Industry Interview: Fashion Event Runway Coordinator
Shannon Davidson tells her story of starting her career as a model and becoming a top runway show specialist
15 Apr 2014
Shannon Davidson Productions is a full-service event management and production firm that has been in operation since 1990. Projects include fashion shows, video & multi-media and special events that are executed both nationally and abroad.
Shannon Davidson has over 20 years experience in the fashion industry. In conjunction with a successful career as a model, Shannon attained a degree in video and film production. This led to a coupling of both industries with the formation of Shannon Davidson Productions.
Shannon Davidson Productions operates in a turn-key fashion, offering service from event conception to all aspects of production design and execution, including staging, lighting, sound, model casting, hair & make up and all show staffing. In addition, Shannon Davidson partners with charity organizations and corporate event planners to act as Director for live award, multi-media and entertainment shows.
How did you get started and why are you passionate about what you do?
It was a bit of an accident! I modelled for about 10 years in total and did so prior to and throughout college. I studied video and film production to acquire my B.A. and I also worked in theatre as an actor through school.
After graduation, I dabbled in production work while still modelling. One day the V.P. of St. John knits, who I modelled for, for many years, asked me if I knew a good show producer that could work and travel for them. I found myself saying “I can do that for you!”
I rather shocked myself as I hadn’t been looking for a transition out of modelling quite yet. But it must have been meant to be as St. John gave me a large show to produce, it went really well, and they used my services as a producer for many years after that. I travelled all over the country with St. John producing large shows and events for them.
They basically gave me my start in my career. I have had my company now for over 20 years.
I love what I do. It incorporates creative production elements such as lighting, sound and scenic design. I also like working with the models as I have empathy and understanding of their part in a show.
Do you have any hobbies?
I ride horses and compete in the hunter/jumper circuit
Where do you gather your inspiration for runways?
From everything! I reference designer shows in Europe, nature inspires me, music inspires me, editorials from magazines also give me inspiration.
What is your favourite part about putting together a show?
I love coming up with the initial concept with a client (the look and feel of the show) and then seeing it come to fruition weeks later. Physical restrictions can be challenging, such as the venue and the time constraints of loading in a show. I really like working within these parameters and coming up with a solution, which works!
Why do you enjoy working on Enzoani’s fashion event?
I like the people at Enzoani. It is truly a team effort and everyone works so well together. Its a huge event - lots of gowns, models and typically a large group of attendees. That creates challenges and we always seem to come up with the right answers for an exciting show!
What do you think our guests can look forward to this year?
Without being too detailed so we can still have it be a bit of a surprise!!
I think our new location will be really fun for everyone, especially the international guests! Every year we try to do something different. This year will feel very chic and glamorous! Sorry….that’s all I can say right now!!!