Downtown Crossing, the shopping hub, will soon host runway fashions running through the streets.
Boston Fashion Week will host an outdoor fashion show Wednesday in support of the Downtown Boston Business Improvement District. The Open Runway event is free and open to the public, said Jay Calderon, founder and executive director of Boston Fashion Week, a longtime initiative to celebrate and showcase designers from the New England area.
It expects 30-plus designers to send one to three of their designs to the runway. Both students and professionals are invited to participate; Registration required, but free. To encourage new talent of all levels to showcase their work, Calderin contacted local colleges, including the School of Fashion Design and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Boston Fashion Week’s website describes the event as “an open mic night for singers and comedians.”
“One year, we had a 14-year-old whose father helped her create her first collection and [a] a 74-year-old local designer,” said Calderin. He explained that participants should not work in the fashion industry, citing another former participant, an elderly woman who showed off her sweaters on the runway.
George Comeau, the BID’s director of marketing, said the airport fair has previously attracted 200-250 audience members.
“It’s important to support young artists and designers. [The show is] It’s also incredibly accessible and diverse.” “We have a lot of designers of color. We have a lot of underserved communities. [and] Individuals who have not had the opportunity to participate in a fashion show. It’s a great place to showcase your work and art.”
Calderin and a panel of three other industry experts will comment on the event. While the event is a Boston Fashion Week initiative, the organization’s 29th annual BFW will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 7, with a full program lineup across the city. But the open runway is a preview of what’s to come.
“Boston Fashion Week is a little different than other cities because it’s a civic initiative,” Calderin said. “The whole idea is to build community and provide access both ways. [The Open Runway event gives] Public access to designers and our great local fashion scene and access to diverse talent to the public.
Open runway fashion show. May 24, noon; Rainy day, May 31, free. Stairs at Franklin and Washington Ave., 1 Franklin St. bostonfashionweek.com
Maddie Browning can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.