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UI students bring runway fashion to IC

BY CARLY HURWITZ | NOVEMBER 10, 2011 7:20 AM

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A collection of 15 collaborative looks, such as a tuxedo-style little black dress by Theory paired with tights and heels from a local Iowa City boutique, will make up tonight's Rent the Runway fashion show.

The show will begin with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. followed by the runway show at 7 p.m. today at the Library Nightclub, 113 E. College St. Admission is free.

The event is meant to demonstrate how to personalize brand-name fashion with accessories from local and affordable retailers in Iowa City.

"We are trying to reach out to downtown local establishments," said UI student Amanda Kay, a public-relations representative for Rent the Runway. "It is really cool to mix a high-end name with a local name."

Rent the Runway has a team of six students, including Kay, who represent the business at the University of Iowa. The company is a website that allows fashionistas to rent designer garments for 10 percent to 15 percent of the retail price. The clothes and accessories may be rented for four- or eight-day periods, and there are more than 150 top designers with thousands of items.

Dulcinea, 2 S. Dubuaue St., is one of the downtown stores supplying accessories for the show. Sandra Navalesi, who has owned Dulcinea for 16 years, said her clothing targets women of all ages. It is important to her to support local events and gain exposure, she said.

"[We want to] provide fun and wearable clothing, current trends, but also allow for personal expression and creativity," Navalesi said.

Ann Asby, the owner of Lorenz 2.0, 132 S. Clinton St., will lend boots, heels, and jewelry to the models walking in this show. The store sells jewelry by 10 local designers, and a some of their work will complete looks at Rent the Runway.

"It sounded like a good opportunity to get our merchandise out there in front of people," Asby said. "Hopefully, they have a lot of people at the event, and they will see something that they like and want to come to the store."

Kay said that the program has grown from just 50 college campuses to 125 schools that now have representatives for Rent the Runway. It is a great idea for women who are into fashion but live on a college budget, because it is affordable and easy.

"It's not just renting a dress for something formal; they have categories such as New Year's Eve and day party," Kay said. "It is a Cinderella type of moment [to be able to wear these designers' clothes]."
Megan Grote, the manager of the UI Rent the Runway representatives, said one of the group's main goals was to make sure it benefits the community.

The show is about featuring the designers' different aesthetic qualities but also about promoting local businesses' names and showing what they have to offer.

Other businesses contributing to the runway show include La' James International College, 227 E. Market St., and the international makeup company Lancome.

"A lot of businesses have been more than willing to contribute," said Grote, a Daily Iowan staffer. "The girls will remember a look they saw and want to go into the store and buy it from the business."


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