The Insider

Sunday, November 2, 2008


A decade ago, Heather Femia was the corporate fashion director for Nordstrom. It was a pretty cool gig. She translated the New York runway shows into forecasting presentations for the store's buyers, produced large-scale company shows and openings, and went on "Today" to talk about trends. She also matched the music to the fashions for those shows. It was that last responsibility that Femia enjoyed as much as any other. She once told a DJ at one of her fashion shows, "Someday I'm going to have your job."

And today, Femia does. She's retired from Nordstrom and by day is a mother of three in Great Falls. But when night rolls around she's a DJ of note in some of the city's swankiest nightspots, delivering cuts from discs she has collected from around the world. We flipped through Femia's CD binder in the former dining room (now listening station) of the home she shares with her kids and husband Joe, who owns a construction management firm.

-- Buzz McClain

What style of music do you play?

House music, and within that broad term I tend to play chill house, underground house and soulful house, primarily.

Who are you into these days?

A guy out of Spain, Ino. I love what [remixer] Louie Vega and the artist Mr. V out of New York [do]. Right now I'm loving stuff by Copyright.

Is that a band?

They're artists. [British electronic musician] Charles Webster, I'm loving that right now. I'm partial to things coming out of Germany, too; I love Paul Lomax and DJ Ping. I think my most inspiring purchase in Ibiza [Spain] was the new release from Ibiza Sonica, which is a label of artists only from the island.

You seem really into it. How long have you been DJing?

Really just three years, but I've been collecting music seriously much longer than that. When I was in the fashion industry I would create music soundtracks to fashion presentations. That's probably why I still have a strong feeling toward chill house, because that kitschy vibe was very much what I did in fashion, not just dance tempos.

What's the connection between fashion and music?

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