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Pittsburgh a step closer to starting local Fashion Group International chapter

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

The Pittsburgh fashion and retail community is just days away from learning if it will be granted permission to start a local chapter of Fashion Group International, a global nonprofit that helps unite and promote fashion insiders from around the world.

The news was shared at a meeting at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Downtown, where about 50 people turned out Thursday evening to learn the latest about the endeavor.

In July members of the local style scene, under the direction of Stephanie Taylor, who heads The Art Institute of Pittsburgh's fashion retail management and fashion design programs, set out to investigate if there would be enough interest in Pittsburgh to make an FGI chapter here a viable endeavor. One reception, a few meetings and six months later, FGI's New York headquarters will determine on Monday if the city meets its standards to start a provisional chapter.

To be eligible for consideration, Ms. Taylor had to submit to FGI headquarters information highlighting Pittsburgh as a diverse fashion market, a viability statement listing some of the city's regular fashion events and a letter of intent requesting provisional status.

Staff members at FGI headquarters "were actually pleasantly surprised," Ms. Taylor said, that Pittsburgh had so many fashion-related activities, boutiques and major retailers based in the city, such as ModCloth and American Eagle.

If provisional status is permitted, a board of directors will be assembled to lead the local group through its first year. At the meeting, Ms. Taylor announced that the following positions will need to be filled:

  • Co-regional director: Assists the regional director and will be groomed to step into the position after the regional director's one-year term is complete.
  • Membership director: Promotes the local chapter throughout the community to rally support and new members.
  • Programming director: Organizes industry-related activities for group members and the community.
  • Social media/public relations director: Promotes the local chapter on social media platforms and to media outlets.
  • Treasurer: Manages the group's finances.
  • Website manager: Creates and updates the local chapter's website.

Ms. Taylor will serve as regional director if provisional status is granted. Those interested in applying for a position should submit a resume and letter of intent to Ms. Taylor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by Feb. 13. Candidates will be interviewed from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 27. Positions are open to industry professionals; students may apply for the website manager role only.

The next meeting will be 6-7:30 p.m. March 27 at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Learn more about FGI at www.fgi.org.

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Stock up on accessories at Serendipity indoor sidewalk sale

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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Beat the winter blues with a big bargain!

Shop accessories, handbags, jewelry and cosmetics at prices up to 75 percent off at an indoor sidewalk sale at Serendipity in Market Square.

Owners Kimberly and Pete Coppola stock their store with the latest looks, staying six to eight months ahead of industry trends through research, regular trips to New York City and relationships with designers.

The sale runs through next Wednesday.

Information: www.serendipityaccessories.com or 412-325-1122. (Photo: Serendipity owners Kimberly and Pete Coppola in their store in Market Square. Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette)

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Canadian Fur Co. in Downtown Pittsburgh to remain open

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

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The end was near for the Canadian Fur Co. at 625 Smithfield St., Downtown. After 90 years of service and four generations, the destination for high-fashion furs in Pittsburgh planned to close its doors for good at the end of the month.

But the announcement of an end has sparked an encore for the store, which will now remain open for at least the next two years.

"I was prepared to retire for a number of reasons, the primary being an old five-year lease option," owner Keith Rosenstock said in a statement. Financial factors were not among those reasons. "However, I'm thrilled a very attractive new agreement was reached and Canadian Fur Co. will stay open for the foreseeable future."

Mr. Rosenstock shared news of his retirement a couple months ago in a letter to the store's approximately 2,500 active customers. The letter and coverage of the store's closing by local media outlets, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, prompted "over a thousand" calls, emails and letters, he said. "Such an overwhelming response was particularly gratifying and added a lot to the decision."

Over the years, the business has attracted customers with payment plans that let people pay for merchandise over the course of several months with no interest.

"It creates a financial relationship that people like, but at the same time it creates a personal relationship because you've helped people fulfill one of their dreams," Mr. Rosenstock told the Post-Gazette last month in an interview.

He also attributes the store's longevity to its ability to evolve with the times. "Businesses have to adapt," he said. "If you don't adapt, you're history."

Canadian Fur Co. carries top brands such as BLACKGLAMA mink, Belle Fare knitted fur accessories and Loro Piana by Dominic Bellissimo outerwear. It also maintains an e-commerce site at www.canadianfurco.com and a fur cleaning and storage operation in the store.

Information: 412-471-1330. (Photo: Owner Keith Rosenstock at the Canadian Fur Co. in December 2013. Tony Tye/Post-Gazette)

 

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Art Institute student designer Caitlyn Riegal featured in latest Pittsburgh Fashion Week pop-up C.O.R.E. video

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

For this week's installment of Pittsburgh Fashion Week's ongoing pop-up C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Real Exposure) project, founder/executive director Miyoshi Anderson chatted with designer-on-the-rise Caitlyn Riegal, a student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. 

She's only been designing for a couple years but shows promise with styles that breath some fresh vision into classic silhouettes, such as the little black dress. Learn more about her and how to shop her collection in the video above. 

Follow Ms. Anderson on Facebook to catch the next video feature. Learn more about Pittsburgh Fashion Week (Sept. 22-28) at www.pittsburghfashionweek.org.

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The Grammys red carpet, in tweets

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

So you missed the Grammys? Not to worry! In 140 characters or less, Twitter can get you caught up on some of the "oh!," "ah!" and "eww!" style moments of the night.

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