West 18th Street Fashion Show Kickoff Event Features Panel of Seamstresses from Kansas City's Garment District Heyday

On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past. Seamstresses from the Garment District’s 20th-century heyday share their stories with fashion show co-executive producer Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Program: 
6:30 pm
Event Audio
RSVP Required

Program: 6:30 p.m. • Reception Follows

On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City’s fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past – to the golden age of the 20th century when more than 150 garment design and manufacturing companies boasted a workforce of more than 5,000.

A panel of seamstresses from the Garment District heyday—Cherry Barthel, Sarah Guillen, Loretta Ortiz, Catalina Reyes, and Fatma Konyalioglu—sit down with Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the co-executive producer of this year’s fashion show, to share their unique stories. It was their skill and work ethic that powered the Garment District, and they serve today as a valuable resource for the growing number of individuals making a living in Kansas City’s fashion community.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library and the West 18th Street Fashion Show.

Image: Designer / Tara Light and Photographer / Doppleganger

Tue, 06/02/2015
Courtney Lewis,816.701.3669
West 18th Street Fashion Show Kickoff Event Features<br> Panel of Seamstresses from Kansas City's Garment District Heyday

(Kansas City, Missouri) - On the eve of the annual West 18th Street Fashion Show, Kansas City's fashion industry harkens back to its illustrious past - to the golden age of the 20th century when more than 150 garment design and manufacturing companies boasted a workforce of more than 5,000.

A panel of seamstresses from that Garment District heyday sits down with Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer, the co-executive producer of this year's fashion show, to share their unique stories on Friday, June 12, 2015, at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m., and a reception follows.

Lapka Pfeifer has searched the city for surviving Garment District employees. The five seamstresses on the panel—Cherry Barthel, Sarah Guillen, Fatma Konyalioglu, Loretta Ortiz, and Catalina Reyes—represent the skill and work ethic that powered the Garment District. And they serve today as a valuable resource for the growing number of young seamstresses, tailors, and designers now making a living in Kansas City's fashion community.

The West 18th Street Fashion Show, the city's largest runway event, will showcase the collections of more than two dozen local designers on Saturday, June 13. It is held outdoors in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District.

The kickoff event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Public Library and the West 18th Street Fashion Show.

Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th and Baltimore.

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