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Is Philly the Next East Coast Fashion Capitol?

Sponsors of the Philadelphia Collection, a 10-day series of events showcasing local style, hope so

Is Philadelphia the next East Coast fashion capitol?

That’s the hope of sponsors of the Philadelphia Collection, a 10-day series of events showcasing local designers and businesses.

"Last year’s inaugural Philadelphia Collection achieved astonishing results. Not only did it help drive business to the city’s retailers and designers, but it turned a spotlight on our style community and significantly strengthened Philadelphia’s presence on the map of having a healthy and robust retail and design industry,” said Melanie Johnson, Office of the City Representative. “The retail profile of Philadelphia has been raised and the city is attracting national and international retailers.”

The Collection has grown exponentially, encompassing two extra days and adding expert-led fashion seminars on topics like ethical design, entrepreneurship and fashion blogging. “With a year under our belt, the Philadelphia Collection will be more widely attended and known than the first year,” said Michelle Shannon of the Center City District. “This year, with the informational panels, we’re really getting at the business aspect of fashion, as well.”

Founded by the City of Philadelphia, the Center City District and the Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance, the Collection will run from September 12 to the 24, concurrently with Philadelphia Restaurant week. “Our growing fashion scene and exploding culinary scene feed each other,” said Shannon. “They attract the same types of people, so it’s a good match.”

Organizers hope the Collection will feed city coffers, as well. “Since this is only our second year, we’re hoping to gather information from surveys and studies on exactly how much money the event brings into the area,” said Johnson. “There was definitely a correlation between doing the first year and raising our profile as a fashionable city. The promotion and publicity from last year helped get us on Forbes.com,” who rated Philadelphia among the top 10 best shopping cities. New York was number 22.

But as far as competition with the fashion behemoth to the north, “Philadelphia has our own unique style,” Johnson said. “It’s not about competition, but letting people know what we offer as a city.”
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