Meet the Nominees – DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Style Awards recognizes the leading men and women in fashion, business, and the arts and honors them for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Join us for the Style Awards Friday, August 19, 2016, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Vote HERE


DESIGNER OF THE YEAR


James Houk

a55aaaf0-9a1f-43d6-a008-768205512ba8James Houk is a fashion designer, illustrator and painter who studied at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA James achieved a distinguished military career as a member of the U.S. Army’s Special Reaction Team (SRT) Counter-Terrorism/Hostage Rescue Team based at Fort Meade in Maryland. The SRT is an elite anti-terrorism team trained in highly specialized, tactical law enforcement and helicopter operations. He and his team also assisted in the protection of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, recently even receiving a personal note of thanks from President Bush. Following his Military service James returned to his life long passion, boxing and martial arts, becoming a professional boxer and kick boxer.
After great success at American Eagle James branched out into private label work, designing for companies such as J.Crew and Bobby Jones. This work with Bobby Jones lead to another career ascension as their parent company Hickey Freeman, took an interest in James and introduced him to designing finely tailored clothing for men. After this education in fabrics, fit and patterns James broadened his scope of work to include fine shirts, jackets and pants. In 2000 after his private label success James decided to venture forward with his own company and brand. He took this first brand named after his Pittsburgh neighborhood Brookline and sold it to the first store he approached.. Barneys New York. This began a years long partnership with Barneys that continues until today. He has worked with celebrities from Beyonce to Lady Gaga. He has appeared in many television as
well as published interviews and editorials. He has had major success on the fashion runway culminating in his 2014 show at Union Station in Los Angeles receiving rave reviews from fashion experts in the LA Times. James and his family; his wife Kathleen, daughter Caitlin and sons Christopher and Conner look forward to continuing to promote their home, the greatest place in the World, PITTSBURGH, PA.


Leesa Kassler

leesaLeesa made a decision late in life to follow her and attend “The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She was President & Vice President of Fashion Club thru 2011-2014. She was recently inducted into the National Honor Society for academic achievement.

Leesa’s motto had always been work hard & the rest will follow and that is what she has done.

As design teacher to Pittsburgh Community Youth Invasion at the Andy Warhol Museum. Leesa has participated in local featured Runway Shows such as, Habitat for Humanity, 50 Shades of Pink, Earth Day and has been chosen to design a dress for the Mrs. PA Pageant in Philadelphia this year.

Leesa’s future plans is to continue designing & create the second manufacturing plant here in Pittsburgh and in the state as well. This will in hence create jobs for the city and expand to the city that fashion is here in Pittsburgh.

You can check out Leesa’s designs opening night in Pittsburgh for “Style Week” this August where she will be featuring 2 designs from the he 1920’s and three from the 1960’s

Leesa has also been invited to feature her design in the Young Designer Awards in New York & London this fall. An award given to new upcoming designers who are making a impact. She is also nominated for Designer of the Year for Style Week Pittsburgh.

Leesa is just getting started with many accomplishments and we look forward to seeing what she brings to the City of Pittsburgh in the future.


Nisha Blackwell

URBANINN_2694Nisha Blackwell is a Pittsburgh native and Founder of Knotzland, a start up committed to sourcing and rescuing rare & high-quality fabrics around the city and constructing them into stylish upcycled accessories. The uniqueness lies in its commitment to crafting an ecosystem that brings artists, designers, organizations and customers into the sustainable fashion conversation. Starting this process on an ironing board in her living room she then pitched her way into the 3rd cycle of ThrillMill, and now has Manufacturing in a studio space in Homewood – Her journey is one of Niche discovery through necessity where she was given the basis and courage to take her venture to the next level- entrepreneurship. Along with being a Social Entrepreneur , she is also a lifetime resident of the East Side; specifically the Homewood Community. Upon finishing her degree at Edinboro University she moved back to Homewood in 2007 and has since spent a great amount of time serving the Pittsburgh community through platforms like Americorp, Strong Women Strong Girls and Gtech’s ReEnergize Pittsburgh program- advocating for the neighborhood’s economic equality and and bridging the divides in environmental justice. The knowledge and leadership gained from serving has not only enhanced her passion for community engagement, but allowed her to to develop an even more holistic view of the city that has allowed her to plant her feet where she has the most passion for change. She now uses her business to raise awareness in the importance of sustainability in the areas of community, environment and fashion.


