More than 60 people turned out Thursday evening at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, for the first general meeting since Pittsburgh was granted permission to establish a provisional chapter of Fashion Group International, a nonprofit that unites and promotes fashion communities across the globe.
Ideas for getting the group going were the night's discussion points, led by Stephanie Taylor (pictured above, at center), who heads the fashion retail management and fashion design programs at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Ms. Taylor initiated last summer efforts to bring an FGI chapter back to the city. (One existed here about 20 years ago but fizzled out as the city's major retailers closed.)
She was inspired to try to rejuvenate the group locally based on a lack of a nucleus in Pittsburgh for fashion where everyone can come together and exchange ideas and network.
"I know there's a lot of talent here in Pittsburgh fashion-wise, but I don't know who to connect with," she said she commonly heard. FGI Pittsburgh could help forge those connections.
Ms. Taylor will serve as director of the Pittsburgh chapter during its probationary period, which could last six months to a year. Janey Cink and Renee McCafferty also will serve on the board as public relations and social media directors. A co-director, membership coordinator, programming coordinator, financial coordinator, secretary and development coordinator still are being sought for the board of directors.
To achieve permanent status, the Pittsburgh chapter has to put in place a solid board of directors and have at least 40 members attend meetings and events on a regular basis. FGI's headquarters in New York City will determine when Pittsburgh's chapter can move beyond provisional status.
At the meeting, attendees split into five discussion groups to brainstorm ideas for the fledgling group. Conversations covered ways to attract members, brand building, community events and how to create a presence on social media.
Those interested in applying for a position on the board of directors should email a letter of interest and resume to Stephanie Taylor at
by April 14. The next general meeting will be 6 p.m. May 29 at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Learn more about membership at www.fgi.org.
Discussion groups under way at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, on Thursday at a FGI Pittsburgh meeting. Above right, Miyoshi Anderson, founder and executive director of Pittsburgh Fashion Week, leads a discussion group about member recruitment. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette