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

In this Issue:
If Unique Is What You Seek
The Ecolution Fashion show is returning for its 5th year of unique fashion in Downtown Pittsburgh. The show features various Pittsburgh designers and focuses on recycled materials, highlighting sustainability with an "overarching theme of rebirth," says Ronda Zegarelli, Co- Founder of Pittsburgh Earth Day. The show, curated by Richard Parsakian, also features Docherty models as well as hair and beauty styling by Izzazu Salon, Spa, and Blowout Bar.

"We're really proud to produce this event," says Zegarelli, "it showcases [sustainability] in a really expressive way, and we thought that was magical." Everything about the Fashion Show is sustainable, from the clothes to the location. 
Zegarelli says that Pittsburgh Earth Day "loves working with the Fairmont Hotel because they have a really sustainable mission." 

This year's fashion show will include a silent auction to raise funds for Women for a Healthy Environment, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that aims to learn more about environmental issues and topics. Beginning in March, attendees can purchase general admission tickets for $25 or VIP tickets for $60. VIP tickets include complimentary cocktails and hors-d'oeuvres, as well as early admission and a live music event before the fashion show begins.

Check out the Newest Salon In Town

Trend Pittsburgh is the newest salon in town. Located on Butler Street in Lawrenceville, this salon lives up to its name with sleek decor, a wet bar, and an outdoor courtyard. Carly DeShantz and Taylor Chess opened Trend in June 2018 after working together for five years. Carly says they have "grown more than they could have imagined" in the past eight months and hope to continue to expand throughout Pittsburgh.  

At Trend, staying in-style is essential. "All of our stylists are up-to-date," says Carly, who has been in the industry since she was 13 years old. In addition to offering typical cut, styling, and coloring, Trend offers unique services including waxing, makeup, and microblading. One of their most popular services, balayage, involves hand-painting highlights into the client's hair to give them a unique, effortless look.

Carly and Taylor also teach classes on popular services such as men's cuts, hand-tied extensions, and balayage. The salon was designed by Carly's father, Ron DeShantz, who built the bar by hand. The space also boasts a private patio that can be rented out for events. From bridal pictures to cocktail hours, the patio offers a distinctive atmosphere matching that of the salon.

You can check out Trend through their website or their Instagram @trendpittsburghsalon, where Carly and Taylor post their latest techniques and dos.

Peter Lawrence: Unique and Quality Styles
Located at 413 Wood St., Peter Lawrence is a woman's clothing store that offers unique and quality styles from designers all over the world. Owner Chas Schaldenbrand has been in the retail market for over 30 years with his men's apparel store, Heinz Healey's, but is thrilled to be expanding into the women's market.

General Manager, Katelyn Modolo, explained that Peter Lawrence's goal "is to provide a memorable and enjoyable experience in which they leave satisfied and looking forward to returning." Modolo was happy to share that the staff at Peter Lawrence is knowledgeable and excels in personal shopping, whether you're looking to add something new to your own wardrobe or to find a gift item for someone else.

The retailer offers close to 40 apparel brands and 15 different lines of accessories including shoes, handbags, scarves, and jewelry. While their website includes a more comprehensive list of designers carried in the store, some of the brands include Geiger, Schneiders of Salzburg, Joseph Ribkoff, Alberto Makali, and JoFit.

Peter Lawrence also features a full shoe department. They house lines such as Jon Josef and Ateliers, which are made in Spain and Italy, respectively. Their sole jewelry line, Mariana Jewelry, is also made overseas in Israel. Every handmade piece from Mariana Jewelry features Swarovski crystals, nickel-free metals, and a lifetime guarantee.

If you needed any more incentive to visit Peter Lawrence, they are running a special sale event through March and April. "All of February our clients can shop 25% off their purchase total on top of any special sale prices going on in store. In March it goes down to 15% and April is 10%" explained Modolo.

When asked what she liked about Peter Lawrence's location in Downtown Pittsburgh, Modolo responded that she liked how "the neighborhood is mainly comprised of locally owned small retailers who share a customer service ethos and willingly refer business to each other. Plus the businesses complement each other, offering a variety of styles and price points without duplicating brands." Make sure to stop down to Wood St. and check out what Peter Lawrence has to offer!

Keep Up Like Brooks Diamond Boutique Does

At her self-titled boutique inside of the Clark Building downtown, Stacey Brooks seeks to provide the best customer service possible in the jewelry industry. Brooks Diamonds, established in 2007, works alongside the Pittsburgh Jewelry District's many other vendors to make sure Pittsburghers have a comfortable and exciting experience.

Brooks initially planned on studying computers after graduating from high school, but decided to go into the jewelry industry after she was offered a position working in gold wholesale during the holiday season. This continued for 11 until " [wholesale] kind of went by the wayside. Manufacturers started selling directly to the consumer, which is why [Brooks] had to transition to retail". So, Brooks Diamonds was born. Even in the mere 12 years she has been in operation, Brooks has noticed significant shifts in the business, mostly due to the internet. "There's a lot more competition and more information out there, so it gets confusing," Brooks says, "you have to educate the customer a little bit more because they are reading, and since diamonds are something that are sold by visual instead of a piece of paper, you have to educate them and compare stones side by side in more of a personal contact." 

This personal touch is what Brooks believes sets her apart from the aforementioned competition. She prides herself on her ability to create relationships with her customers and communicate quickly and clearly through face-to-face conversation and email. The business even provides curbside service so customers don't need to struggle to find parking. Brooks' aim is to "try to make people feel as though they want to come back and purchase things throughout their lifetime, not just one time." As a result of this policy, Brooks Diamonds has won multiple awards for customer service based on its online reviews.

The primary supplier for Brooks Diamonds is Gabriel & Co of New York, as Stacey Brooks believes that they are the best option for customers who want "the designer look, but not the designer price". The most popular trends this season have been yellow gold - as opposed to the white gold of previous years - and rose gold, along with more minimalist jewelry and layered pieces. For engagement rings, "[they] are getting fancier shapes, which are ovals, pears, marquises, which when I started in the industry in the 80s were in style and now they're back in again." Halo rings, which consist of a series of small diamonds surrounding a large one, have been deemed passé in favor of solitaire and straight settings. Additionally, Brooks offers a few lab-grown, cultivated diamonds, and still sells Princess Diana-style sapphire engagement rings.

Brooks visits Las Vegas every year "where all the new designers are, so [she] will see the upcoming trends every year...usually they last a few years; the halo trend lasted a good 8-9 years;" thus, she predicts the current fads will be in style for many more.

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.