Battle of the Designers

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On Oct. 28, Pittsburgh’s local designers duked it out at the Omni William Penn in the Battle of Designers Fashion Show. The event, sponsored by Pretty Glam Productions and Social Butterfly Productions showcased more than 25 local designers and boutiques.

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MONTE JOHNSON

“I love the fashion movement that’s growing here in Pittsburgh,” said Vanessa Doss, co-host for the evening. “I’m really excited about it.”

Taking home the crown that evening was Malcolm Williams, whose line Willie Gee’s is a mix of ready-to-wear and “Grammy’s flair.” Williams founded Willie Gee’s in 2006 around the idea that fashion is “a creative, walking piece of living art.”

The designers were judged by special guests Bianca Golden, of America’s Next Top Model Cycle 9 and Ford Models; Miyoshi Anderson, founder and CEO of Pittsburgh Fashion Week; Cidalia Duarte, owner of Boutique la Passerelle, and Robin Greer, owner of Trevor James Greer Experience.

“I’ve seen some amazing pieces,” Golden said. “The energy is so high. It’s great to see people supporting their community.”

In total, 11 designers from across the city and surrounding areas had the chance to highlight their talent at the event. The competing designers included Abby Baldwin, Nina VanSuch, Cherie Jackson, Angie Fec, and Lana Neumeyer. Their lines ranged from urban club wear to ethereal swimwear and showcased Pittsburgh’s ever-growing fashion scene.

“I’ve really been enjoying it. I think it’s really diverse,” said Kevette Groomes during the show’s intermission. “I want to see more different styles, just stuff I’ve never seen before.”

The purpose of the event was to give Pittsburgh designers a platform to gain exposure. The show also featured five local boutiques and highlighted local makeup artists and stylists. Other boutiques and designers included Chantelle Arnett, Danielle Forbes’ D.A.M. Enterprises and Consignment Clothing Boutique, Norman Freeman, Montel Johnson’s Astounding Production, Classic Fly Girl, and Flawless Fashn, and Sofiya Mozley.

“I’m a student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and I just started my business so I’m trying to get my name out there,” said Mozley. “I didn’t have any tutoring so everything you see is unique.”

The event also featured performances from Flaunt Dancers, PYL, TB Talent and Casting, Dance Unleashed, KG Dynasty and more. A portion of the proceeds were donated to Dress For Success.

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