OPENING NIGHT—Miyoshi Anderson opens the show with a walk down the runway.

To kickoff Pittsburgh Fashion Week’s Opening Night Extravaganza on Sept. 24, event creator and veteran model Myoshi Anderson started the show with a walk down the runway at Highmark Stadium. Now in its fourth year, Pittsburgh Fashion Week shines a spotlight on established local designers and those just beginning to make a name for theirselves.

“We are a platform to provide Pittsburgh based designers, stylists, and individuals with the ability to be mobile,” Anderson said in her opening remarks to the audience.

UpAndComing.jpgThe opening event featured an eclectic mix of designs over the course of three shows. Emceed by reality star and professional chef Elise Wims, proceeds from the event went to support the Free Wheelchair Mission charitable organization.

Among the designers featured was 23-year-old Alicia Akrie a recent graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fashion design.


UP AND COMING—Emcee Elise Wims talks to designer ­Alicia Akrie about her line.


“Pittsburgh Fashion Week is a great way for designers to get noticed,” Akrie said. “Different people are getting to know there are established designers in the city.”

Akrie kicked off the show with a line of samurai inspired pieces, which were also influenced by paper sculptures by artist Yun-Woo Choi. Her line featured patchwork outwear of varying lengths and shapes, and tops with asymmetrical hemlines.

“I was inspired by ancient samurai armor,” Akrie said. “I wanted to take the idea of taking smaller elements to piece together outerwear in a new way.”

Akrie first became interested in fashion design in high school where she made her own prom dress. Now, her goal is to become a creative director or a lead designer with an established brand or one she creates on her own.

“In high school I decided to do a project on fashion design because my grandmother did a lot of her own sewing,” Akrie said. “I worked with her on my first dress and it sparked something in me.”

The show also featured designers Faith Pongracz and Debi Weiss. Pongracz’s line Faith-n-Khaos, which also served as the finale at last year’s opening night, featured an all male cast of models wearing pieces made from reusable materials.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week continued with a series of other events including a “ManStyle” fashion show Sept. 25, back-to-back runway shows at the Art Institute Sept. 28, and the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame Luncheon Sept. 29.



RUNWAY SHOW—Design by Alicia Akrie. (Photos by Richelle Szypulski)


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