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Friday Fashion: Columbus strutting onto world stage with growing fashion scene

Courtesy of MCT

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The Ohio State fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu (Sammy) is having its first philanthropy fashion show Wednesday. When I heard about this event I started thinking about how these small-scale charity fashion shows seem to be growing in popularity in Columbus.

In the past year, the 2011 Columbus Fashion Week ended with a fashion show fundraiser benefiting Planned Parenthood. The Pelotonia bike tour kicks off with a fashion show fundraiser in August to benefit the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. All proceeds from next week’s Sammy fashion show will be donated to The Judy Fund, a component of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Fashion shows for charity seem to be gaining popularity in Columbus, and for obvious reasons. By promoting an organization in a philanthropic light, they gain a following from people they otherwise wouldn’t, and they have been well received by the local community. It is encouraging to see the positive impact fashion is making in our area, and good to see such a following.

Despite Limited Brands, Express, Abercrombie and Tween Brands being based locally, Columbus has never been widely known as “a fashionable city,” but it seems to be heading this way. With the young energy of OSU and the eclectic mix of the Short North, a new stylish dynamic seems to be emerging. Area fashion bloggers are gaining influence, and boutiques seem to be thriving.

It is nice to see this new fashion community partnering with start-up businesses to build brand awareness and donate to a worthwhile cause. Pursuit, the suit company that started in October 2011, is one of the sponsors that is providing clothes for the Sammy fundraiser. Rent the Runway, an emerging fashion company that allows high fashions to be rented for events, will also be providing outfits for the event’s models, which include Sammy men, sorority women and OSU athletes.

And style seems to be targeting unexpected groups in the area. Who would have ever expected college fraternity brothers to dawn the latest trends and strut a catwalk? I am excited to see this new twist and admire that organizations are finding a way to attract new people to their message while giving back to the community.

With charity fashion shows growing in popularity in Columbus, it is becoming evident that there is an interested audience. Is Columbus becoming more and more fashionable? It certainly seems so.

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