Philly Fashion Week to showcase designers from around the world

This year's event will run for three days starting Thursday

· February 19, 2013, 7:43 pm

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The newest trends in Philadelphia fashion will hit the runway tomorrow.

Philly Fashion Week this season will run from Feb. 21 to 23 at the Crane Arts, Ice box building in Philadelphia, showcasing collections from a variety of designers, some local and some from around the world. The shows will begin at 8 p.m. on those dates.

The week will feature events such as an accessories party and runway shows.

Wharton junior Sara Sodine, vice president of marketing for the Wharton Retail Club, said that fashion weeks in general are the first event of a season that introduce the upcoming trends. “I would imagine that the people who are showing their collections are probably trying to make a statement of identifying what they see happening in Philly fashion,” she said.

“What’s unique about Philly Fashion Week is that each show features more than one designer and the designers that showcase are from all around the world with pieces ranging from ready to wear and evening wear to accessories,” Wharton junior Elonia McHenry, editor-in-chief of The Walk, Penn’s fashion magazine, wrote in an email.

On the whole, Philadelphia’s fashion culture isn’t as developed as that of other cities like New York, according to Wharton junior Daniel Ortiz, president of the Wharton Retail Club.

While he has noticed some of the more fashion-forward trends being worn around Center City, Ortiz said that the fashion on Penn’s campus actually spans a wider range of aesthetics than Philadelphia because of students’ backgrounds.

As opposed to reflecting Philadelphia’s style, “Penn is probably more similar to New York because it’s more of a melting pot in terms of more different styles,” Sodine said.

Erin Armendinger, managing director of the Jay H. Baker Retail Center, a research center within the Wharton School, said that while Philadelphia’s fashion certainly influences Penn students’ style through things like Philly Fashion Week, the style of the city doesn’t define the style of Penn students.

“Students come from all over the world literally, so I think they bring their own unique sense of style and unique way of seeing the world to Philly,” she said.

Apart from helping establish Philadelphia as a fashion-conscious city, Armendinger said that Philly Fashion Week will be an incentive for new retailers to join the local fashion community.

She added that Philadelphia is particularly well-suited to a vibrant fashion and retail culture because the city is so “walkable,” which makes it a great shopping area.

Penn students have the chance to express their personal styles during the University’s own Penn Fashion Week, a series of events hosted by the Wharton Retail Club, Dzine2Show, and Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity, with the support of the Baker Retail Center.

The major component of the week will be a fashion show featuring Penn designers and Penn models, which will kick off this year’s event on March 30, according to Armendinger.

“I think Penn tends to be a little bit of its own little ecosystem because it’s so big and we have so much diversity on this campus, but that’s not to say we couldn’t be more involved with Philly Fashion Week,” she said.

Sodine said that events like Philly Fashion Week are essential for expressing the culture of the city and will eventually impact everyone’s individual style.

“The clothes that people wear everyday trickle down from high fashion and what we see in fashion shows,” Sodine said. “It’s interesting that these designers are shaping what we wear and in a way shaping our culture.”

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