Fashion Week Struts into Syracuse

The week includes events that take place throughout the city

Lisa Butler promises that the Syracuse Fashion Week, happening April 9 to 12, will be something this city has never seen before. Not only will the event combine fashion, art, food and music (while benefiting the Food Bank of CNY) – it will also feature everything from body painting to magic tricks, burlesque dancers to nude sushi.

I went to the Rochester Fashion Week last year and was very inspired,” Butler says. “I got a glimpse of what they do and thought we could expand to include more events, runway shows, venues. If Rochester has a great one, Syracuse can too.

The week includes events that take place throughout the city, featuring different personalities and themes. The opening gala at the Landmark Theatre will be more traditional, with jazz and a red carpet. Thursday’s Underground Show at Marisa’s Fortress of Beauty will get grungy but chic, with a dirty rock n’ roll vibe. Friday will feature the biker attitude of the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que with a vintage twist, and Saturday’s shopping day will allow attendees to purchase pieces for their own daily fashion shows.

Runway shows will model everything from the fitness fashion of Lululemon to the biker accessories of Oil City Customs, and ticket sales will benefit the Food Bank of CNY.

It’s a natural connection,” Butler says. “Food and fashion. Everybody needs to eat. Everybody needs to wear clothes. They’re two of the three basic needs.

Butler started presenting fashion events in 2005, holding the first few at Ohm (now Benjamin’s on Franklin). Over the years, the event has grown in size and scope, now reaching a new level. “We’re blowing it out of the water this year,” Butler says.

She also notes the collaborative efforts of her team, including Anna Diaz and Shannon Fleming, who have helped take care of the various pieces of the very large and always moving puzzle. Hair, make-up, models, venues, music, vendors and more compose the long list of elements. Butler is grateful the pieces came together as well as they did, resulting in her ultimate goal: to bring people, companies and organizations together.


Shannon Fleming (R) applies makeup. Gloria Wright Photo | Syracuse New Times

We’re a small city,” she says. “Everybody knows everybody, and we all need to support each other. We need to come together. Businesses compete, but primarily my goal has been to bring different parts of our little Syracuse world together and make it a big collaboration. That’s what the best events always do. It’s not just one person doing one thing. No one wants that. I want a Syracuse Fashion Week.

1. Gala Opening: Wednesday, April 9, at The Landmark Theatre, 362 S Salina St., $40. Doors at 6 p.m.
– Music from: E.S.P. and Kirsten Tegtemeyer and Pax FX
2. The Underground Show: Thursday, April 10, at Marisa’s Fortress of Beauty, 220 Walton St., $25. Doors at 6 p.m.
– Music from: Jess Novak & Brian Golden and Pax FX
3. The Fashion Redux and Variety Show: Friday, April 11, at Upstairs at the Dinosaur, 246 W Willow St., $30. Doors at 5:30 p.m.
– Music from: Colin Aberdeen and Pax FX
4. Fashion Week Finale: Saturday, April 12, at Dey’s Centennial Building, 401 S. Salina St., suggested donation of $10. Noon.
– Music from: Pax FX and Just Joe

Shops featured: Inspired Designs, Showoffs, The Mr. Shop, Bounce, Frankie & Faye, Elsbeth Rose, Size Fabulous, Corii Esha, Oil City Customs, Lululemon, Fleet Feet Sports, The Changing Room, Spybaby, Cloud City, Size Fabulous, Junam Clothing, Nail Bang, Motives Cosmetics, Fantasy Fashions, Thirty-One Gifts, Modern Pop Culture, Dougherty’s Masquerade, Plato’s Closet, Oil City Customs, Tommy Brunett/Iron Smoke Apparel, Ally Alcot, Michele DaRin, Clothes Mentor.


Jessica Novak  is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse Goldring Arts Journalism Masters program, and covers music, entertainment and fitness for the Syracuse New Times. Follow her on twitter, HERE.

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