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Mark your calendars: Style Week Pittsburgh announces 2016 dates

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

StyleWeek2016

Style Week Pittsburgh will be back for its fourth year come summertime. 

From Aug. 18-21, the fashion-focused affair will roll out a series of runway shows, mixers and more for Pittsburgh style enthusiasts to enjoy. Another highlight of the week will be the annual Style Awards, which recognizes some of the city's arts and style influencers.

Wadria Taylor started Style Week Pittsburgh in 2013 as a way to spotlight some of Pittsburgh's hidden style gems and to give members of the local fashion community a platform for networking and collaborating.

Learn more at styleweekpittsburgh.com.

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Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars talks plans to become $30 million company on ABC's 'Beyond the Tank'

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

SimpleSugars Portrait

Business is pretty sweet these days for Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars, the all-natural face and body scrub line that Fox Chapel native Lani Lazzari created when she was just 11 years old. It soared onto the national, and even international, stage when Ms. Lazzari, 21, pitched the brand on ABC's TV show "Shark Tank" back in March 2013, when she earned an investment from Mt. Lebanon native Mark Cuban.

Simple Sugars was back in the spotlight Thursday night when it was featured on the "Shark Tank" spin-off series "Beyond the Tank," which shows what life's like for businesses after being on the reality show.

In the episode, Mr. Cuban visited Simple Sugars' 10,000 square-foot facility at RIDC Park, where it moved last year from its previous home in a 1,700 square-foot storefront in Sharpsburg.

It's "fancy schmancy," he says about the headquarters, decked out in the brand's signature pink.SimpleSugars Headquarters

He's pleased with Ms. Lazzari's success and hustle; Simple Sugars has done more than $4 million in sales since it made its "Shark Tank" debut.

"I saw a mini me in Lani," Mr. Cuban says about why he invested in her business. "She's driven."

But is the brand growing fast enough? During his visit, Mr. Cuban advised Ms. Lazzari to find someone who knows things about business that she and her mom Gina, who's the company's vice president, don't know and bring them into the Simple Sugars family to help accelerate its growth. He also liked Ms. Lazzari's idea to invest in rebranding and better promoting Simple Sugars' men's line Smooth for Men, in hopes of boosting its sales and tapping into the fast-growing men's personal care market.

They also talked social media strategies. With Mr. Cuban's guidance, Simple Sugars is launching a Facebook video series that offers tips on business and entrepreneurship, among other topics.

"Her goal is not 10, not 20, but at least $30 million in sales," Mr. Cuban says. "She's got what it takes."

Read more about Simple Sugars' story here. Check out this video to take a behind-the-scenes look inside the Simple Sugars headquarters.

Photos: At top, Mark Cuban and Lani Lazzari at the Simple Sugars headquarters on ABC's "Beyond the Tank." Above right, the Simple Sugars production facility. Photos by Scott Evans/ABC

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Rose Quartz, Serenity are Pantone's picks for 2016 colors of the year

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pantone2016

For fashion fanatics and design gurus, the announcement of Pantone's top color pick for the year ahead is big news. This time, Pantone color experts delivered double the dose of excitement. For the first time, the title of "color of the year" goes to a blending of two colors: Rose Quartz (a soft pink) and Serenity (a tranquil sky blue).

"In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted color trends throughout all other areas of design," Pantone said on its website. "This more unilateral approach to color is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer's increased comfort with using color as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to color usage." 

So why these couple of colors?

"Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace," says Pantone Color Institute executive director Leatrice Eiseman.

In recent seasons, Pantone has strayed from releasing color trend reports for both men and women, instead just picking a palette of 10 gender-fluid hues, so the decision to blend what's historically been considered a more feminine color with a more masculine one is right in line with these trends.

Check out more Pantone color news and trend reports below:

* Pantone releases color trend report for Spring/Summer 2016

Color trends for Fall/Winter 2015

* Pantone picks Marsala as 2015 color of the year

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Pittsburgher Matthew Noszka among models to walk in star-studded Balmain x H&M runway show

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Matt HM

Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, Matthew Noszka.

That's right! Matthew Noszka, the male model from Scott who skyrocketed to modeling success after a Wilhelmina agent discovered him on Instagram, was among the elite cast of models who walked in the Balmain x H&M runway show Tuesday night in New York City. Another dose of star power came from the Backstreet Boys, who surprised guests with a performance (decked out in Balmain designs, of course).

The event previewed pieces from the much-anticipated capsule collection, which rolls out in H&M stores and online Nov. 5. Check out Matthew in action in these Instagram photos he posted from the event! Learn more about his story from college student to star model here.

Matthew BTS

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Runway recap: Pittsburgh Fashion Week Day 5 spotlights student designers

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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The sixth annual Pittsburgh Fashion Week came to a close Saturday night by focusing on the future -- the designers of the future, that is.

The student designers show has become a Pittsburgh Fashion Week tradition and once again took place in the gallery of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown. To participate, students were required to complete a "Project Runway"-style audition process, said Pittsburgh Fashion Week founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson, that involved multiple rounds of submitting garments for consideration.

This year's selected designers were Stephanie MoyeGerald Love and Nicole O'Brien, all students at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (pictured above from right to left; photo by Bill Wade/Post-Gazette).

Ms. Moye's collection capitalized on black and shades of pink and seemed to cater to the strong, confident woman, with looks for work and play. Mr. Love colored his clothes with an '80s vibe with vibrant paint splatter prints and his signature bow details. Ms. O'Brien said her designs were inspired by "the modern native" and used fabrics like neoprene and silk fringe to to give garments movement and flow.

Each designer had a clear voice that was conveyed through the clothes and how models were styled.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week was scheduled to hold its annual Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame luncheon today at the Omni William Penn hotel, but it was rescheduled for Oct. 25 at the Downtown hotel due to unforeseen circumstances, Ms. Anderson said.

Learn more about Pittsburgh Fashion Week here. To watch a video of the student designers discussing their collections in advance of the show, find it here(Photos below by Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette)

STEPHANIE MOYE

PFW4 Designer1

PFW4 Designer1.2

PFW4 Designer1.3


GERALD LOVE

PFW4 Designer2

PFW4 Designer2.2

PFW4 Designer2.3


NICOLE O'BRIEN

PFW4 Designer3

PFW4 Designer3.1

PFW4 Designer3.2

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