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

220 5th Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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.

In this Issue:
Only The Best In Pittsburgh Fashion: The Glam Awards 

One of the biggest misconceptions about our city is that its fashion is stuck in the past. Yet, every year, Pittsburghers show off the growing fashion community and embrace what sets us apart as a fashion city. The Glam Awards are one way in which to honor those making waves in Pittsburgh fashion.

The Glam Awards are put on by Style & Glam LLC, a Pittsburgh-based event production and management company that works closely with designers, makeup artists, hair stylists, models and many more in the local community. As the Facebook page for the event states, the ceremony "celebrates and pays tribute to Who's Who in fashion, beauty, modeling and art." Participants get a chance to walk the red carpet and encompass the glamour and uniqueness that makes Pittsburgh a fashion destination. This is the second year that the awards are being given out.

This year, the ceremony is taking place at the Comfort Inn Grand Ballroom in Churchill. The awards are happening on March 16th. The event's website mentions that the Glam Awards extend beyond just a ceremony of awards, but also includes dinner, drinks, networking opportunities, and other ways to take home a piece of the magic.
Categories include: photographer of the year, musician of the year, entrepreneur of the year, male model of the year, female model of the year, new designer/ artist of the year, hair stylist of the year, makeup artist of the year, boutique owner/ stylist of the year, and the coveted designer of the year. Nominees' years of experience, accolades, industry participation, community service, and career initiatives are all taken into account in determining who wins each award.

The Glam Awards are a way to celebrate Pittsburgh's expanding fashion community. There are opportunities to network as well as show off on the red carpet and above all, showcase the people who have really worked hard to make Pittsburgh a fashion destination.

A full list of nominees is available on Style & Glam LLC's website.
For Katherine Delgrande,  Hair And Makeup Industry Is An Art

Katherine DelGrande always knew that she wanted to become a hair stylist. Starting on her brother at the age of ten and graduating to cutting the hair of her parents and friends, DelGrande excelled while most children practiced on Barbie dolls. A Pittsburgh native, she followed her dream to attend the Pittsburgh Beauty Academy despite receiving two full college scholarships. When she first toured the beauty school, DelGrande witnessed people teaching students and was struck by the inspiration to go into education herself. "I went into the owner's office and asked if I could have a teacher scholarship. He informed me he's never given away any teacher scholarships, but he made me a deal: I'll make you a teacher but you have to commit to me for a year." She stuck to that promise, and quickly learned how to teach others to cut hair, do makeup, manicure nails and do facials. DelGrande even won the 3 rd place prize in a state woman's haircutting competition.

After finishing up at the academy, Katherine moved on to Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City, where she managed and trained at various salons and even took part in New York Fashion Week. DelGrande held the position of trend forecaster at Redken and believes that the popularity of various hairstyles and colors closely follows the economy: "When the economy is doing well, like in the 80s, you'll see more lavish things. Now we are seeing the 90s, with the flowers, straight hair. That's kind of where our economies are going. We had a really high [economy] and now it's starting to go low." She also remarks that black and other dark colors become more fashionable when the economy is doing worse. Some recent trends that DelGrande is witnessing are "curls... getting softer and looser, more deconstructed and very organic feeling" as well as "slick, straight back... smooth, sleek as glass hair...Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" look but drier".

DelGrande eventually settled down with a husband and two small children and decided to move back to Pittsburgh, where she volunteers with "Look Good, Feel Better," an organization that teaches women with cancer how to apply makeup and style themselves. DelGrande is incredibly proud of her partnership with this group, since "your recovery rate goes up by 80% when you look good and feel good. For all those years, people said hairdressers were dumb... now I can say I could make the recovery rate go up just by making someone look like themselves again". She has also worked with the Pittsburgh Fashion Week and Carnegie Mellon's Lunar Gala.

Katherine DelGrande still mentors and teaches up-and-coming stylists. She feels rewarded to see former trainees and colleagues of hers succeeding and hopes to be a part of the next generation's success. "I am a huge fan of mentoring, and in Pittsburgh Fashion Week and the Lunar Gala my goal from day one has always been about mentoring," she said. "I've been fortunate to have mentors throughout my career, my life, and I want to see more of that." For DelGrande, the hair and makeup industry is an art, and it requires a group effort to both improve the finished product and to change the perception of hairdressers. In a nutshell, Delgrande "[wants] people to look at us and have this immense respect, not only for our art, but for us as an industry as a whole, how we support each other and work with each other".

