Shoes. Clothes. Good eats. Facials. Photo shoots. Smooth vodka.
Tonight, I had an opportunity to spend time with some of Pittsburgh’s fabulous fashion bloggers for a party with Maniac Magazine. We were able to preview the May/June 2012 issue.
The office is on Terminal Street off of the lower end of East Carson. It is a very starch loft with plenty of personality. The growing decor in the new location is by Morgan, a local furniture restorer, or “up-cycler” as she calls it. You can check out her local business Shabby Maggie.
The magazine itself isn’t like other fashion magazines that I have read. Most young women are familiar and accustomed to Vogue, In Style, Cosmopolitan and Mademoiselle. I personally don’t care for these magazines. Why? Because I feel detached from them. They seldom feature anything affordable or from stores that a Pittsburgh girl would have access to. So why bother with them?
I can honestly attest to Maniac Magazine being a worthwhile read for Pittsburgh women. It still contains the chic fashion spreads of a magazine like Vogue, but the content is more tangible and easy to relate to because it is about women, men and businesses in Pittsburgh. Why do I want to read about day spas in California when I live in Pennsylvania? I want to know where I can get a facial or a manicure in my own neighborhood. Maniac provides that.
The May/June issue features some of the wonderful women that I had the pleasure of meeting tonight. Among them are Sarah Straight, who owns the blog Coming Unstitched and Sierra Leon Starkes from the blog Before The Devil Wore Prada.
So, what does one do at a fashion blog party?
We were treated to drinks by White Diamond Vodka, owned locally by Mark Lucero. I’m not a vodka drinker due to all of the awful Vladimer and Bankers Club that I was exposed to in my early college years. Fellow blogger Natasha (The N Crowd) feels the same way, but honestly, it is extremely smooth. I was impressed and might be convinced to give vodka another try in life!
Harmony from Harmony Salon in Wexford gave me a free haircut and played around with all of our hair, showing off her trade. Extremely nice and talented woman. She was on the cover of Maniac a few years ago. I nabbed an issue to read up about her. That was one of the things I noticed as I flipped through all of the back issues. The articles are about Pittsburgh entrepreneurs. They are about people who are here within my reach.
Pittsburgh is a rapidly evolving city. It has successfully made itself over in just a few short decades and now maybe the fashion industry will be at our finger tips.
I was a unique presence at this event as a sports blogger, but the main reason I started this website was to show that fashion and sports can co-exist and that a woman doesn’t have to lose or throw away her femininity for the sake of being a sports fan. You CAN have both worlds. Is it okay to be a tom boy? Certainly. I was one for years. I lived in Adidas soccer shorts and t shirts. But then I befriended someone who I thought was my polar opposite. She was a cheerleader. She loved makeup and dresses and school dances and all of the things that didn’t jive with me and made me uncomfortable. Thirteen years later, she is still my best friend and helped me become more comfortable with being a woman. She didn’t try to change me, but let me see bit by bit the power that I have inside me once my confidence is out. (I love you, Stacy!)
She also taught me what I still recognized this evening in the white room: Being beautiful and appreciating fashion and makeup and facials (and high heels) doesn’t make you shallow. It doesn’t make you naive or fake or stupid. It doesn’t put you in a lower poll of women in society who are objectified by a patriarchal society.
They simply love to look good and feel confident when they do. The women (and men!) I met tonight were diverse and intelligent and weren’t only about clothes and shoes. They were working professionals and graduates of extremely prestigious schools who simply have a passion in life that they want to get out there. Why do I write this blog? Because I have a passion. Hockey and shoes are two things that make me happy and are very much a part of who I am. Because they are so important to my life, I am able to bring them together successfully.
The women in this room didn’t look down on me for blogging about sports (most were pretty die hard Pittsburgh sports fans themselves!). Instead, it was an opportunity for all of us to learn about one another’s interests, do some networking, and find out how we can all help one another be successful in our respective niches. I’ve shown that sports and fashion mesh and that will continue to be a talking point on the site! (And now, perhaps with some new guest bloggers!)
I encourage all of my readers to check out what these other bloggers have to offer and to read the magazine. It will change the way you look at a fashion magazine and give you some insight into the hidden treasures in our beautiful city.
Damaris from Faded Industry
Kristin from Bro Council