Stylebook: Fashion students with Pittsburgh ties excel in contests

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Two fashion students with ties to Pittsburgh recently were recognized in design and retail-related contests.

Hampton native Alexis Katsafanas is one of four students from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City who represented the United States in an international competition held annually at the World Retail Congress in Paris. The group competed against teams from Hong Kong, Tokyo, London and Milan and won the Retail Futures Challenge, in which students had to develop an in-depth business plan for opening a Paris branch of a retailer from their respective home countries.

Dawn Redman, a student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, is one of about 20 students from Art Institutes across the country named as a finalist in the yearly Cool vs. Cruel fashion design competition. Co-sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, the contest challenges aspiring designers to reinterpret looks by designers such as Diane von Furstenberg, Tom Ford, Lam and Moncler without fur -- or even faux fur. The national winner will receive a cash prize and a one-week internship in New York City with a designer from the judging panel.

More from the Pittsburgh fashion and beauty front ...

Duquesne University's women's guild "Gallery of Gifts": Find unique gifts of fashion, jewelry, crafts and more at this annual holiday vendor and craft fair. It's 9 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Wednesday at the Duquesne Union, second-floor atrium, at the main campus.


Go Red for Women fashion show: Support the American Heart Association's mission to promote heart health at a fashion show at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Westin Convention Center, Downtown. See stylish looks, do some shopping, sample heart-healthy appetizers and listen to stories of local women who have faced the disease.

Tickets are $50. Information: or 412-208-3605.

Escada trunk show at Larrimor's: Get an early start on spring shopping Thursday through Saturday at One PNC Plaza, Downtown. The collection features sophisticated feminine styles in fresh colors and patterns.

Information: or 412-471-5727.

"Give Thanks" fashion show at Flawless Fashions: A fashion show and mini Thanksgiving dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the boutique on Murray Avenue, Squirrel Hill. Guests who bring canned food items will get a chance to enter a raffle for a Thanksgiving dinner for four.

Tickets are $10 at Flawless Fashions or 724-831-7321. A portion of the event's proceeds will benefit the Rainbow Kitchen in Homestead.

Downtown Fifth Avenue Place offers pop-up shops for holiday shoppers: 'Tis the season for seasonal boutiques. Adar & Mimi boutique by Darlene Kalimon and Mimi Exler and Pretzel Crazy by Sheri Powell have returned to the lower level for the holiday season. The boutique is a colorful fashion fantasy land filled with kids' tutu dresses, frilly headbands, purses and more. Pretzel Crazy will cater to those with a sweet tooth with assortments of pretzels dipped in chocolate and decorated with candies, sprinkles and other goodies.

Fifth Avenue Place is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Information:

For more from PG fashion writer Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG. To have a fashion or style event considered for Stylebook, send listing to

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