Richard Ramirez: Finding Beauty In Everything

Pittsburgh's fashion community is growing and expanding beyond our city of bridges. The pieces and opinions of local designers are just as valuable as out-of-town designers, allowing us to build a connected community that can inspire and connect within each other. Richard Ramirez, a designer from Houston, currently lives outside of Pittsburgh and participated in Pittsburgh Fashion Week 2018. His collection last year may have been dark, but this year, something else entirely is blooming out of the shadows.

Ramirez's love for fashion started when he was just a goth teenager living in Houston, Texas. He and his friends would go out clubbing or to various concerts, but Ramirez always had difficulty finding fashionable clothing for men. He took it upon himself to start taking apart and rebuilding his own unique pieces from various thrift store finds. This spread and he started making clothes for his female friends too and then eventually moving into the fashion industry-- no formal training involved. After his first collection ran in 1998, Ramirez continued building his repertoire by making more and more inspired and unique pieces to be where he is now-- one of the most notable designers located in the Pittsburgh area who has designed pieces for celebrities like Kim Gordon and local legend Sharon Needles.

Deconstruction is a central theme in Ramirez's work, never leaving his core as a boy just trying to reinvent thrift store finds. A personal favorite to design are gowns. Dresses allow for a wide variety of shapes and silhouettes that Richard can play with and alter to the extreme: another hallmark quality of Ramirez's work. With each garment, Ramirez can make it more intense or maybe even a little haunting. That's what he does best: finds the beauty in everything. Ramirez's lines do not pander to the glamorous. Rather, he defines his own brand of beauty that is unique to him. This gives him the independence to work on a project on his own and in his own style.

He embraces the absurd and makes it chic. Ramirez finds inspiration from all things and interprets them in his own way to build something new out of it. Whether it be horror films, music, art, or other designers-- Ramirez starts with a glint of something amazing and works to capture that essence in his own pieces. So individual in fact, that Richard hand sews and hand-paints many of the garments he designs. Art and fashion intersect whenever he shows because presentation is just as important as the garments themselves. Ramirez hand-picks the models for his show, but picks the ones that stand out to him and serve his label, not necessarily who's most popular. Beyond that: that's where Ramirez steps back a little and allows the fashion community to come together and shine. And that's the beauty of Pittsburgh Fashion Week- the collaboration is easy because, according to Ramirez, Pittsburgh Fashion Week is full of just nice people.

Pittsburgh's own community is sometimes overlooked in favor of bigger names, but that is changing. People like Richard are making their own waves with unique designs and unforgettable pieces that break down the wall between 'pretty' and 'ugly' to find the untouched medium where the line between fashion and art blurs. Clothing is so much more than what looks 'good.' Everyone wants to look good and feel good, but individuality is how that's created. If anyone knows about individuality-- it's the one-of-a-kind Richard Ramirez.

The Future Of Fashion Is Personalization & Larrimor's Provides It 

The future of fashion is personalization. Everything from your chest to your waist is tailored just for you. Even experience is personal. At Larrimor's, a high-end apparel store in Downtown Pittsburgh, the services are highly individualized which makes looking for the perfect outfit is as unique and comfortable as it should be.

Larrimor's provides clothing and accessories to men and women with a stunning display of over 138 designers. Their women's department is one area in which they really shine. Co-owner Tom Michael says, "women are truly underserved in the Downtown market." It's not always easy to find something high-quality that also looks amazing, but contemporary and classic styles have a home in Larrimor's.

Beyond what pieces they already have, Larrimor's is having an upcoming series of Trunk Shows-an often overlooked opportunity to check out future fashions. These events serve to show off a season's full line, while also offering a larger selection of sizes. This way, people can see all the new fashions and styles at once while finding unique articles for both genders. Incoming apparel is also easily seen on Larrimor's YouTube channel, making it simple and accessible to see what's in. Larrimor's is able to combine the quality and status of name-brand designers with a sense of community since they are a part of our local, pittsburgh area.

All the fashion aside, there's something else about Larrimor's that makes it special. Tom and Lisa say that the mission of Larrimor's is (unofficially) "to make people feel good about themselves, and we do that through clothing and experience." There's a lot to unpack in that sentence, and all of it is true. The fashion on display is exquisite and the people working are just phenomenal. Through free alterations, friendly service, and a wide variety of clothing for both men and women, Larrimor's secures itself for what should be at least another 80 years in Downtown Pittsburgh.