ERIKA JOHNSON was one of many models who ripped the runway at Classic Events! fifth annual Ladies Who Network event, May 20 at the Hosanna House. (Photos by J.L. Martello)

The New Pittsburgh Courier caught up with Ralph P. Watson of Classic Events!, who told us about the fifth annual Ladies Who Network, held May 20 at the Hosanna House in Wilkinsburg.

This year, the event spotlighted the women who were part of the Pittsburgh Professional Black Models Association. A “Runway Reunion,” of sorts, of some 24 women who showed they “still got it goin’ on.”

“It was a more powerful event that I could imagine, just bringing those women together,” Watson told the Courier. “So many of the ladies who were participants, they’ve walked the runways of Milan and Paris, in addition to having done print ads, commentating, radio, and television.”

Watson said the Association began in the 1960s in Pittsburgh after department stores such as Kaufmann’s, Gimbels and Horne’s “would not utilize the skills and talents of African American women. It was started with 12 women, and they honed their skills and talents right here in Pittsburgh, and went on to the world stage.”

Each year, Watson’s Classic Events! holds a Ladies Who Network event, with different focuses each year. Watson said over 200 people attended the May 20 event. “Uplifting,” Watson called the event. “It was an empowering event for the young women that were also there that are taking the baton of style and fashion.”


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