An end and new beginnings were among the talking points discussed Thursday evening at Ross Park Mall during the latest general meeting of the Fashion Group International of Pittsburgh provisional chapter.
The group has been meeting and inviting the public to attend for months as a way of educating the Pittsburgh community about the mission of FGI, a non-profit that seeks to unite and promote fashion communities across the globe. But in order for FGI's headquarters in New York City to approve Pittsburgh for a full-fledged chapter, the city needs to demonstrate that it can hold a series of successful fashion-focused events.
In 2015, FGI Pittsburgh plans to organize six events: a panel with industry professionals from some of the city's major retail corporations (e.g., ModCloth and American Eagle, among others) in February, a discussion with local boutique owners and a trend report in April and a designer showcase in June. Dates, times and locations are yet to be determined, along with the rest of the events for the year. The board also is striving to book a major designer from New York City to be featured at one of the events -- something the group would like to make an annual affair, chair Stephanie Taylor said. Events will be open to group members and the public but will be ticketed, with discounts for those who belong to FGI Pittsburgh.
The goal of the events will be to familiarize Pittsburgh's fashion scene with what's happening locally and beyond.
"Part of our job as FGI is to educate the fashion community about things that people may not be aware of," Ms. Taylor said.
Moving forward, FGI Pittsburgh will no longer hold monthly public meetings while it shifts its focus to prepping for these events. The board will continue to meet each month, and those who've applied and have been accepted into FGI Pittsburgh membership are welcome to attend those meetings.
Twenty-three people have been approved so far for membership. The board's goal is to have 40 members paid and approved by the end of the year. Attendance at the public meetings has remained steady at at least 40 or 50 people each month, with the lowest attendance at about 25 in the summer while many of the group's regular participants were on vacation, Ms. Taylor said. On Thursday about 30 people turned out, with rush-hour traffic and a new meeting location possible factors for the slight dip in attendance, Ms. Taylor said.
Photo: The FGI Pittsburgh provisional chapter board members, from left Janey Cink,Wadria Taylor, Miyoshi Anderson, Stephanie Taylor, Vanessa Fellers, Marissa Zimmerman and Renee McCafferty, address attendees at the October general meeting on Thursday at Ross Park Mall. Sara Bauknecht/Post-Gazette