Fashion game-changers and trends to watch in 2019
The year is young, but 2019 is already shaping up to be one filled with potential for Pittsburgh’s evolving fashion scene. Here’s a sampling of the trends, people and places that we predict will make it a year to remember.
In recent years, Pittsburgh’s “it” stores have been mostly in urban neighborhoods such as Lawrenceville and Shadyside. Butler and Walnut streets are still bustling, but let’s make 2019 the year to get in the car and — gasp! — take a bridge or a tunnel to explore the bounty of locally owned boutiques in the ‘burbs. Take Dormont, for instance. It’s home to cool newish shops like Clothing Coop and Helen & Earl and the uber-luxurious House of Handsome barbershop. And Sewickley is like a slice of Shadyside, with upscale women’s shops galore.
National media have sometimes turned up their noses at Pittsburgh fashion (We’re looking at you, GQ circa 2011). But that hasn’t stopped the city’s style savvy from proudly promoting the ‘Burgh’s burgeoning fashion scene. Style 412, for instance, has introduced the S412 Studio mentorship program. Each quarter, the fashion council will pick a group of emerging creative professionals and work with them to produce a stylized photo shoot.
The trade group MONMADE, which helps Pittsburgh-bred brands grow strategically and effectively, also has helped make the city’s maker scene bigger and better. Watch for even more initiatives like these in 2019.
Although traditional hair salons and barbershops have always offered a little TLC, some Pittsburghers are starting to offer a different kind of self care. Want to project more confidence? Check out Iconic Image Workshops with photographer Kaela Speicher and talent agent Brittney Thierof. While private and group sessions teach participants how to dress and pose for the camera, these workshops are designed to help people look and feel their best in daily life. Learn more at www.kaelaspeicher.com/ iconic-image-workshops.
Looking to brighten your skin? Try a 15-minute session in the salt chamber at Illume Pittsburgh, 222 Boulevard of the Allies, Downtown (illumepittsburgh.com). Treatments are supposed to help clear up acne, eczema and other topical impurities, as well as respiratory issues. This boutique health center is also equipped with lots of hightech ways to help you feel and look good.
Look for even more collective-style boutiques like the ones that opened in 2018. In the internet age, it can be tough for a startup to make it with its own brick-and-mortar store. Thanks to shops such as Make + Matter in Lawrenceville, PG&H Downtown and love, Pittsburgh on Mount Washington, independent regional brands are easier to find on local shelves.
Small brands doing big things: A number of local brands are making a splash outside Western Pennsylvania. Last year, custom menswear label David Alan saw one of its suits on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and Trusst Lingerie was spotlighted in Forbes, InStyle and Health.com for its bras for larger bust sizes.
Purpose-driven events: Through lots of trial and error, Pittsburgh’s fashion scene has figured out that the best fashion events are ones with a purpose. Most support a charitable cause or a crop of up-and-coming or established designers. Expect to see runway shows with fewer gimmicks and more substance in 2019.
The “Song of Thrones” fashion show featuring designs by Diana Misetic raised money for the Pittsburgh Opera in 2018. Expect to see more runway shows with a purpose in 2019.
If you venture to Dormont or Washington County, Vintage Grace Boutique is a shop you’ll want to discover in 2019.
Collective-style stores like love, Pittsburgh on Mount Washington stock a variety of brands by makers from across the region.
Helen & Earl in Dormont is one of the latest boutiques to make the suburban neighborhood a shopping destination.
David Alan, founder and president of David Alan Clothing and the Proper Knot, outfitted several highprofile celebrities in 2018.
Mentorship is part of the mission for the Style 412 fashion council. Its members, from left, are: Elysia Newman, Caroline Suh, Sara Longo, Brittney Thieroff, Kelly Gualtieri, Tye Clarke, Aire Plichta Reese, Eileen French Jordan and Demeatria Boccella.