The 1st of July, local fashion brand Hyde cabinet and District Fray Magazine are partnering to bring an annual event to life – Hyde’s Designer Pitch will showcase emerging fashion designers and serve as a platform to help young professionals across the DMV region take ownership of their personal style and grow. dress with more confidence for all occasions.
The event will also be presented in partnership with Georgetown Corporate Laboratories.
At the inaugural event, models will present each designer’s fashion designs and business to three judges, Karen Videtic, Indira Gumarova and Robert Kinsler — a trio that strikes the balance between experience and perspective that Hyde Closet coveted when he began imagining this event – which will crown a winner. The award – an opportunity to insert their designs into Hyde Closet’s clothing rental inventory and introduce themselves to its large and growing customer base.
There’s a growing national trend of men seeking help to upgrade their wardrobes and experiment with their fashion choices. It’s opened the door for brands like Hyde Closet to step in to provide welcome advice and streamline what can be a scary and uncertain process – constantly defining and evolving, your personal brand to respond at all times.
For Hyde, his slogan “Rent the Clothes, Own the Look” is more than a gimmick. It is meant to create a lasting sense of empowerment for its community.
The Designer Pitch, a unique avenue through which the fledgling brand aims to “pivot and grow”, is the brainchild of Hyde Closet’s content strategy director, Marie Gloss, who counts drawing and painting among her hobbies. designing fashion looks and creating art. The idea took root three months ago, when Hyde began partnering with Doncel Brown of Typo Generation – a collaboration that changed their thinking about how and where they source inventory.
“We realized how valuable it is to have these up-and-coming designers [available]says Gloss. “It’s a win-win situation, because our customers are looking for new designs, new styles, so we provide that to them.”
But, in order to scale the idea, they needed to do a bigger bang. The Designer Pitch has become a way to help designers find new markets and announce the arrival of Hyde Closet.
“It’s about claiming a position in the DC fashion world and saying, ‘This is who we are, this is what we do and this is what we bring to the table,'” says Gloss.
Through its subscription service, the “it” is to seamlessly access professional style, top luxury menswear brands, and hopefully gain the confidence to navigate any environment – whether it’s a job interview, a first date, a concert, a family reunion or whatever. And maybe they’ll be motivated to upgrade their wardrobe by buying luxury styles at a discount.
For Fray, the partnership is also innovative, while closely aligning with its mission. It represents the publication’s most intentional foray into the local fashion industry it has spent years shining a light on. And DC Fray Founder and CEO and District Fray magazine publisher Robert Kinsler thinks this is just the start of a partnership that will include other levers, including rolling out regular co-branded content on the style and personal care.
“We believe in making pleasure possible and that it’s, in part, a result of how you feel and feel, every day,” Kinsler says. “This partnership is a natural extension of our brand and a great opportunity to bring value to our readers. I’ve followed my own fashion journey over the past few years and am thrilled to bring this unique perspective to my role as a judge.
Gloss agrees that partnering is a natural fit.
“It’s a beautiful, really symbiotic relationship,” Gloss says. “DC Fray makes fun possible, makes experiences possible, and through our style, we’ll make sure you look good no matter what DC Fray throws at you.”
Alongside Kinsler, co-judges Karen Videtic and Indira Gumarova bring a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise.
A professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Videtic spent 32 years teaching merchandising, math and buying at VCU’s fashion department, during which time she was named department chair, wrote a manual on fashion buying and for 25 years produced the annual VCU Fashion Show. Prior to coming to VCU, Videtic worked in product development at a large retail company, which offered 12 clothing lines.
Videtic believes this event (and the Hyde Closet brand) represents the future of men’s perspectives on fashion. For generations, fashion and personal style have been an afterthought for most men. In contrast, she argues that many women either inherited their fashion sense or learned it at an early age.
Videtic recognizes that women often learn from their mothers, peers, browsing magazines and more. These habits aren’t as entrenched among men just yet, but brands like Hyde Closet are shaking things up – and reaching men at critical times in life’s transition to make it happen.
“Hyde Closet fills that void in education,” says Videtic. “He’s like, ‘look, I know you want to be competent entering the working world.'”
“[Through Hyde Closet], you have a counselor who is going to help you and you also develop a sense of yourself. You order a box, you try it on, you wear it and then you get compliments. You start saying “I like it”. I like my appearance. I feel good. I have to try again.'”
The confidence to jump again and again is the goal.
“Clothes are so personal,” says Videtic. “It’s about your own personal style, but it takes time to understand and develop. Your personal style will change as you change, and your job or lifestyle changes.
Co-judge Indira Gumarova agrees and offers sage advice for men on the art of cultivating her distinctive style.
“If you decide to be careful about what you wear, remember the word harmony,” says Gumarova. “Tune in to the color, the details, the perfect fit and people will remember you forever the same way they would remember Rembrandt’s paintings.”
Gumarova is the founder of Diplomacy and Fashion, an organization whose mission is to “promote designers from different countries of the world”. around the world, raising awareness of sustainable fashion and educating diplomats and designers on the role of fashion in diplomacy.
Diplomacy and Fashion is a vehicle to raise the profile of DC’s fashion scene and “strengthen the reputation of the Czech Republic in the United States,” in a city that is at the center of international diplomacy. Gumarova organizes fashion exhibitions, shows, ballet performances and a first fashion gala in collaboration with 40 embassies in Washington.
Gumarova, who was recently nominated for an Emmy for her work on “The Pins of Madeleine Albright” for Best Documentary, believes the region has yet to fully embrace its station as a major fashion destination.
“When I first started using fashion as a tool of diplomacy in Washington DC, I honestly thought I [would] give up quickly. The main reason was that everyone told me that there was no fashion in Washington. I have to go to New York or Los Angeles if I want to take this seriously. However, that narrative changed dramatically for me as I discovered, discovered and learned that fashion as a niche was not lacking in the US capital but was just different. Is it as important as in New York, Miami or Los Angeles? Absolutely.”
Just in time, the region’s vibrant fashion industry will be on full display at the event.
“I’m really excited about the diversity of designs that we’re going to [show]says Gloss. Some of the designers mainly present ceremonial clothes, [such as] costumes for galas and Black Tie events; some designers have everything from casual to business casual; and some designers will show streetwear. We have a huge mix and I’m excited about it.
Visit here to register to attend the Designer Pitch on July 1st. Tickets are $25. 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Event Location (Penthouse): 200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC.