Paris Fashion Week may have ended, but for Los Angeles things are just heating up.

The city is preparing for LA Fashion Week, Oct. 12-31, and late last week Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa paid a visit to the California Market Center to throw his support behind the industry.

“Los Angeles will launch an exciting showcase of fashion and creativity that will bring buyers and style mavens from all over the world during LA fashion week,” Villaraigosa said at a press conference organized by Cynthia Ruiz, fashion ambassador for the Mayor’s office, The Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles and the organizers of Downtown LA Fashion Week.

“Our city is no longer just the fashion capital of the West Coast; LA is one of the major fashion capitals of the world,” he added.

Focusing on both the business of fashion and its future, the conference also announced the first ever winners of the Fashion Angel Awards Emerging Designer contest sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. Designer Randolph Duke was on hand to announce the three winners, Phong Hong, Fernanda Carneiro, and the design team of Jaquetta O’Dell and Leslie Henry, who will each participate in a runway show scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of Downtown LA Fashion Week. Each will also receive $1,500 in services from CPA firm Moss Adams.

Other notable designers in attendance at the conference included Max Azria of BCBG, Randolph Duke, Louis Verdad, Geren Ford, Nick Verreos, Raymundo Balthazar and Vincent.

Following the press conference Villaraigosa visited several fashion showrooms where he looked at designs and chatted with company owners and sales reps.

—Tim Yap