“Ethnic chic” fashion show in Turners

  • A fashion show open to the public on May 26 is one way Richie Richardson is getting the word out about his business. Photo courtesy of Turners Falls RiverCulture

Recorder Staff
Friday, May 18, 2018

TURNERS FALLS — Models will strut ethnic chic fashions on the catwalk at Richie Richardson FAB’s “show and sell” on Saturday, May 26.

Richardson opened the fashion boutique last November with the intention of selling and promoting chic fashions made by ethnic designers from the Caribbean, Africa, New York and other regions of the world. As the region is waking up from a long, cold winter season, Richardson says, he is excited to burst forth and show the warmer world what styles he has to offer.

This will be the first time that Richardson is showcasing his own collections, along with two other designers. The show will be held at the boutique at 67 Second Street from 5 to 7 p.m. May 26, but attendees are encouraged to arrive early to get seating. Admission is free.

In addition to Richardson’s collections, two other” tremendously gifted” designers will be showcased: CJ Original and Art Groupie.

“What we are doing is promoting the creativity, the integrity of people that live by their work,” he said. “Selling this is important for us … we sort of relate this to the idea of fair trade.”

When these fashions are purchased at FAB, it benefits the designers directly and allows them a living wage.

CJ Original is known for his unique dyed T-shirts with colorful motifs.

“One shirt takes him two or three hours,” Richardson said. “It’s detailed and time consuming.”

Art Groupie is a Caribbean New Yorker, like Richardson, who left the city to move to Ghana. There, he discovered a burgeoning industry of artists and designers who create fashions from recycled items.

“He has put together this collection and fine-tuned it for the Western (Hemisphere) market,” Richardson said.

FAB carries a new group of designers every three to four months.

The show will feature “a range of models” from their 20s to “close to 70.” One of the models is Richardson’s daughter.

Richardson also believes it’s important to showcase women of different ages, shapes and sizes because he wants to let shoppers know they don’t necessarily have to be young and thin to shop in a boutique. He expects to have five female models and one male model at the show.

He’s also seeking out more people to be models in other fashion shows or fashion photo shoots for the boutique.

“I’m constantly thinking about new things and new people,” he said.

Richardson also wants the community to know that if someone sees a piece at the show that they like and FAB doesn’t have their size, they can make it custom.

“That’s something you don’t necessarily find in a designer boutique,” he said.