Stylebook: Fashion Group International provisional chapter to start in Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh's budding fashion scene is about to get a shot in the arm that could propel its reputation on the national, or even international, front.

The city has been approved to start a provisional chapter of Fashion Group International, a nonprofit that helps unite and promote fashion insiders from around the world.

The group would serve as a unifying force for the Pittsburgh fashion scene and a network through which events could be held and professional connections could be established.

Membership also would give Pittsburgh common ground on which to communicate with fashion communities in other cities that belong to Fashion Group International.

About 20 years ago, Pittsburgh had a Fashion Group International chapter. However, its leadership was rooted in the major department stores in the city at the time, and when they went under so did the group.

Under the direction of Stephanie Taylor, department chair for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh's fashion retail management and fashion design programs, exploratory meetings have been held since July to gauge local interest in reviving a chapter. The city had to submit to Fashion Group International's headquarters in New York City information highlighting Pittsburgh as a diverse fashion market, a viability statement listing some of the city's regular fashion events and a letter of intent requesting provisional status.

In the next year if Pittsburgh continues to prove its fashion, beauty and retail communities are viable enough to support Fashion Group International, it will become a full-fledged chapter. Ms. Taylor will serve as regional director for the initial year.

The next public meeting will be 6-7:30 p.m. March 27 at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown. To learn more, email Ms. Taylor at staylor@aii.edu or visit www.fgi.org.

More from the Pittsburgh fashion and beauty front ...

Ceremony by Joanna August trunk show at Bella Bridesmaid: Browse dresses by Los Angeles-based designer Joanna August in a variety of styles, colors and fabrics, including lace and chiffon. Dresses are elegant and romantic enough for a bridesmaid but also on trend so they can be worn elsewhere.

The trunk show is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday by appointment at 1752 N. Highland Road, Upper St. Clair. Information: www.bellabridesmaid.com or 412-854-4422.

Shoe drive for Soles4Souls.org: All this month, Wagner Quality Shoes (4313 Butler St., Lawrenceville), SAS Comfort Shoes Washington (Tanger Outlets) and SAS Comfort Shoes Monroeville (behind the Monroeville Mall) will be collecting gently worn shoes that will be distributed to those in need around the world. Each pair donated, up to three, earns the giver a $5 savings certificate.

Information: www.shoeflystores.com.

Culture Cloz boutique to hold model search: The East Liberty-based boutique is seeking female models to represent it in a promotional campaign that will include print and online ads, events and more. Five models will be selected and will receive $500 in Culture Cloz merchandise, a professional photo shoot valued at $1,000 and digital files of photos taken during the shoot and casting.

Those interested should submit by March 1 two photographs (one headshot and one full-body -- not airbrushed) to cultureclozmodelsearch@gmail.com. Include with entries the applicant's name, address, phone number, measurements (height, weight, bust, hips and shirt, dress and pant sizes) and date of birth. To apply, models must be a U.S. resident, at least 21 years old and available for a casting event 2 p.m. March 15 at 117 N. Highland Ave., East Liberty. Models also must pay a $25 application fee at www.culturecloz.com.


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