Designers dazzle during Fashion Week Pittsburgh |

Designers dazzle during Fashion Week Pittsburgh

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Gemma Sole, COO and Co-founder of Nineteenth Amendment
Richard Ramirez and Sean E. Matzus, of Fairchance, Fayette County, created the line MadRecital, an experimental clothing and accessories label. This is a piece from the collection.
Designer King Reld
Designer Anna Lemley
Dee Schlotter, Senior Marketing Manager of PPG Industries

Pittsburgh will be a little more stylish this week.

Fashion Week Pittsburgh kicks off its trio of events this year with The Social on Sept. 17, followed by The Panel on Sept. 19 and the finale, which is called The Runway, on Sept. 20.

For the third consecutive year, the Downtown Community Development Corp. (formerly the PDCDC) returns as organizer.

Dedicated to the evolution of industry and commerce, Pittsburgh Fashion Week aims to unite and promote the emerging fashion industry by presenting a fresh perspective on its talent.

Through the magic of Google

Richard Ramirezof Fairchance, Fayette County, discovered Pittsburgh Fashion Week through a Google search. Ramirez has been a fashion designer since 1997 and he wanted to stay involved in the style scene.

“I looked up what was going on around town in terms of the fashion scene, and I discovered Pittsburgh Fashion Week,” says Ramirez. “I submitted for it on the last day of the deadline. It was just by chance.”

He and his husband Sean E. Matzus will showcase their collection along with other designers in The Runway, a style show at the PPG Wintergarden.

“Our work fits in the realm of avant-garde fashion. It’s conceptual/wearable art,” Ramirez says. “We repurpose found garments and bring them back to life. We don’t like wasting things. We love vintage clothing and love reworking them. What we do are one-of-a-kind pieces. “

“We like to use unfinished hems, unraveling seams, rips and tears, etc. We like exposing the work within the garment,” he says.

Mad Recital is their experimental clothing and accessories label.

The latest collection was inspired by German dada artist Hannah Höch’s photomontage work. The artist’s techniques can be seen in the collection. Mad Recital’s PGHFW collection is dedicated to the memory of Marlane Matzus, Matzus’ mother, who passed away in March from cancer. She had given them garments to rework.

“So we made most of the collection from those pieces given to us,” Ramirez says.


More designers

Andre Jones

A multidisciplinary artist, Andre Jones brings his graphic artwork to the runway for the very first time. His collection is coolness personified mixed with street style. The brand pulls massive influence from pop culture, giving it a playful feeling, while maintaining runway chic and adventure. Inspired by the “working girls” of the inner city, the collection called “West End Girls” presents a modern approach to 1980’s streetwear.


Anna Lemley

Anna Lemley is a contemporary fashion designer based in Pittsburgh. Known for her minimalist aesthetic, she is inspired by silhouettes and the craft that goes into each individual garment. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, as well as The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, her designs are rooted in a passion for patternmaking and sewing.

Each garment exemplifies Lemley’s eye for detail and adoration for the apparel design process.


Bernice Yu

Royal, avant-garde, decadent. Bernice Yu is a Pittsburgh native currently attending Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland, pursuing writing and design. A lifelong lover of fashion, she values combining textile art, sustainable fashion, and bold and extravagant silhouettes. Her collection, YUX, is an embrace of fluid, decadent, androgynous presentation, intensified by extravagant accessories.


Elaine Healy x King Reld

Elaine Healy is a Pittsburgh-based luxury designer focused on the intersection of personal style and the avant-garde. Fascinated by the man-versus-machine aesthetic, her collections merge technical processes and hand-rendered techniques.

King Reld is a metalsmith and designer with a bachelor’s degree from Chatham University in Shadyside. Her work explores how expectations of beauty standards affect consumerist perspectives on luxury and high-end goods.

In their collaborative collection, they use shadow work and self-discovery to comment on body image and the social constraints that influence it. The duo explores hidden and “ugly” parts of people, hoping to illuminate flaws in a way that is accepting and safe.

Details: or

Lauria Pascuzzi

Lauria Pascuzzi is a Pittsburgh based avant-garde designer. She is known for her high fashion, edgy-yet-feminine looks and her collections’ deep connection with social and economic issues.

Her 2030 line is a spring 2019 evening wear collection inspired by gender equality and the progress of women’s rights. Each piece is styled and named after an influential woman who is working to bring forth change in the world. The name of the collection is inspired by WomenRising2030, an initiative launched by the business and sustainable development commission, which states “when women lead in business, there are broader, long-term benefits for the economy, society, and the environment.”


Oona Natesan

This minimal and modern clothing line uses highlights of embroidery to interpret contemporary cuts and styles with Indian textiles and fabric. The collection focuses on relevant topics such as sustainability, upcycling and the use of natural fiber. Natesan’s inspiration stems from using color as an expression, and by the gradual changing of seasons in India.


The Panel

Amanda Cosco

Founder of Electric Runway

One part geek and the other part chic, Cosco is a leading voice on the intersection of fashion and technology. Through her work, Cosco is committed to bridging the gap between these two seemingly opposite industries to help humanize technology and to help push the fashion industry into the future.

In addition to contributing to notable publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, The Toronto Star and Wareable, Cosco shares her insights through talks on both local and international stages. She has also made radio and TV appearances, including on CBC’s “The Goods” and TVO’s “The Agenda with Steve Paikin.”

She has been recognized as a top woman in wearable technology, as well as a key thinker on the future of fashion.

Gemma Sole

COO and Co-founder of Nineteenth Amendment

Sole is excited to be at the intersection of fashion, collaboration, technology and social enterprise. After starting a company in the caregiving space in Boston, she met her co-founder, designer Amanda Curtis, and went on to launch Nineteenth Amendment, an on-demand marketplace and manufacturing service for fashion made in the United States. With a background in consulting, venture capital and product development, she is used to playing many roles and figuring out how they fit together. Sole wants to see brands grow by bringing beautiful products to consumers who understand their value.

She was named one of Forbes’ top 30 under 30 in 2016 for retail and e-commerce and one of 25 influencers by the National Retail Federation in 2017.

Dee Schlotter

Senior Marketing Manager of PPG Industries

As the senior color marketing manager of PPG Architectural Coatings, North America, Schlotter is responsible for developing the color platforms for merchandising and professional specification tools for all PPG brands. She initiated and is a key member of the PPG Global Colour Styling Team that researches and forecasts colors for the global architectural market, in addition to the automotive, aerospace, consumer products and industrial markets.

JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

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