PORTLAND -- There is no denying Portland has its own sense of unique style and fashion. That’s why, for the fourth year, retailers are sporting what's new for the season with Fall into Fashion on a trip across downtown.
It’s part of the ever-increasing fashion industry in a state when fashion can be a state of mind. Students from Northwest Academy are getting an early start into Portland’s fashion industry.
“Portland has an interesting fashion sense…lots of diversity,” said Olivia Chasteney at Northwest Academy.
“You got everything here man...whatever floats your boat,” said Jessiah Goodwin.
Portland’s fashion scene is thriving after the national Fashion's Night Out ended after three years.
Lisa Frisch, downtown retail program director for the Portland Business Alliance, said this is the first year under our own banner “Fall into Fashion.”
It’s a showcase for what's in style for fall and to salute Portland as a national fashion statement.
“You have sportswear. You have evening wear. You have day wear. You have everything for every Portlander,” said Fall into Fashion producer Kevin Lennox.
Director Park is the stage. Twenty five retailers supply the style.
“It brings all sorts of people that would not normally come downtown and we get to show off all of our new fall product,” said Brooks Brothers General Manager William Palmer.
For just one walk down the runway, it's an all day project. For some models, it's hours in hair and make-up and then off to wardrobe for fittings. It's got to be right. There are no second takes. Portland has become a magnet for designers.
“We are a hotbed for creative talent,” Lennox said.
The fashion industry--800 companies at last count-- contribute nearly $2 billion to the state’s economy, from designers to manufacturing, some 15,000 jobs.
“The athletic and outdoor industry is a focus industry in our region, and the Portland development commission helps to recruit and retain and grow those companies in our area,” Frisch said.
That’s a picture Portland hopes will continue to develop. Wednesday’s Fall into Fashion is also a fund raiser for Dress for Success. Participating stores will have drop-off boxes if you'd like to donate gently used professional clothing.