Starting Wednesday, Pittsburgh will kick off its first Style Week, which will feature five days of fashion-focused events at various venues across the city. All this week, Stylebook will highlight some of the event's designers, stylists and organizers, beginning today with Style Week founder Wadria Taylor (pictured above right).
Ms. Taylor, who migrated to Pittsburgh about 10 years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y., wanted to bring some of the diversity and fashion she saw in New York to Pittsburgh. She founded Style and Steel event planning a few years ago so she could help coordinate parties that would give Pittsburghers of all backgrounds a reason to dress up and mingle.
What inspired you to start Style Week Pittsburgh?: I want to give retailers, stylists, designers and models a platform to showcase their talent to the world. I was inspired by the success of Style Week in other countries and cities around the world, such as Jamaica, Paris and New York.
My favorite designers are ... Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen.
Top neighborhoods for style in Pittsburgh: Every neighborhood has its own unique flair, but Shadyside seems to be the leader of the pack.
Favorite Pittsburgh boutiques: I love EONS in Shadyside for its selection of vintage. Designer Days Boutique in Squirrel Hill is another fave because it carries a variety of high-end labels for much less. There are some great boutiques popping up in Lawrenceville, such as Panello and Jules.
If I could have lunch with any member of the fashion industry, living or deceased, it would be ... Coco Chanel. I'm sure that she would have some great stories to share.
Three garments or accessories I must have in my closet are ... earrings (the bigger the better), a black boat-neck sheath dress (an ageless and forever-chic must-have) and blue Dior mascara.
If I wasn't an event planner, I would ... probably have a boutique. I'm an entrepreneur to the core.
Advice for aspiring event planners: Have a clear vision and don't be afraid to go against the norm. Lastly, collaborate with others when possible and remain steadfast in pursuits.
In the next five years, I see the fashion industry in Pittsburgh becoming ... more cosmopolitan, visible and respected within the international world of fashion. I envision that there will be a greater sense of unity, collaboration and support amongst fashion insiders, designers and retailers.
Photo: Style Week Pittsburgh founder Wadria Taylor picks out accessories for a model at a promotional photo shoot last month in Market Square. Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette