Friday, October 30, 2009

Local ‘fashionista’ delivers the denim

John Crotty to produce fashion show in Sun Valley

Express Staff Writer

Wood River High School senior John Crotty is producing a fashion show in Sun Valley as part of his senior class project. He plans to attend Miami International University of Art & Design next year. Photo by David N. Seelig

Shopping for clothes is a necessity for some, an art for others. Retail merchandising is about making people care about what they wear.

Wood River High School senior John Crotty will put his eye for fashion to work next Friday in Sun Valley.

"I wanted to do something creative within the fashion industry," said Crotty, who organized five retailers in the valley to participate in "The Denim Issue," a fashion show featuring apparel made from the ubiquitous fabric that made "Levis" a household word.

"Denim is my favorite article of clothing and a staple in every wardrobe," he said.

Crotty has spent four years working in fashion retail in the valley, at Paula's Dress Shop and at North and Co. Last year he attended a pre-college program in fashion merchandising at the Academy of Art Institute in San Francisco. The following summer he attended a one-week merchandising program at the Miami International University of Art & Design, where he will begin undergraduate studies this summer.

"We knew he was going to go into fashion soon after he started working here," said Lisa Abaid, who has worked alongside Crotty for almost three years at North and Co., a clothing store on Main Street in Hailey. "He told a lady, 'I love your Coach bag.' Most men wouldn't know what a Coach bag is if it sat on their head."

Abaid says that merchandising is a big piece of the retail puzzle. It includes all of the ways that articles of clothing are presented to the public, from window displays to advertising, to the way articles are folded when they go into a bag.

Apparently Crotty is quite good at it, especially when it comes to finding the right fit of jeans for a woman.

"In three tries he can find the jeans she should have been born wearing," Abaid said.

The fashion show will feature apparel from North and Co., Burnsie's, Urban Minx, Ketchum Dry Goods and The Brass Ranch.

In addition to organizing the event, Crotty produced three original advertisements for the fashion show.

"The Denim Issue," will take place Friday, Nov. 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Limelight Room at the Sun Valley Inn. Doors will open at 6 p.m. The cost is $10 or $5 plus a can of food. All proceeds from the show as well as food collected will be donated to the Blaine County Hunger Coalition.

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