Students work philanthropy fashion show

Fashion, it turns out, is a fighter.

As GW senior Catherine Pitcher walked down a lighted runway in a champagne-colored dress on Friday night, she was fighting poverty at the same time.

Pitcher was one of several GW students working both behind the scenes and modeling at the Fashion Fights Poverty show, an event designed to mitigate poverty in style.

The show, now in its third year, aims to educate consumers on ethical fashion choices and to help connect artisans around the world with those consumers. It was held Friday night at the Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square.

The show raised money for Aid to Artisans, an agency that connects artisans in 110 countries with the larger world market. It featured jewelry made by artisans connected with the agency and fashions by designers committed to eco-sustainability and community development. Last year the show raised $10,000, according to its Web site. Although the final amount has not been tallied, the goal this year was to raise $25,000.

Sean Wehrly, did not expect to continue modeling after he started college, but he has been involved in the show for three years, modeling and working behind the scenes. This year he worked on the set-up and design of Friday night’s show and coordinated with the designers.

Wehrly took the opportunity to move between the two elements of the event, but as the show drew closer he focused on calming himself for the runway.

“I love working behind the scenes and I love the runway,” he said, “It’s a fun, intense moment up there.”

While the show looked like many of other fashion events, those involved said they were drawn to working there because of the event’s unique message.

Wehrly said, “It’s a very dynamic concept. A lot of young people feel like they don’t have a lot of access to do their part to help.”

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