A New "Pin" Unites Dallas Fashion World

by Scott Stiffler

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday July 11, 2008

Independent designers Rachel Nichelson and Julie McCullough Kim are determined to rejuvenate Dallas as the fashion mecca of choice between coastal juggernauts New York and Los Angeles. To claim that title, they've gathered dozens of established and emerging designers, photographers, models, make-up & hair artists, stylists and buyers.

The debut edition of The Pin Show 2008 took place Thursday at The Door (formerly the Gypsy Tea Ballroom), 2513 Main Street, Dallas. The Pin Show distinguishes itself from the style and mindset of other cities by showcasing work from independent Texas-based fashion and accessory designers who use material from in-state sources. "This is a way to help them launch their fashion lines as well as network with industry professionals, retailers and buyers; things they don't have access to by being independent," says co-founder and Executive Producer Julie McCullough Kim. In addition to the benefits it gives to participants, the public will also get the rare opportunity to purchase runway-fresh work months before it appears in the stores. McCullough Kim describes that opportunity as "a unique fashion experience that is generally reserved for high end designers and their clientele."

Using the cavernous space of its venue to full advantage, The Pin Show offers events on two stages. On the first stage, 26 designers showcased their Fall/Winter 2008 lines. Models will strut and pose on a runway "made of 100% sustainable forestry products." On the second stage, the public got a behind-the-scenes look as two photo shoots occur simultaneously. The resulting photos will be used in designer and model portfolios. After these two on-stage events, attendees were able to meet, greet, schmooze, mingle and network through the night and into the next day - while getting the chance to purchase items used in the shows.

"This is a way to help them launch their fashion lines as well as network with industry professionals, retailers and buyers; things they don't have access to by being independent," Julie McCullough Kim.

McCullough Kim hopes this event will give emerging talent the chance to make career-changing contacts with regional boutiques and buyers - whose purchases and word-of-mouth approval can take them from struggling obscurity to household name on the strength of a single well-received line. Asked to name a few designers to look out for, McCullough Kim praises the work of Lindsay Weatherread. Her company, L. Weatherread Design, launched in 2007 and is known for its distinctive organic cotton hand-dyed jackets. Weatherread will be showcasing her fall 2008 line as well as "her new fall and winter colors." Representing new artists is Oscar Fiera, whose presence at The Pin Show represents "his first major launch."

The Pin Show has already announced plans to hold similar events twice a year (September and February) beginning in 2009. For the curious public and discerning buyers, it promises to be a perpetual opportunity to see the best Texas-based fashions long before they make the journey from the store to your closet shelves.

Web site: www.thepinshow.com.

Scott Stiffler is a New York City based writer and comedian who has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy. His show, "Sammy's at The Palace. . .at Don't Tell Mama"---a spoof of Liza Minnelli's 2008 NYC performance at The Palace Theatre, recently had a NYC run. He must eat twice his weight in fish every day, or he becomes radioactive.