Syracuse Style fashion show entertains crowds at fifth annual event

The fashion week vibe is in the air as designers and enthusiasts get together for the Syracuse Style fashion show in Armory Square on Thursday.

Syracuse fashionistas swarmed Armory Square’s Walton Street on Thursday night, when the fifth annual Syracuse Style fashion show unveiled this fall’s must-have looks.

The Syracuse Style fashion show, which was awarded an International Downtown Association achievement award last year, featured 18 local boutiques and designers showcasing men’s and women’s fall fashions, accessories and jewelry. There was no lack of diversity in this year’s ensembles: While some models graced the runway in sophisticated, mod dresses, others rocked edgy top hats and retro plaid skirts.

Photo: Jingyu Wan
A model finalizing her hair and makeup backstage for the Syracuse Style fashion show.

But Syracuse Style is more than an ordinary fashion show – it’s a full-fledged party.

Event coordinator Lisa Marie Butler said it’s the camaraderie of the Syracuse Style fashion show that made the night one for the books. She said people have finally realized that downtown Syracuse is “a place to be,” and said she thinks the space is a perfect venue for community events.

“Because we bring this event downtown, every restaurant (and) bar is full. So it’s more than just fashion,” Butler said. “It’s very much the downtown community, getting together for a real street party.”

The Downtown Committee of Syracuse and Syracuse Fashion Week presented the trendy, free fashion event. Patrons could purchase $50 VIP tickets for access to a preshow party at Empire Brewery, food, drinks and the best seats in the house. New to this year’s show were high-top “street seats,” located only inches from the runway. The exclusive package also included a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine from Owera Vineyards and a gift bag for $160.

The models weren’t the only ones to bring their A-game. People of all ages and genders crowded the street, decked out in their finest outfits to show off their unique styles. The sound of stilettos hitting concrete echoed through Armory Square while men and women gathered around the runway, beer in hand, eagerly waiting for the show to start.

Syracuse University alumnus Michael P. O’Shea joked, “Most of the time they ask me to model.” 

Nicole Sheider, a former Syracuse Style model, said she experienced Syracuse Style for the first time in the audience and off the runway. After seeing the event from the other side, she said it’s the models who make the show so unique.

“I really like the camaraderie that all of the models have with each other,” she said. “It’s not at all catty, like other runway shows.”

The boutiques and designers featured in this year’s Syracuse Style included: Accents of Armory Square, Better, Bounce, The Changing Room, Eureka Crafts, Georgio’s, Indie Kids, Ish Guitars, Kenn Kushner Designs, Koolakian’s Menswear, lululemon athletica, Michelle DaRin Jewelry, Midnight Sun, Modern Pop Culture, Mr. Shop, New York Optometric, Projex 214 and Showoffs Boutique.

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