By Rory O’Sullivan –
Fashionista’s from all over the Inland Empire recently converged on Downtown Riverside to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out.
The event drew a crowd of about a thousand people according to coordinator Natasha Ferguson. Fashionista Aileen Prince of Moreno Valley said she was big into fashion having been a former model. Prince enjoyed being able to come to Riverside to enjoy an evening of fashion instead of driving to Los Angeles.
Fashion’s Night Out was a worldwide event with fashion shows being held all over the world from “Manhattan, to Milan, Atlanta to Australia,” according to their website.
The day was “intended to restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy and put the ‘fun’ back in shopping,” according to their website.
Forgotten Treasures owner Maria Pineda said, “It helps us because we can bring our merchandise out and they can buy our products.” Her collection of vintage shoes, hats, jewelry, and lamps, did make a strong fashion statement.
The event also included handmade jewelry, artisan items, apparel, shoes and more for sale, as Main St. between University and Mission Inn became “Fashion Alley.”
The fashion show was the main event of the night and was put on by The Art Institute of California-Inland Empire, included everyday wear like jeans, blouses and shirts to evening wear which included gowns, suits, and ties. “I think it would be great if they could keep it here,” said model Amber Schmeltz. “Everyone was really nice and the clothes were fantastic to wear.”
Local retailers including Toni Moore Clothing and Boyd’s on Main provided clothes for the fashion show.
Students from AIS who volunteered for the event also benefited by gaining experience in their field. “It helps to connect with people,” said fashion design student Jaza Piper “it helps us throughout our careers.”
Ferguson was thrilled with the turnout of the event. She was also pleased with the enthusiasm of the crowd.
Ferguson hopes that this event will show that locals can have a great time without having to drive to far.
“We do events like this to show you can have a great time right here in Downtown Riverside.”