‘Montclair Fashion Show’
Sunday, Sept. 17, 4-8 p.m.
Benefiting SAVE of Essex and S.O.F.I.A.
Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St.
By ANTOINETTE MARTIN
For Montclair Local
At last year’s Montclair Center fashion show at the Wellmont Theater, Israel Cronk nearly stopped the show: The Business Improvement District’s executive director modeled a kilt. (Note to non-fashionistas: men in skirts were ultra-ultra cutting edge in 2016.)
The fashion show will raise awareness and funds for SAVE of Essex, a rape prevention and resource center, and S.O.F.I.A., a domestic violence resource centers, both headquartered in Montclair.
The BID director said he wore the kilt last year partly to show solidarity with women who have been helped by the services of SAVE and S.O.F.I.A.
At this year’s event, on Sunday, Sept. 17, there will be three live runway shows. BID bills the eighth annual fashion event as “bigger, better, and more.”
For the first time, the event is named a fashion show, not a fashion night.
Local and area retailers and designers will offer ready-to-wear, active wear, evening, men’s and avant-garde looks. Tickets are available at participating boutiques and at Eventbrite.com.
Those in the VIP seats will get swank swag bags with Paul Mitchell curling irons and flat irons with a retail value of $100.
All the models will be local. Some boutique owners are modeling their own looks. Others will feature favorite customers wearing their fashions.
Jenna Davis, owner and buyer for That Little Black Dress on Bloomfield Avenue, said she was working on a casual and a dressier outfit for this year’s show. “It’s always terrific advertising for us,” Davis said.
Jessica Arismendy Crawford, owner of Aris Couture Boutique, in business for a year now in a second-floor space on Glenridge Avenue, will be one of her own models and intends to be this year’s showstopper. “I definitely want to try the avant-garde,” Crawford said.
“It’s going to be a surprising cross-over look and it will blow everyone away.” Her shop, which features “affordable luxury” priced $99 and under, will also send a casual look to the runway worn by Jessica’s sister, Maya Crawford, a 16-year-old Montclair Kimberley Academy student.
This year’s event also includes a hair show, jewelry models, dance and aerial acrobatics from local dance companies and Air Studios of Hoboken. Special guest DJ Prince Hakim Bell will spin music during the entire event.
Mara Gourdine, Paul Mitchell’s corporate culture ambassador, will be host for the Montclair Fashion Show. Gourdine serves as a spokesperson for the environmentally friendly, cruelty-free company at public functions.
Local restaurants will provide free food for guests.
The fashion event has been growing each year, Cronk said. The first year it drew 200 people, and last year, the seventh annual show drew 1,200 people.
“This is all about being a charity event,” Cronk said. “We want to raise awareness, have fun with a little bit of glamour, but also show we are rooted in the community and doing good for our people.”