Successful swap kicks off Fashion Week – Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Anne Gorman had her eyes on the prize.

The Pittsford resident arrived at Fashion Week of Rochester’s Fashion Exchange event with a custom black velvet suit to swap. She turned that in, and quickly moved to a pair of fuzzy Lucky Brand slippers and tried them on.

“I love it,” Gorman says of the Fashion Exchange. “Last year, I got a $350 Lilith blouse. I would have never paid that much. And it’s all for a good cause.”

Fashion Week of Rochester kicked off its week-long series of events Tuesday with a clothing swap event at Memorial Art Gallery. For a $20 donation to Center for Youth, shoppers could bring in two items of clothing or accessories from their closet and walk out with two new items, some of them new designer pieces.

This year’s swap also included a silent auction and allowed vendors to sell some of their wares, said Toni Beth Weasner, coordinator of the event and owner of Toni Events in Brighton.

For example, Andres Gomez traveled from Miami to show his line of upcycled bracelets and watches that he sells under the HarD Tek label. The business emphasizes sustainability by using recycled materials such as wood, recycled metals and plastic, Gomez said. A tree is planted in a protected area of South America for each piece of jewelry that is sold, he adds.

Video: Fashion Exchange at the MAG

Fashion Week kicks off with a swap at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Across the aisles, Gates resident Cheryl Snead showed off her new artisan jewelry for the feet. She is the owner of Happi Feet & Happi Hands, making barefoot sandals and bracelets in beads and crystals, and was showing her latest Starfish designs.

All of the funds raised from Fashion Week will go to Center for Youth, which helps underserved youths in the community. The Fashion Week events over the past four years have raised more than $300,000, helping stem federal budget cuts to programs like the center’s, said executive director Elaine Spaull.

There are four runway shows upcoming and a boutique crawl through Rochester, Brighton and Pittsford shops on Sunday. Fashion Week events often bring women out in groups for a day or night on the town.

Karen Lamb of Greece arrived at the Fashion Exchange with her co-workers Lisa Bleir of Caledonia and Kimberley Prinsen of Rochester. They brought Spartina brand accessories to swap. Lamb eyed a black pleated skirt from Nordstrom and Bleir found a silk black and white polka dot skirt in her size.

“This will be perfect for me,” Bleir says.

MCHAO@DemocratandChronicle.com

Twitter.com/MaryChaoStyle

Coming up

Follow @MaryChaoStyle for the latest from the runway shows that kick off Wednesday. Here’s the schedule:

• High Tea, High Fashion — 5 p.m. Wednesday in the former Tea Room on the sixth floor of The Sibley Building, 25 Franklin St. This show is meant to harken back to the days when ladies dressed for tea and also will feature the first time Fashion Week has tapped pets to join runway models. Parking is available in the Mortimer Street Garage, 83 Mortimer St. across from The Sibley Building. Use the pedestrian walkway that crosses over North Clinton Avenue to the second floor of The Sibley Building. Fashion Week volunteers will direct you from there. Tickets for the runway shows are on sale at Wegmans Food Markets. VIP seats are $100, regular seating $55 and $25 for general admission.

• The Gallery of Fashion — 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the gallery opens for an art show that includes 22 of Rochester’s master artists, including Wendell Castle and Albert Paley. The runway show starts at 8 p.m. Parking will be clearly marked and available in the Excellus and St. Mary’s lots next to Geva Theatre, as well as on South Avenue and the Washington Square Parking Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd.

• Fashion by the Books — 8 p.m. Friday in the Central Library’s Rundel Memorial Building, 115 South Ave. This intergenerational show will incorporate grandparents, twins and silver foxes, models with gray hair. Parking is available at the Court Street Garage, 194 Court St., attached to the Bausch & Lomb Building of the library.

• Fashion Underground — 8 p.m. in transformed space in the Midtown Tunnel. Dangerkat, a popular performer in New York City, will DJ the show. Free underground parking is available at 109 Clinton Square between East Broad and Court streets. Parking will be marked. Volunteers and signs will be in the parking garage to direct you to the runway show area.

• Boutique Crawl — Registration is from 10 to 11 a.m. at East Avenue Inn & Suites, 384 East Ave. The hop includes 27 boutiques, galleries and specialty stores. It ends at 5 p.m. The cost is $20. Go to FashionWeekofRochester.org for full information.

Go shopping with Mary

Reporter Mar Chao, Fashion Week’s Meghan Mundy and Wilhelmina model and style expert Elena Zweers will help you shop during the Boutique Crawl on Sunday. Here’s their schedule:

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Peppermint, 121 Park Ave. in Rochester.

1:30 to 3 p.m. — B. Younique Boutique, 1892 Monroe Ave. in Brighton.

3:30 to 5 p.m. — Embrasse-Moi, 1 N. Main St. in Pittsford.

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