Malcolm Williams

unnamedMalcolm Anthony Williams is the Founder and Fashion Designer of Willie Gee’s. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Williams founded the company in September 2006. As a company, his plans are to take each collection to the next global level and beyond. Willie Gee’s Designer Collection is an exquisite collection designed to outfit everyone’s style from everyday fashion to gowns and suits for Red Carpet events. Using the past to recreate the future in fashion has allowed Willie Gee’s to become the fashion house it is today. When designing my garments, I like to imagine this fantasy world; a world where everyone is beautifully dressed, and with absolute style and taste. In this world, my friends and I are living busy, yet amazing lives. We’re attending business meetings and dinners to continue our prosperity. We’re flying on jets around the world to be welcomed to red carpet premieres and galas. But most of all in this world, we are living our lives looking and being fabulous.

My motivations to sew are my parents and grandparents. It was my grandparents whom introduced sewing to me. Growing up my mother and my father were constantly working, so my grandparents helped raise me. I’ve learned from my parents that diligence and focus will pay off. And from my grandparents, I’ve learned sometimes sacrifice is needed in order for the family to thrive. They made me understand why my parents were working so hard and why they’ve sacrificed time out of their lives to help raise me. Their influences and characters have made me become the man I am today.
Fashion is my life. It is the air I breathe. It is the runaway that I walk on with every step that I take. It’s my work of art, which comes to life the moment it is dressed upon a person. I am a Fashionist. Cut me open and you’ll find veins of thread and muscles of fabric. I was born to sew. It is why I strive to become bigger and better every year. The real challenge is to not hinder myself, nor let the world’s criticism affect my visions. I am a self taught designer and I will continue to teach myself every technique of sewing that I can. Because with every designed being drawn and sewn, I am living my life fabulously.


Eva Dixon


Jennifer Mendicino


 

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Meet the Nominees – BOUTIQUE OF THE YEAR

The Style Awards recognizes the leading men and women in fashion, business, and the arts and honors them for their extraordinary accomplishments.

Join us for the Style Awards Friday, August 19, 2016, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Vote HERE


BOUTIQUE OF THE YEAR


The Gilded Girl Owner, Liz Quesnelle

6fd5fd39-5916-4ff8-a214-6ac6f5815907Featuring exclusive luxury and indie cosmetic brands, The Gilded Girl Beauty Emporium is the hot spot for local, national, and international beauty finds unavailable anywhere else in Pittsburgh. With a distinctive vintage vibe, The Gilded Girl offers a comfortable space to experience new products, take skin care and make-up classes, and create your own signature look. Our carefully curated fragrance, skin care, and cosmetic selections (many of them organic and vegan) include old world brands, as well as small-batch and hand-crafted goods that have been featured in top magazines and boutiques around the globe. In addition, our classes, with professional instruction and complimentary wine, provide a venue for friends to enjoy a night out in a non-traditional setting.


Vintage Valet Mobile Boutique – Owner, Marissa Zimmerman

964bfd4b-daaf-401c-9bef-41950757b06aThis innovative boutique brings fashion to the sidewalks of Pittsburgh in an environment that is exciting, engaging, energetic and exclusive. I want to offer fashionistas the luxury of fashion on the go with a wide selection of trendy apparel and my handmade vintage jewelry at an affordable price. I love to go antiquing and make jewelry. I love to spend time in the outdoors with my husband riding bikes, hiking or reading a good book in the park.I am also very much into health and wellness. I am also the Secretary of the newly established Fashion Group International Pittsburgh Provisional Chapter. I also teach part time at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in the Fashion department. I hope to inspire the lives of my students and help them discover their talents and passions and encourage them to follow their dreams. After all, Life is too short to not be doing what you LOVE. Every day is a gift and that is how we should be living.


Boutique La Passerelle (BLP) – Adele Morelli, Owner and Buyer, Änna Ciaccio, Manager and Buyer, Oliver, BLP Mascot

ac5c5a83-17fb-4372-b4b9-bab3c9a5e123Boutique La Passerelle (BLP) is a unique and personal shopping experience in Downtown Pittsburgh. With styles from Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and the U.S., BLP is your source of style for casual afternoons, business meetings, or nights on the town.  BLP was established in 2010 by Cidalia Duarte of Portugal, where she owned several boutiques. When she came to the U.S. she brought the clothing lines with her and supplemented them with clothing and accessories from New York City. Änna Ciaccio began working at the boutique in 2010 as a sales associate and built valuable client relationships. When Downtown resident and BLP client Adele Morelli bought the boutique in 2013, she continued the buying process initiated by Cidalia and promoted Änna to manager and buyer. Adele and Anna travel to Portugal twice a year to buy clothing you will only find at BLP, and to NYC on a regular basis to keep the boutique full of unique clothing and accessories.


