Story last updated at 4/22/2009 - 10:59 am
JUNEAU - Think Juneau fashion is only about what you can pair with Xtratufs? The planners of the "What to wear in Juneau, AK" fashion show hope to prove otherwise.
Along the way, the businesses and models involved aim to raise $10,000 for the United Way of Southeast Alaska.
"What's interesting about Juneau is there's an idea that you have to run outside (to buy clothes)," said Sidney Mitchell, owner of Shoefly and Hudson's downtown. "We want to show that you can get great fashion in this town, and it's relevant to life in this town. To have (proceeds) go to a non-profit, that's icing on the cake."
The fashion show fundrasier was initiated by Ethan Billings, the owner of Marlintini's, when he read about United Way Campaign Director Cachet Garrett's invitation for a philanthropist to contact her about significant giving.
United Way will benefit from ticket sales, plus 30 percent of Marlintini's profits from alcohol sales for the evening and money raised by auctioning off fashion products and gift certificates.
Many local boutiques and stores will be modeling their wares, including Choco, Shoefly, Alaska Dames, the Wedding Shoppe, Alaskan Brewing Company, Sequence, Nugget Alaskan Outfitters and Night Moods.
For those who can't imagine Juneau fashion without neoprene footwear, Alaska Industrial Hardware has donated a pair of Xtratufs to be auctioned off as well.
Both men's and women's fashion will be displayed. MCs for the event will be Ben Brown and Collette Costa, and Rumbalaska will perform at intermission. Everyone is expected to come "dressed to impress," Garrett says, "like what you'd wear if you lived and breathed fashion in New York City."
About 50 models are participating in the show. Some have modeling experience, and some are new to the runway, such as Perry Blair, who was "discovered" in a model search hosted by Choco Boutique in February.
"This is my first time doing this," Blair said. "I really feel it's organized to the (highest) potential. In the future I can see doing it more. People are there for this. It feels good and I want to be a part of it."
With some modeling and stage experience under his belt, Sterling Snyder has become one of the coaches for the models, who are being coordinated by Choco Boutique, which Snyder said has become a headquarters for the model.s.
"A lot of people think it's really easy to walk down the runway," Snyder said. "A lot of people really need to allow time to slow down and allow people to see the clothes, see the outfit."
Blair: "He's talking about me. My first walk down the runway was like taking off from the Juneau airport."
Mitchell noted that there hasn't been anything quite like this show in at least five years, although each year Wearable Arts offers a different sort of fashion show. And there's certainly crossover between participants in the two shows, Snyder said.
"A lot of people from Wearable Arts are doing this," he said.
The planning committee hopes that the event will become a regular fundraiser in Juneau.
"The hope for the event is (that) it grows into an annual or twice annual event, benefiting different non-profits," Garrett said.
"It's nice to see that there's kind of a group of people here in Juneau who want to make something wonderful happen," Snyder said. "(It's like we're all saying), 'Hey Juneau, this is your town. Let's play.'"
Added Blair: "People in this town have energy. They have to, they've Alaskan."
"What to Wear in Juneau, AK: A Fashion Show Benefiting United Way" will take place Saturday, April 25 at Marlintini's. The cocktail hour begins at 8 p.m. and the show begins at 9 p.m., lasting until around 11:30 p.m.
General admission is $20, and VIP tickets (including front row seating and a swag bag) are $30. There are only 300 seats, so everyone is encourage to purchase tickets in advance from United Way of any of the sponsoring organizations.
Sponsors of the event include Alaska Litho, Choco, Alaskan Dames and Gents, Gottschalks, Shoefly, The Wedding Shoppe, Alaskan Brewing Company, Nugget Alaskan Outfitter, Night Moods, Sequence, Shyla Germain, The Cutting Edge, Alaska Industrial Hardware, Alaska Laundry and Dry Cleaners, Paradise Beach Tanning and Travel Salon, Rejuvenation Salon and Spa, Sunburst on the Wharf, the Plant People, Bauer/Clifton Interiors.
United Way of Southeast Alaska supports 38 other non-profits in Juneau and throughout Southeast. Learn more about United Way of Southeast Alaska at www.unitedwayseak.org.
Katie Spielberger may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.