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Can’t get enough fashion? The Downtown Community Development Corp. thinks it has a solution. 

In January, the group behind Pittsburgh Fashion Week for the past three years plans to launch Pittsburgh Fashion Alert, a bi-weekly digital newsletter spotlighting all things fashion in Pittsburgh, along with some industry-wide trend stories. This will be coupled with an interactive online Pittsburgh fashion events calendar and occasional workshops, both of which are still in development. 

“We decided that we are going to really boost fashion week,” said John Valentine, executive director of Downtown Community Development Corp.

The newsletter aims to make it seem like Pittsburgh Fashion Week runs all year long, according to an announcement Tuesday in the corporation’s weekly Downtowner newsletter. 

The group was encouraged to amp up its fashion efforts by response to this year’s Pittsburgh Fashion Week, which included a networking mixer, industry panel event and a runway show in September. The fashion show inside the Wintergarden at PPG Place attracted a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300, Mr. Valentine said, but what impressed him even more was the number of people who watched a livestream video of the show online. 

“More than 2,000 watched on Facebook Live,” he said. “That told us this is a community that’s ready to burst. It’s been under the radar, but it’s been there.”

With the newsletter, the goal will be to spotlight local salons, boutiques, designers, influencers -— anything that’s fashion related. People will be able to sign up online at pghfw.com, through the Downtowner newsletter or by contacting the Downtown Community Development Corp. via downtowncdc.org. 

At a later date, the interactive events calendar will launch on the Pittsburgh Fashion Week website. The plan is to make it so that local event organizers can log on and enter their events. The Downtown Community Development Corp. also plans to be proactive in seeking out events to highlight on the calendar, Mr. Valentine said. 

As for the workshops, that idea came about after learning more about the needs and interests of Pittsburgh’s fashion community. 

“We want to have workshops where people can come in and talk to designers, or where people can come in and learn how to create a business plan,” he said. 

Although the next Pittsburgh Fashion Week won’t happen until fall 2019, Mr. Valentine hopes these new endeavors will help get the public excited for it months in advance. 

“We think these are the next steps for Pittsburgh Fashion Week,” he said. “I think this is going to give a lot of people a lot more exposure.”

Sara Bauknecht: sbauknecht@post-gazette.com or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.


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