Pittsburgh Fashion Week returns with new ownership

Henry Rothschild hopes Pittsburgh Fashion Week will continue to shine like the diamonds he sells in his boutique.

The CEO of Diamonds by Rothschild in Downtown Pittsburgh is the new leader of the annual style event.

“We are so proud to be the new owners, managers and producers of Pittsburgh Fashion Week,” Rothschild said. “There is a natural alignment between my company, Diamonds by Rothschild, and Pittsburgh Fashion Week, so our plan is to use our corporate platform, business, fashion, style expertise, and our commitment to sustainability to expand the (Pittsburgh Fashion Week) event platform.”

Instead of a full week of scheduled events, Rothschild decided for his inaugural year to start with one fashion show on Friday night at The Wintergarden at PPG, Downtown.

It will feature designers showcasing looks worn by models from Pittsburgh-based Docherty Model and Talent Agency.

Monroeville resident Deisja Williams is one of the designers. She will feature a collection of five dresses. Other participating designers are Emily Rouse, Starr Thomas, Brian David Thompson, Suz Pisano, Bradford Mumpower, Michael Kouri and Malcolm Staples.

“I’m so thankful for the foundation that Pittsburgh Fashion Week builds for us creatives,” Williams said. “Their commitment to community bridges the gap in opportunity, which truly encourages creative growth, not only in our city, but also in surrounding regions, as well.”

Most of Williams’ garments are made from sustainable materials because she promotes a zero waste lifestyle.

Sustainability is also a focus for Rothschild, a native of New Orleans, La. He said it is essential and utilizes a similar philosophy in his diamond business.


Courtesy of Henry Rothschild

Henry Rothschild, CEO of Diamonds by Rothschild, located in the Clark Building in Downtown Pittsburgh is the new owner of Pittsburgh Fashion Week.


Rothschild worked with his dad from 2003-2005 at Rothschild Diamonds and then started his own company in 2005. Retail Jewelers Cooperative worked to strengthen independent jewelers’ diamond buying capabilities.

In 2010, he pivoted to focus on establishing a sustainably sourced diamond pipeline through recycling for independent jewelers, which further improved margins for independents. Through this company, he became more involved in the diamond market, eventually forming the Rothschild Trading Company as a full-fledged supplier.

Today, Diamonds by Rothschild focuses on sustainably sourced recycled diamonds and is a vertically integrated diamond supplier and manufacturer that retails engagement rings, loose diamonds, pendants, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.

At Friday’s show, he is partnering with his sisters to introduce a jewelry line called Fierce.

Rothschild acquired the trademark for Pittsburgh Fashion Week a few months ago, which was under the umbrella of Pittsburgh Fashion Alliance.

“This is Henry’s time to shine and be in the spotlight,” said John Valentine, executive director of Downtown Neighbors Alliance, a non-profit organization that is also under the umbrella of Pittsburgh Fashion Alliance. “I wish him all the best. I will always be passionate about Pittsburgh Fashion Week and support events happening in this wonderful city.”


Courtesy of Acrobatique Creative

A modal rehearses for the Pittsburgh Fashion Week runway show, which will be held on Sept. 15 at PPG Wintergarden, Downtown.


Rothschild said he is looking to partner with area boutiques and designers to continue to strengthen the relationships in the fashion community. He plans to enhance the event lineup with new and elevated programming.

“The goal of Pittsburgh Fashion Week is to be the conveyor of fashion and foster the growth of the Pittsburgh Fashion community through various fashion shows, community events, artist spotlights and fashion networking events,” Rothschild said. “Our goal is to also ensure that diversity and inclusion is represented on the stage and behind the scenes. We are connecting with local universities, colleges, trade schools and high schools to foster education through our (Pittsburgh Fashion Week) mentorship program.”

He wants to create opportunities to continue to grow the event and is considering incorporating technology in some way.

“Pittsburgh is such a high-tech, innovative city,” he said. “We have Carnegie Mellon University right here and so many other great universities and technology companies. Don’t be surprised if you see a robot at Pittsburgh Fashion Week some time.”

The Pittsburgh Fashion Week show begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Wintergarden at PPG, Downtown Pittsburgh. A VIP experience includes a champagne reception, light appetizers and an open bar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. There will also be an open bar after the show. Guests can meet the designers.

Tickets are $150 for VIP, $90 for general admission and $25 for students and standing room only and are available here.

Details: pghfw.com

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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