Downtown Community Development Corporation | (412) 235-7263 | info@downtowncdc.org
100 Fifth Ave, Suite 614
Pittsburgh, PA 15222



In this Issue:
James Bond Soiree: A Night of "Elegance, Fashion, and Intrigue"

Have you ever dreamed of living the luxurious lifestyle of a James Bond spy? Thanks to KS Champagne Parties Global and the Global Bond Society, your dreams can come true as you live out a night 007-style. Saturday, August 24th, Pittsburgh will host the 8th annual James Bond Soiree. Celebrating the 56th anniversary of the Bond films, the event's focus will be connecting with influential people, spy-centric entertainment, and fashion.

The event, hosted by legendary party host Kent Schmor, has a tiered list of ticketing options. VIP guests who spend a pretty penny can enjoy the many luxuries of an international spy, from a private jet with limousine transfer, a chartered yacht pre-party, and even a secret, password guarded afterparty.

The main event, the 007 Soiree, will be held at Cake Nightclub. The sexy yet sophisticated interior will hold many intriguing surprises for guests, including exotic cars, real-life spies, casino tables, signature cocktails, DJs, and Daniel Craig's professional body double. This black tie event asks guests to wear their most stylish and elegant attire, and each ticket will include a masquerade mask to add to the mystery.

On top of all this, the Soiree will be holding a Bond-themed fashion show. International fashion mixed with sexiness and intrigue will inspire the creative and luxurious pieces seen on stage. All proceeds of the Bond Soiree will go to the National Kidney Foundation.

For more information on the event, or for those interested in donating to the National Kidney Foundation can check out this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pittsburghs-8th-annual-james-bond-soiree-tickets-55625358946

Turning a Retail Store into a Theatrical Experience

NYC retailer Showfields, a brick-and-mortar showcase for mostly online brands, is getting in on the experiential act with a theatrical guided tour called House of Showfields.
 
To begin the 20-minute immersive tour in the Showfields store, actors show customers the way through a hidden door on the third floor behind a bookcase (from a Showfields-hosted brand), according to a media release. The door leads to a spiral slide down to the building's second floor, where actors then guide guests through rooms where they interact with products from brands that Showfields sells. 

Showfields CEO and co-founder Tal Zvi Nathanel expanded on what visitors (who must RSVP for the experience) should expect.  

"You're going through this very detailed and high-touch type of scene that you walk into," Mr. Nathanel said. "From the door to the elevator to secret back doors ... Everything is really fun and at each part of it you will meet a different actor who plays a different character and walks you through a specific kind of moment, which together have one cohesive narrative. The goal is to arouse your senses, give you a memorable moment, an emotional connection, allow you to connect with other people which are with you in that space right now ... to give you a way to experience product in a fun way." 

Mr. Nathanel would not elaborate on how the  experience's narrative arc will maintain an element of surprise, but said that the actors will portray an array of intriguing characters, such as scientists, artists, creators and explorers.
Throughout the tour customers will be invited to touch, smell, eat and test the products. An actor in character as a spa attendant might demo a skincare product on a visitor or a chef in a cooking-themed scene might ask for assistance using cleaning product brand available for purchase. The tour is free of charge.

Performers in the House of Showfields experience were chosen via an open call on social/casting channels, through personal connections with those involved in the community surrounding the company and through an application page on the Showfields website.
Pittsburgh Fashion Week Designer: Amber Adda

Some people like to blend into the crowd by following trends and keeping to what everyone flocks to. Amber Adda is a designer who stresses that while her clothes may not follow trends, she creates wearable designs that are meant to be special to the wearer.

"You see the fabric and the possibilities," Adda said. "It's what gets me going." Her specialties are flowing dresses with intricate accents. Hand beading and lace are her go-to's. 

Mostly meant for weddings or special occasions, she wants her clothes to make a statement while also blending in. By forming her clothes to emphasize all the right curves, she also has great attention to detail. 

"When you come up close, there will be patterns which you think are the fabric, but it's really something I stitched together." Ornate details make her pieces unique to the wearer, who is often herself. Since it is difficult to sell custom-made dresses due to pricing, Adda's designs are mostly for her own use. She said she has the standard measurements of a model, and that makes it easier for her to prepare for Fashion Week. 

"The designs are almost always in my head," Said Adda. "But I also like to drape and do it on my body to get the perfect fit." 

On a vacation last June, Adda mentioned her experiences will be sure to influence future creations. Touring Croatia and Italy, she was intrigued by the architecture and believes she can draw inspiration from pictures she took of buildings. 

"I work with art all day. Anything I can create, I do." With a business management and marketing degree from Penn State along with her extensive education in fashion from the Art Institute, Adda plans to open her own boutique in the next two years. 

You can see Amber's work this year at Pittsburgh Fashion Week at the Wintergarden on October 3rd. 

Stew Frick: Boat Rocker!

