville is simple. Years ago, I had a burning interest to get into fashion photography. I realized that is hard to get into it when you don’t know where to start. Who is going to want to shoot with me? How do I meet the right people? Several years ago, local photographer/film maker Rudy Aguilar made a Facebook post for a meetup of local photographers and models. I jumped at the chance and met him at Wedge brewing. There was one model and four photographers. I couldn’t even stay long enough to shoot, but I thought that was the coolest thing. I kept asking Rudy, “When is the next one?”

The meetup at Wedge in 2013 that inspired FASHMOB. l-r Rudy Aguilar and Joe Longobardi

After about a year, I decided to start a meetup myself. In the fall of 2014. I created an event called Fash-Mob and we met on top of the Civic Center Parking Garage. It was cold and a total of 9 people showed up. It didn’t really matter to me how many people showed up, as long as someone did. The aim was to meet new people and make images.

The very first Fash-Mob 2014. Tommy Propest, Scott Duncan, Craig Burgwardt, and myself. 

Amber Victoria at the very first "Fash-Mob"

Initially, FASHMOBs were held every season at different locations around town with the tag line, “simple, fast, fun.” The event became really popular in a short amount of time. With more people come more responsibilities. Trying to make everyone happy became a challenge to me. I would often hear things like, “Why don’t you do this?” or “You should really do that.” At around FASHMOB XIII, I felt that the planning and organization became too much to juggle. By the time FASHMOB X came to a close. I put it on a shelf. I never officially ended the event, but I had let a circle of friends know that they were welcome to take it over.

FASHMOB VI - Royal Peasantry crew. 

In early 2018, local photographer/model/actor/filmmaker Raven Tenderfoot messaged me. He wanted to know if I would consider combining FASHMOB with an idea he had, in order to keep the energy alive in the local scene. I told him that I was done running the whole thing for the time being and that he should simply host the next one. He accepted. Raven and I have been acquainted over the years. I have see him at FASHMOBs, local fashion shows, and festivals. I even worked on the same set of Transplanting one year. That combined with reading his posts on Facebook, I always though he was an exceptional person who is into local fashion and fashion photography for all the right reasons. Giving Raven the green light to host FASHMOB XI was a no-brainer. Will I host another one? Who knows? Until I ask myself that question again, Raven is running the show and what an event he has in store for you!

Raven Tenderfoot at FASHMOB VII - downtown Asheville, NC 

What is FASHMOB? The best way to find out is to look at the past FASHMOB events. Look at the photos, read the comments, and read the “about” sections. It started out as a free-for-all where people just show up to mingle and create. It has evolved in such a way, where some people plan with a team weeks in advance for some elaborate shoots. To learn exactly how FASHMOB XI will work, please read Raven’s event description. If you have trouble accessing the Facebook event page, I have pasted the latest version of the event description below. Raven has rented the Homewood Castle! No matter if you are shooting inside or out on the grounds, please pay $5.00 at the door to keep FASHMOB alive!

FASHMOB IV afterparty at Strada in downtown Asheville, NC 

FASHMOB VIII at Salvage Station

Eric France getting creative at FASHMOB V

Below is the official “about” section for FASHMOB XI per Raven…

“Welcome to FASHMOB 11. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 26th (that's pretty soon!) The location is Homewood Castle in Montford.
This is a gorgeous venue inside and out with a private park across the street. We wanted a change up from some of the industrial themes we've had in the past. We also wanted to address concerns of "guys with camera" stealing shots over the shoulders of professionals or the creepy candid shots from unsuspecting angels.
If you would like to participate on the Homewood property, it's $5 for everyone (photographers, models, designers, make-up artists, parents, if you are a person then it's $5.) Please bring a 5 dollar bill or five single dollar bills (it'll help us out a lot.) 
Because Homewood is such an elegant space, we're going to have photographers set up stations inside. (Maximum occupation in the building is 100 people at a time.) But there is only room for about 10 stations. We want a variety of styles but also trusted photographers who have been giving a lot to the Asheville Fashion Community over the years. Outside, there is ample space for impromptu shots with natural light (sunset is around 8:45pm) or using battery powered lights. And a lovely park across the street that is owned by Homewood. 
For those who are not at all excited about the change ($5 and more structure) Montford park is only a block away. It is also a lovely park with restrooms, water fountains, and diversity in aesthetics. Trees, hills, a rock wall running the length of the park, benches, basketball courts. Feel free to utilize this fortunate space. 
If you opt to participate at the Homewood event, we can help participants form groups, so everyone can feel as relaxed and productive as possible during this event. 
The photography stations inside are filling up fast. We need more women photographers, as we appreciate diversity. Please reach out via private message to Raven Tenderfoot if you're interested in setting up a professional set inside. Some photographers are sharing a "booth" which works out really well. So they have the freedom to roam as well as get gorgeous photos inside.”

Must watch video produced by Anthony Harden of Alt Media Pros

FASHMOB XI event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/2065212657129769/

If you have trouble using this link, FASHMOB XI will be held on Thursday, July 26th - 2018.

Homewood’s address is 19 Zillacoa St. Asheville.

Below are links to all of the past FASHMOBs…

FASHMOB IX at Riverview Station