Seven inductees will be welcomed to Fashion Hall of Fame
Anyone who knows Gino Chiodo and Emilio Cornacchione sees them together more than apart. So, it’s not surprising the owners of Izzazu Salon, Spa & Serata would be inducted into the Pittsburgh Fashion Hall of Fame in the same class.
“These two guys are incredibly talented, and they will do anything for anybody,” says Arnold Zegarelli, who mentored them and now works for them. “They have accomplished so much in the beauty industry and in life. They are true Pittsburghers, and they know fashion and style. They’re like two halves of a pair of scissors. When they come together, they cut beautifully.”
The two met working under Zegarelli, a former Hall of Fame inductee, at Joseph Horne Co. Salon. In 2000, Chiodo and Cornacchione opened their first salon Downtown, and a second location in Wexford opened in 2008. They launched a hair-product line in 2003 and have appeared on the Home Shopping Network, Fashion Forward Network, Ideal World, TLC’s “A Makeover Story” and Fox’s “Ambush Makeover.”
“This is one of the most prestigious awards we can be given,” Chiodo says.
“It is so nice to be recognized,” Cornacchione says. “And it means a lot to us to be following Arnold into the Hall of Fame, because he has been our mentor in this beauty industry.”
They will be part of the sixth class to be inducted. It will occur at a luncheon Oct. 25 at the Omni William Penn, Downtown. Also in the class are style columnist and former evening-wear specialist Lisa Wagner Freeman, blogger Ashley Boynes-Shuck, designer James Houk and photographer Ahmad Sandidge. Nicole Dawn Widdowson, a fashion-show director and former model, will be honored with the exceptional artist award.
Nominees were evaluated based on the longevity and significance of their contributions in the general areas of fashion, style and beauty industries.
“It is so nice to see an eclectic group in this year’s class,” says Miyoshi Anderson, Pittsburgh Fashion Week executive director. “We have an informative blogger, an amazing photographer, two talented stylists, a chic style columnist, a national fashion designer, as well as a talented exceptional artist. It should be a wonderful event celebrating their achievements.”
When Hall of Fame committee chairwoman Diane Withrow called Widdowson about the award, she was excited and surprised.
“After the shock wore off, I thought to myself, ‘What do I wear?’” says Widdowson, a Harmony resident who grew up in Cranberry. “There are so many opportunities for designers and boutiques through Pittsburgh Fashion Week. We have so many hidden fashion gems right here in our city.”
Widdowson has been involved in fashion for 20 years, beginning as a model and later handling behind-the-scenes of runway shows. Her television credits include the Game Show Network’s “Get Schooled,” MTV’s “High School Stories” and television commercials. She is a certified Epic International pageant judge and is a fashion-show director for Wedding Clickers bridal shows, partnering with celebrities such as Monte Durham and Randy Fenoli of “Say Yes to the Dress,” David Tutera of “My Fair Wedding” and Kim Johnson of “Dancing With the Stars.”
Photographer Ahmad Sandidge, of Sandidge Photography Studio and Gallery in Friendship, says he is honored to be recognized.
“I just try to do the best I can with what I have in terms of my talent and my equipment,” says Sandidge of Homewood, who worked in New York City previously for magazines such as Essence, Ebony, Black Enterprise, Modern Black Male, Black Elegance, Ebony Male, Accessories and Black Hair.
It is important to have an event like this to recognize all aspects of fashion, says Wagner Freeman of Mt. Lebanon. Wagner Freeman brings a diverse fashion background from modeling for Gimbels, Joseph Horne Co. and Carl W. Herrman Furs. She was an evening-wear specialist at Saks Fifth Avenue and bridal specialist at Bridal Beginning. She is a style columnist for Examiner.com, contributor for AXS.com and founder of Pittsburgh Social Scene, an online magazine.
“Miyoshi has done an incredible job with Pittsburgh Fashion Week and is so well-respected in the industry, which is why it has continued to thrive for so long,” Wagner Freeman says.
Fashion has always been an interest of Boynes-Shuck of Green Tree, and she says she loves that she can pursue her dream here.
“Pittsburgh is well known in the film industry, and music and fashion have been well represented here,” she says. In addition to her fashion and pop-culture blog, Glitzburgh, she is a lifestyles reporter for the magazine Moves and author of the book “Sick Idiot.”
“There are so many opportunities right here in Pittsburgh. Fashion is inspiring, and I hope to inspire people,” Boynes-Shuck says. “Fashion comes in many forms and is an individual expression.”
James Houk, owner of Jet Street Design, which he created in 2004, is a fashion designer, illustrator and painter from Brookline, as well as a professional boxer. His line is sold in Barneys New York. His clients include Major League Baseball, The Museum of Modern Art and the U.S. Paralympic Team. His designs have appeared in major motion pictures, television and print. He has worked with celebrities from Beyonce to Lady Gaga.
“This is so wonderful,” Houk says. “In three days, I was contacted by New York Fashion Week, Los Angeles Fashion Week and Pittsburgh Fashion Week. It means a lot to be recognized in the city where I live. “
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at [email protected] or 412-320-7889.