At sweettoothcustomization.com, lovers of fashion and art will discover local designer Stew Frick. As a Pittsburgh Fashion Week designer, Stew showcases their clothes primarily online and through Instagram (@stew_frick). Occasionally, they will have a pop-up shop at art shows and First Friday Pittsburgh events. Stew had their start in 2016, when they began selling their work at charity events, and have worked their way up from there.  

"A lot of the journey has been hours and hours spent alone in my room painting over and over and over and over," said Stew. "Now, it has become more about the community I've had the opportunity to integrate myself into."
 
As a designer, Stew is a disrupter. Their personal experience in art follows themes of sincerity and togetherness. On the topic of ethically-sourced clothing, Stew said they want to ensure quality, durability, and meaningfulness instead of turning to mass production, where quality can be questionable. The process is just as important as the results.

Their business, Sweet Tooth Customization, is built upon ethically sourced, meaningful clothing. Instead of focusing on making "Stew Frick" a big name, they focus on the importance of the community and the creativity that makes Pittsburgh thrive.  
 
"It's not as much of keeping up with trends or knowing all the hot designers. It's more trudging through racks of clothing. I have an antagonistic relationship with the overarching fashion world." They said. "It's this weird position where people often look to me as a sort of mover and shaker. I feel deliberately separated." 

They are very grateful to have the opportunity to meet and support other designers in the Pittsburgh community, and they hope to make a better Pittsburgh with their creations. 

"At the end of the day, if I can in some way help mold a local community of fashion in a way that is more meaningful and kind and morally created... that's what I'd rather do instead of fit myself into the pre-existing structure of the profitable industry."

Stew is excited to show their work on the runway for Fashion Week 2019 and shared advice for other designers and customers.

"Keep wearing what you love," They said. "Keep wearing things that are made beautifully and kindly. Support local artists."

You can see Stew's work at Pittsburgh Fashion Week at the Wintergarden on October 3rd.

Get-Ups on the Go 

Food trucks have been a popular concept for years, and Marissa Zimmerman has brought the same convenience to fashion. Zimmerman, owner of The Vintage Valet Mobile Boutique, has been toting her Victorian-inspired garments around Pittsburgh since 2013. A graduate of The Art Institute, the idea occurred to her in an e-commerce class. "We had a project where we had to combine our major with our hobby...and that's where I had my lightbulb moment," Zimmerman explains, "I've always been in retail, I've always enjoyed traveling, so why don't I have a job where I can travel around to people?"

She learned that others had brought the idea to fruition on the west coast about two years' prior, proving that it was indeed a successful notion worthy of being reenacted in Pittsburgh. Thus, while taking a class which required working on a business plan, Zimmerman brought her dream into reality and was up and running a few months later. 

The Vintage Valet sells women's clothes with an inspiration from another era. They feature "a lot of lace, crochet, pleats and embroidery. It's very romantic, whimsical and feminine," Zimmerman says. She stocks items from what she finds at trade shows, and rotates the selection based on the season. The fall line will be released soon and will feature the same sort of details but in autumnal colors like rust, taupe and cream.  

Unfortunately, unlike in locations like California, the truck cannot run all year in Pittsburgh since people would not stop outside to shop in cold temperatures. To remedy this, Zimmerman opened a popup shop downtown during the last year's holiday season with fellow fashion truck Magnolia on Main. "I really wanted to be able to offer my products and have my business open for the holidays...My whole mission is to collaborate with other small business owners and encourage women to shop local, so [having the popup shop] was a huge moment". She hopes to once again open a popup boutique this coming holiday season. 

Zimmerman is incredibly grateful for all of the support she has been given by Pittsburghers. "The community has been very accepting of the fashion truck. We live in a city that is so accommodating in terms of having events and markets." For those who have a similar dream, she implores them to give it a shot. "As long as you're passionate about what you're doing and why you're doing it, it's never too late to make [that] dream a reality. If someone is sitting there and thinking, [they should] just do it. You shouldn't have any regrets". 

The Vintage Valet posts its schedule on its website
and is in Market Square every Friday through the end of the summer from 11 am to 2 pm. 
Fashion with Compassion

Pittsburgh Magazine and the American Heart Association will be raising awareness of heart disease on August 22 nd at the Fashion with Compassion fashion show. Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in America, taking more lives annually than all forms of cancer combined. While the show first started in the 1990s, it stopped and was restarted in 2012, making this its 7 th consecutive year. All models walking the runway will be either heart disease survivors or from families of heart disease survivors, including KDKA reporter Susan Koeppen, who experienced an unexpected heart attack in 2011. The outfits worn by models will be from local boutiques and retailers, supporting both a great cause and local businesses, as part of the AHA's #GoRedForWomen initiative. 

The show will begin at 6 PM at Stage AE and tickets, costing $50 plus fees, can be found here




220 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-394-3400

An enticing menu comprised of Vallozzi family traditions such as homemade pastas (including Helen's gnocchi) and the pizza that made them famous, as well as fresh steaks and seafood. The menu also boasts a number of Italian meats and cheeses flown in from Italy weekly and served from their 'Fresh Mozzarella' bar.