By Thaddeus Govan
ABOVE PHOTO: Designer Ron Wilch (l) and Brooks Brothers Marketing exec. Tom Cooke attend the announcement for Philadelphia Collection 2011.
(Photo: Thaddeus Govan)
Any time Ron Wilch and Tom Cooke come together at 11AM on a Thursday morning, you have to know something significant is up. The two very stylish, dapper gentlemen were at the announcement reception for “The Philadelphia Collection 2011.” This event, which was inaugurated in 2010, will showcase Philadelphia’s more stylish side, something that one would have to say is probably much needed.
Melanie Johnson, of the Office of the City Representative says “it was a no-brainer to bring The Collection back this fall. Last year’s inaugural achieved astonishing results. Not only did it help drive business to the city’s retailers and designers, but it turned a spotlight on our style community and significantly strengthened Philadelphia’s presence on the map of having a healthy and robust retail and design industry.”
The Philadelphia Collection will show off and celebrate all things fashion, and includes independently-produced events already on the city’s style calendar as well new events which are designed to enrapture the public at large
Ron Wilch, an internationally recognized tailor from Philadelphia is fully on board. He says that the event will not only showcase Philly as the “fashionista” town that it is, but will also bring some more attention to his FashionLab concept. Fashion Lab, which is a product design, marketing, and training agency has been gaining ground in New York, and he says “it’s going nationwide.” Even though he already has national exposure, The Philadelphia Collection may be his ace in the hole. Philadelphia it seems has surpassed New York as one of America’s mecca shopping cities, according to Forbes Magazine. “Earlier this year, Philadelphia was named one of America’s top 10 shopping cities by Forbes” said Michelle Shannon VP of Marketing and Communications for Center City District. “As our retail and design talent continue to strengthen and flourish, it’s important to showcase and step up the visibility of these individuals and businesses, and we feel that the Collection does just that.”
Tom Cooke, a retail marketing genius with Brooks Brothers knows a thing or two about fashion marketing. Having owned a successful high-end men’s haberdashery on Walnut St, his outlook for the Collection is equally upbeat. He says, “This will be fantastic.”
This unique event will coincide with the Center City Restaurant Week which is presented by TD Bank. Bringing some needed synergy to the city as a whole, restaurants all over the city will be able host fashion events, and offer discounts and specials as well. All of this will be announced on September 8th at a press conference held on Fourth and Bainbridge St, which is the home of Philadelphia’s Fabric Row.
Main sponsors and supporters of The Philadelphia Collection 2011 are the City of Philadelphia, the Center City District, the Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance, Philadelphia Style Magazine, Arrow Swim Club, and MY 106.1 FM. Additional support comes from Apple Store Walnut Street, Ballard Spahr, Expressions Model and Talent Agency, FBH The Agency, Hotel Palomar, Reinhard Model and Talent Agency, The Rittenhouse Hotel, Skai Blue Media, Sofitel Hotel, and Wilhelmina Models.
A complete list of all events will be available at www.thephiladelphiacollection.org. Join the conversation on twitter @philacollection and facebook.com/thephiladelphiacollection