Editor's Letter – Steven Biller

March Madness, Desert Style

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March Madness, Desert Style

It was close. Fashion Week El Paseo — the fourth-year event that punctuates the style and elegance of the Coachella Valley’s world-class shopping destination — was teetering on cancellation when the City of Palm Desert, one of the event’s major sponsors, voted to significantly reduce its funding. Fortunately, better sense prevailed with tremendous support from El Paseo merchants who count on Fashion Week to help stimulate interest and sales — especially as both have waned with our collective economic strength. The city came around and many other sponsors stepped up, acknowledging the power of this destination event, which draws visitors from outside the desert and helps fill hotel beds, restaurants, and the area’s great attractions.

So the runway is set for the marquee designer, Juan Carlos Obando, who unveils his timeless and provocative 2009 collection at the Fashion Week El Paseo finale on March 28.

This year’s event also includes a men’s night featuring designer Jade Howe, a champion of the skinny jean who parlays his Southern California skate and surf sensibilities and sophisticated European influences into a style he describes as “cowboy punk meets English gentleman.”

Read about Obando (“Shooting Star”) on page 48 and Howe (“Extreme Know-Howe”) on page 51, and point your Web browser to for a complete Fashion Week El Paseo schedule and ticket information.

No less stylish comes 21-year-old Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic, who returns to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden this month to defend her title at the newly branded BNP Paribas Open (formerly Pacific Life Open). Stunning in designer dressess and Adidas court wear, Ivanovic brings a wide-eyed personality to the tournament, which includes the best women and men tennis players in the world. The story of her ascent and the fanaticism of her followers inspired us to call on tennis writer Joel Drucker to take us for brief visit into her world (“Poise and Passion,” page 62).

Add the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship to the calendar and March becomes a dynamic month of events that will fix an appreciable number of eyes squarely on the desert for three solid weeks.

We hope you will come out and enjoy the action.


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