Worth New York Showroom on Fifth – Owner, Bear Brandegee

slider_contactAt nine Bear began using her allowance to buy GLAMOUR Magazine and launched her hobby as a trend-spotter. As an adult, her focus on fashion evolved into styling looks for herself that strategically reinforced her successful marketing career. Bear always dressed to mirror the top leadership in her industry and quickly climbed the proverbial ladder.  When she started out in marketing and brand management, Bear leveraged her personal style, informed by the high-drama American designer Norma Kamali, as an essential element of her personal brand. By her 30th birthday, Bear was a Vice President in the technology division of the global marketing firm Fleishman-Hillard and a key member of the Company’s business development team.


Little Black Dress – Owner, Diana Misetic

Photo by Foo Conner

Photo by Foo Conner

Diana Misetic is a women’s contemporary designer with a background in couture. Diana moved to United States of America in 1994 from Europe to pursue her fashion career and establish her own independent label. With her degree in fashion and business, Diana Misetic started working as a pattern maker for a women’s couturier “Westminster Designs”. After four years she became the head of production and design. Mastering pattern-making she opened doors to her own fashion couture house “Little Black Dress” where she excelled in women’s evening wear and gowns. In 2007 Misetic debuted her first collection of ready to wear designs.


JuJu – Owner, Leslie McAllister

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Photo credit: Lexi Shapiro / Pose Pittsburgh

As a fashion graduate and collector of vintage for over 25 years, it was a natural progression for Leslie McAllister to open her very own shop. With a love for the magical and bohemian, the shop is a bazaar of sorts with an eclectic mix of new and old.   A haven of crystals, perfumed oils, natural skincare, smudging bundles and tarot cards intermixed with vintage clothing, home decor and jewelry. She brings a curated collection of the gyspset lifestyle to Point Breeze. Tarot readings, by McAllister, and “how to” events like the upcoming September workshop Tarot 101 are always buzzing at the intimate spiritual space located on Reynolds Street.


Social Status – East Liberty Location 

EASTLIBERTYWith the resurgence of Pittsburgh’s eastern corridor, Social Status – East Liberty was created in August of 2012. This space was created to help elevate and educate a stubborn Pittsburgh fashion scene. Social Status – East Liberty features separate boutique areas for its sneaker and apparel offerings. The space is equipped with eight iPads to help educate customers on everything from exclusive high end fabric to the latest brand offerings. The space features custom build, hand stained woodwork designed to maximize the overall boutique experience.


Three Rivers Vintage – Owner, Scott Johnson

threeriversvintageThree Rivers Vintage will be have been open 2 years in the first week of July 2016.  Three Rivers Vintage is a boutique that specializes in all things fashion related from the 1870s to 1970s, including mens’ & women’s clothing, costume & estate jewelry, purses, shoes, sunglasses, hats, etc…  We like to call it “yesterday’s fashions for today’s fashionista”.


EONS – Richard Parsakian

11889648_10153654365014236_3166644496444164281_nWe buy and sell vintage clothing & accessories for men & women from the 1880’s through the 1980’s.


Lex & Lynne

Style Week Pittsburgh is poppin up all over the city

Check out photos from Style Week Pittsburgh‘s recent Pop Up Photo Shoot. Models were seen all over Downtown wearing designs from Diana Misetic, Lana Neumeyer, Toya Taylor, and Gina Mazzotta Millinery– all of which are being featured at events during the 3rd Annual Style Week Pittsburgh.  Photographs were taken by Juan Carlos Silva Photography.

Style Week Pittsburgh Style Week Pittsburgh Style Week Pittsburgh

Style Week Pittsburgh Style Week Pittsburgh

I.V. League Quarterly Fashion Meetup

720ivLeagueQ2You are invited to attend I.V. League Quarterly Fashion Meetup on Friday, Dec. 12th, 6-8 pm. Presented by 720 Instant Vintage, come and learn about Style Week Pittsburgh and how you can be a part of #SWP2015 from its Founder and Director, Wadria Taylor. Light refreshments will be served.

Style Week Pittsburgh Media Event

On Wednesday, July 23rd, Style Week Pittsburgh held a fabulous Private Media Event for its partners, sponsors, and vendors at The Cultural’s Elite in Downtown.