Our Ohio Success Stories, Revisited

Of all the fashion articles, in all the online women’s magazines, in all the Internet, I found another Youngstown blogger who wrote about Nanette Lepore this past fall. While perusing Glamour’s Slaves to Fashion blog last night, I found this article about Youngstown’s favorite fashionista and her “Made in the USA” values. It includes photos from inside her NYC Garment District studio and factory, where all of her pieces are designed and assembled.

I want this dress in my closet, stat.

I wish I knew how to wear these colors! (Photo from Glamour article.)

I posted a comment about how I’m sure Ms. Lepore’s work ethic is a reflection of her Rust Belt roots, and posted a link for Joni’s article featuring the fashion designer. This afternoon when I went to see if anyone had replied to my comment, I found two lovely surprises: 1. Nanette Lepore is bringing her line to JCPenney (although, it’s a junior’s line, which I read as, “Not so much for you, curvy girl” —  however, accessories like bags and necklaces are one size fits all!); and 2. Someone had responded to my comment! Natasha, another Youngstowner, posts about fashion on her blog, Cardigancouture. It turns out, she also wrote a post last fall about this hometown success story. What are the odds? Anyway, I highly suggest you check her out. Her most recent post about brightly colored denim is a a territory I’m not sure I could ever approach, but I love her creative suggestions!

Last fall, I also wrote a post about my personal favorite Ohio success story: a little rock and roll band from Columbus, Ohio, called Red Wanting Blue. Well, the day I’ve been waiting for since the start of last semester is just about here. Tomorrow, they will be performing at the first Penguin Pre-Party at YSU, and I have to try to not turn into a total fan girl.  Yesterday, the band released the first music video to accompany their new album. Their song, “Audition,” is a remade version of the same song which appeared several years ago on one of their early albums. The structure and sound are still generally the same, which just goes to show that this fan favorite is a solid tune. At live performances, they add in a throwback to Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” (do, do do, do do, do-do-do…). And speaking of those live performances, tomorrow also kicks off a 3 concerts in 9 days streak for myself, my sister, and her fiance. Though they can’t make it tomorrow night, we’re all going to Cedar’s this Saturday night for their show. I also bought Carmen and Josh tickets to their House of Blues show in Cleveland for next Saturday. Like I said in my original post, not all people can afford to go see their favorite band multiple times a year, and its even more unlikely that their favorite band makes multiple appearances in the same region in a year.

Here’s the video for “Audition,” filmed at the Newport Music Hall in Columbus. They asked for fans to send in the videos they took that night of the performance to be included in the video. I think it turned out pretty well.

Red Wanting Blue – Audition (Official Music Video) from Red Wanting Blue on Vimeo.

A Fashionable Youngstown Success Story

Youngstown, Ohio doesn’t have the best reputation. We’re the city you see on the national news for high murder rates, poverty, the closure of steel mills, and the (now thankfully gone — well, as far as I know) mafia.

The truth is, though, that Youngstown has a lot of positive things going for it. The cost of living is low, there are beautiful outdoor spaces (Mill Creek Park), we’ve got some wonderful museums — like the Butler Institute of American Art and the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor — and we have some great Youngstown success stories.

The Butler Institute of American Art, established in 1919, was the first museum devoted to American art. It is free and open to the public.

One of those success stories is fashion designer Nanette Lepore. Not only was Lepore born and bred in Youngstown, but she also attended Youngstown State University, us Dames’ dear collegiate alma mater.

Photo copyright nanettelepore.com - No infringement intended.

Lepore has been a fashion staple for over a decade, both in New York and around the world. Her designs, which are beautiful, feminine, and easy to wear, are worn by celebrities and non-celebrities alike — and you don’t need to be a millionaire to buy them. Her designs are what made her famous, but also noteworthy is the work she has done to help save New York City’s Garment District and keep fashion-related jobs in the United States. Lepore is a home-run for American fashion and for Youngstown.

Her Spring 2012 collection debuts tomorrow (Wednesday, Sept. 14th at 11am) during New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.