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Arts & Entertainment

Pittsburgh's READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP

| Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010

Look out, New York City, Paris and Milan — Pittsburgh will be the site of its own "model" event this fall.

The first Pittsburgh Fashion Week will be celebrated from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 with fashion shows, galas, designer showcases, benefits and ceremonies at the Heinz History Center, Omni William Penn Hotel and Ramada Pittsburgh Hotel and Conference Center in Green Tree.

Pittsburgh Fashion Week is the idea and passion of model Miyoshi Anderson, who wanted to do something about the decline of work for models in local runway shows.

"It used to be that Kaufmann's department store would present about 20 shows in the fall alone," Miyoshi explains. The decline of Western Pennsylvania department stores during the last two decades meant that runway models like Miyoshi had to look for work outside town.

Her presence as a model, actress and spokesperson has grown to a national level, but supporting the fashion industry in her hometown remains her passion. As she brainstormed ways to bring together local models, designers and retailers, Pittsburgh Fashion Week was born. It didn't take Miyoshi long to expand the scope of the event.

"I learned there are so many local opportunities that you can network effectively to find jobs," says Miyoshi, who works as a house model for Doncaster on Fifth at Piatt Place, Downtown.

"I decided that Fashion Week would have something for everyone ... not just the size 2 models who are 5 feet 11 inches. The reality is that fashion is for everyone. The shows feature a diversity of fashion, including petites, plus sizes and men — who often don't get full shows."

The ManStyle All Menswear Fashion will be one of the week's highlights. "Most men hate clothes shopping and like to see ensembles or looks that can easily be assembled," says Miyoshi. "The show will make selections easy and practical for the men."

The organizers of Fashion Week want to make it as accessible as possible to everyone. So ticket prices to the events start as low as $10, and passes for admission to all of the week's fashion shows are available for $75 for students and $150 for adults.

Organizing this inaugural Fashion Week has been a huge undertaking for Miyoshi, who serves as program director, and LaMont Jones, assistant director. They are responsible for everything from lining up designers and venues to publicizing the individual shows.

"I want to present a spectacular show," Miyoshi says. "I hope the city will be gracious and appreciate this new event."

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