PARK PLAZA HOTEL – BOSTON. The stars were shining bright in the Back Bay during the Retail and Luxury Goods Club’s 10th Annual Fashion Show on November 15th. A longstanding tradition at HBS, the Fashion Show features 40 students who showcase the latest trends and styles from top designers to raise money and awareness for a local charity. With over 450 attendees and 12 designers, the Fashion Show this year raised over $5,000 for the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), an organization helping to eliminate hunger in Eastern Massachusetts. The event was at full capacity, with standing-room only seating and overflow on both balconies overlooking the runway in the Grand Ballroom. Energy levels were high as Priya Karve and Ariel Troy, the lead organizers, welcomed the spectators and ushered in the models for the start of the hour-long show.
As the lights dimmed, Matija Pecotic (Section D, MBA 2019) and Josephine Van Leeuwen (Section E, MBA 2019), both donning Ted Baker wardrobes, opened the 2017 show to heart throbbing music and flashing lights. Pecotic reflected on opening this year’s fashion show, “There was a lot of energy backstage, but I had a great partner with me to help calm nerves, so we were just excited to get out there! I think we were mostly just focused on not tripping down the stairs.” EC fashion show veteran, Eric Chavez (Section I, MBA 2018), also chimed in on his second consecutive year as a model, “As an RC, walking down the runway was nerve-wracking because I didn’t know what to expect or how the crowd was going to react. But I remember as soon as I stepped out, I felt the energy and cheers from my section which immediately put me at ease – I knew I had to do it again!
It felt great this year to pass the torch to the RCs, and of course, I loved the excuse of wearing the freshest threads and feeling like a star!”
On stage, a large screen displayed the designer’s logo and models appeared from backstage from both sides of the stage – some solo, some partnered. With spectators perched on the floor and in the balcony of the Grand Ballroom, the runway glistened while extending into the middle of the crowd. One after the other, HBS models began to strut and dance their way down the runway as they posed for pictures to adoring fans holding signs, and of course, raucous sectionmates. In the back of the Grand Ballroom, spectators were offered various food and drink options and the chance to participate in “bougie” silent auctions.
But the night really began to heat up when the Naja swimsuit line was introduced. Julia Cormier (Section E, MBA 2018) led off the swimsuit segment of the show in stunning fashion. Shortly thereafter, floaties, roses and props not seen since The Yacht Week appeared one-by-one on the runway before being thrown and volleyed amongst the crowd. After the big finish, confetti fell and the runway turned into one big dance party.
“TOGETHER LET’S END HUNGER HERE”
The Fashion Show ended up donating over $15,000 for largest hunger-relief nonprofit organization in the Northeast. According to the organization, every $1 provides 3 meals for local families in need, with roughly $0.92 per dollar going directly to feeding families. In 2016, GBFB raised $15.5 million and distributed 48.1 million meals (82% of which met the highest nutrition standards). The organization serves 140,000 residents of Eastern Massachusetts each month. With the holidays coming up, it is a great time to make a donation to this important cause. For more information, please visit: www.gbfb.org.
The first designers featured were Ted Baker and David Reiss (majority owned by Warburg Pincus), stunning UK-based brands specializing in clothing and accessories for both men and women. The British brands were followed up by New York City-based Steven Alan, a line of ready-to-wear colorful plaids and striped pieces, including the signature “Reverse Seam” button-down, chinos and cotton dresses.
The next segment of the fashion show featured a series of three women’s brands: Reformation, Parker and Alice + Olivia. Reformation, based in Los Angeles, was created in 2009 by Yael Aflalo, and focuses on eco-friendly garments sourced from sustainable fabrics by suppliers who incorporate the highest level of professional standards within their business practices. Parker, a New York brand, designs flirty dresses, on-trend tops, luxe jackets and sequined gowns for women looking for that city-cool edge. Alice + Olivia, which you can find on Newbury Street, designs an assortment of women’s apparel and accessories including handbags.
The formalwear segment concluded with suits and sportscoats from the well-known men’s brands of Brooks Brothers and Hugo Boss. After came BHLDN, Anthropologie’s bridal line, which led into the final swimwear segment that featured bathing suit and swim truck lines from Naja, Meltemi Mykonos and Onia.
There were also some HBS student designers looking to market their brand and support the local charity. On hand was entrepreneur Pierre Thys (Section J, MBA 2018) who owns and operates Pierre Henry Socks (www.phsocks.com), a luxury dress sock company designed for men. Pierre told us about how important bringing his brand to the HBS Fashion Show was: “The fact that there is no better platform to find a group of diverse, well-suited models that could showcase my product the way I wanted to is why I had to be there. From models dancing to beats to walking with rolled up pants showing off socks, we got the best shots of HBS rocking PH Socks!” Rumor has it PH Socks has had an uptick in orders post fashion show.
ICON AFTER PARTY
I must give credit to Section D – they win the award for longest and loudest cheers that really underscore the ethos of section spirit (pretty sure Section H was a close second though). In any case, after the confetti fell, models and spectators alike crashed the runway to dance and celebrate the successful event. After pictures and a few drinks, the entire group migrated over to ICON Nightclub where a line formed at the entrance of the club and Ralph Lauren goodie bags slowly accumulated and decorated the back of the nightclub. Students danced the night away in what was easily one of the better HBS parties this year. I think the rest of the night is best left to imagination, but overall it was a spectacular evening. Kudos to the RGLC for putting on such a fun and impactful event!