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Pittsburgh-based Simple Sugars up to $3 million in sales after 'Shark Tank' deal

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

SimpleSugars Update

Since Lani Lazzari of Fox Chapel swam with the sharks a year and a half ago on the ABC TV show "Shark Tank," things have been going, well, swimmingly.

The entrepreneur behind Sharpsburg-based Simple Sugars, a line of all-natural sugar scrubs gentle enough for sensitive skin, is up to $3 million in sales, an update segment on the two-hour season premiere of "Shark Tank" revealed. In the next 12 months, she expects the company to do an additional $4 million in sales.

The update also spotlighted a recent deal Ms. Lazzari struck with Destination Maternity to carry Simple Sugar products in all 575 of the retailer's locations across the country.

In season 4 of "Shark Tank," Ms. Lazzari made a deal with fellow Pittsburgh native Mark Cuban, who invested $100,000 for a 33 percent stake in Simple Sugars.  

"I invested in Lani because I want to see that $100,000 turn into $20 million," Mr. Cuban said during the update segment. "The best part is there's a shot that that could happen. She's that good."

Watch the update segment below, courtesy of abc.go.com.  (Photo: Lani Lazzari trains members of the Destination Maternity sales team in New York City on how to educate shoppers about Simple Sugars.)

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Fashion takes flight at Pittsburgh International Airport AIRMALL runway show

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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The runway came inside at Pittsburgh International Airport today for the celebration of the $10 million renovation to the AIRMALL retail complex.

The day of events kicked off this morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony, followed by beauty makeovers in action led by makeup artist Carmindy of TLC's "What Not to Wear." In the afternoon, invited guests and travelers were treated to a runway show featuring fashions from some of the AIRMALL's stores. Former WPXI anchor Darieth Chisolm served as the emcee. Throughout the day there was informal modeling and light bites. Carmindy also signed copies of her new book "Bloom: A Girl's Guide to Growing up Gorgeous."

The project started in January and was completed this summer. Some of the new additions include Armani Jeans, Collezioni-The Beauty Gallery, Furla, Hugo Boss, Tumi, Lacoste and Pittsburgh's only freestanding Desigual store. Pinko, known for its contemporary Italian fashions, opened its first store in the United States as part of the development.

Photos: Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette

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Pittsburgh Fashion Week closes with Fashion Hall of Fame inductions

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

It's been a "designer frenzy" and a "model mayhem," Pittsburgh Fashion Week founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson has said all week when describing the fifth annual affair.

Today the frenzy and mayhem conclude with the inductions of the latest Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame honorees.

Ms. Anderson started the fashion hall of fame during the first Pittsburgh Fashion Week as a way to salute those who've helped enrich the city's style scene, as well as to educate others who might not be familiar with these influential fashion figures.

This year's honorees include:

Catherine Ferris, owner of Catherina boutique in Oakmont.

Patricia Sprague Goettel, owner of Patricia Boutique in Mount Washington.

• Pittsburgh-based designer and philanthropist Lana Neumeyer.

Charles Spiegel, owner of Charles Spiegel for Men in Squirrel Hill.

Roberta Weissburg, owner of Roberta Weissburg Leathers in Shadyside and on the South Side.

For the second year an exceptional artist who is on the rise in the Pittsburgh fashion community also will be recognized.

This year's pick is fashion philanthropist and television/radio host Shellie Hipsky.

The public was invited to submit hall of fame recommendations, which were evaluated based on the longevity and degree of impact nominees have had on Pittsburgh's fashion/beauty scenes.

The induction ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Omni William Penn hotel, Downtown, and will include a performance by Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School dancers, fashions from Cache and jewelry from Anthony Mock of Mock & Co. Diamonds and Jewelry.

Go to pittsburghfashionweek.com to see a list of past inductees.

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Student designers round out runway shows for Pittsburgh Fashion Week

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

 

Pittsburgh Fashion Week chose to end its week of runway shows by looking ahead to talents who could go on to fuel future Fashion Weeks in Pittsburgh and beyond.

On Day 6, the "Back to Basics" student designer runway show took place at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, before a full audience and featured the fashions of Sammi ParrishLeesa KasslerMarissa BurdAnna Montano and Khaleelah Ali Muhammad. The designers were selected from a "Project Runway"-style audition in which their work was judged for quality, creativity and craftmanship based on past designs and new ones created for the tryouts. The students also had designs displayed in the storefront windows at Macy's, Downtown, during Pittsburgh Fashion Week.

Ms. Parrish shared simple separates and fussless frocks, along with crocheted pieces including a mini skirt and moto-esque jacket. Ms. Kassler brought a bit of bling to the catwalk with her "easy clothes for the busy woman." A favorite look was a simple little white dress with pockets accented with rhinestones.

The most whimsical collection in the lineup came from Ms. Burd, who was inspired by the enchantment of "Alice in Wonderland." The fairy tale came to life through soft colors and paisley prints, silky flowing tops and pants with castle cutouts around the waistline. Ms. Burd is a recent graduate of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Silvers and blacks loaned a futuristic vibe to Ms. Montano's collection, which she said is for the strong, independent woman. Pants and skirts that gathered and draped near the top and scooped-back shirts added something fresh to these everyday staples. Ms. Muhammad closed the night with her ladylike looks for a woman's life after 5 p.m. in mind. Zebra and leopard prints added some playfulness to classic silhouettes.

Focused Fashion Consulting styled models for the evening.

The fashion design and fashion retail management program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh is headed by Stephanie Taylor. The program graduated its second class of fashion design students this summer.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week concludes Sunday with the annual induction ceremony for this year's Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame class at the Omni William Penn hotel, Downtown. Tickets/information: pittsburghfashionweek.com.

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Packed house for Pittsburgh Fashion Week's final day at Highmark Stadium

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pittsburgh Fashion Week's final night at Highmark Stadium looked a lot like its first -- a packed house.

Few seats were left empty while a few dozen people squeezed in to stand behind the rows of chairs to view the work of five designers: DebrAnn Weiss & Co., Allison Elizabeth Designs, Bradford Mumpower, Zeina Lou Designs: High & Tight Swimwear and Xalter Zaughn.

The evening opened with a twist -- and a flip. Acrobats and dancers jumped, turned and did back handsprings down the runway in between models in the DebrAnn Weiss show, which featured formal and everyday apparel created from natural fibers with an emphasis on Alpaca and organic cottons. The show closed with a couple guest models, including Shellie Hipsky, this year's Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame exceptional artist awardee.

Two designers spotlighted swimwear: Allison Elizabeth Designs and Zeina Lou Designs. The latter caters to women who crave a little extra coverage (while still wanting to feel sexy and in style) with higher-waisted bikini bottoms and tops that provide more support.

A pair of male designers rounded out the lineup. Mr. Mumpower played with bold prints and vintage-inspired silhouettes for his wonderfully wearable pieces. Xalter Zaughn largely stuck to grays and creams and clean lines for the brand's looks for men and women.

Jacqueline's Salon styled models for the night. Adding to the excitement, a casting director from the upcoming film "The Last Witch Hunter" was in the audience scouting models.

This was the first year for Pittsburgh Fashion Week to hold multiple days' events at a single venue.

"It's been helpful being at one venue," founder and executive director Miyoshi Anderson said earlier in the week. "I feel content."

Pittsburgh Fashion Week resumes for Day 6 at 7 p.m. at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, with the "Back to Basics" student designer showcase. Tickets: showclix.com.

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Xalter Zaughn

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