Vibrant and inviting window displays line a grandiose hall, featuring highlights from the newest spring and summer clothing lines. Trendy, young professionals scan storefronts and finger through sales racks, past pastels, and peplums. The Mall at Chestnut Hill is always busy with shoppers hoping to score the most recent trends and, situated right outside Boston, it has become a popular destination for the city’s professionals.
Although many of its stores are higher end retailers, the Mall recognizes the dynamic between fashion and the professional—a relationship that will be the focus of the Mall’s “High Tea Runway” fashion show and event this weekend. This coming Sunday, Boston Globe Magazine will be hosting an event honoring the 10th Annual Most Stylish Bostonians at the Mall at Chestnut Hill. Some proceeds from the event will go to support “Dress for Success Boston,” an organization focused on aiding disadvantaged women in pursuing careers that will make them financially secure.
“Not only can you see the latest in spring styles, but you can help other women get the business attire they need to succeed in their careers,” Jane Bowman, vice president of marketing & sales development at Boston Globe Media Partners said in the press release for the event.
In addition to offering their suiting programs that work to eliminate the barriers that poverty and economic dependence can pose on females searching for employment, Dress for Success acts as a career center for women who do not have resources and support systems elsewhere. Their programs range from providing clothes for interviews to job training and assistance in career advancement. Their leadership, employment retention, and career center programs have helped a multitude of women network and develop their careers in a collaborative and meaningful way. Cumulatively, the Dress for Success offices have helped over 850,000 women initiate and develop their professional careers.
“It’s a good cause, something that’s helping other women get ahead, helping other women get back on their feet,” said Kimberly Todd, the executive director for Dress for Success Boston.
Although Dress for Success has had a successful and sweeping presence locally, the non-profit is not exclusive to Boston. There are 140 Dress for Success offices, termed “affiliates,” in 19 countries, all of which take into account the local culture and environment when initiating their programs. The boutiques have become quite well known, and through donations they have provided outfits that help women feel comfortable and professional at their interviews. Women can not only find fashionable and well-fitting clothes that they require for an interview and the hiring process, but they can also utilize the programs upon employment and during their time in the workforce.
“This year we will serve our 10,000th woman, so we’re very excited about that,” Todd said, speaking about the Boston office specifically.
Dress for Success hopes to initiate female leadership, equality, and confidence through the importance of careers and professionalism. All of its client services, from leadership programs to employee retention classes, embody the company’s mission and founding ideals.
“Our vision is a world where women do not live in poverty. We strive for a world where all women are financially independent, are treated with dignity and respect and are directly impacting their lives and those of their families,” reads the mission of the global non-profit.
Highlighting local professionals from the city’s fashion scene, “High Tea Runway” is an appropriate outlet to promote the ideals that Dress For Success Boston is founded on. The Boston Globe announced a list of Boston’s 2015 Most Stylish in its April 12 magazine. The list encompasses people involved in both the corporate side of fashion as well as artists outside of the industry, producing a compilation with great variety in their personal expression.
Those featured at the event will include Alina Roytberg and Lev Glazman, cofounders of Fresh, a cosmetics company that has achieved widespread recognition for its luxurious products. “Getting dressed is like building a building,” Roytberg asserts in an interview with The Globe. “It’s all about your underpinnings and lingerie and your shoes, because that’s where it begins.”
For each ticket sold to this Sunday’s fashion show and luncheon, Dress for Success receives $20 in proceeds toward continuing to aid women thrive in the professional sphere despite economic disparity. The fashion show will feature spring collections from Bloomingdale’s and all of the looks will be put together by Rachel Raczka, who is a fashion contributor for The Boston Globe and worked on media coverage for the event.
Looking forward, the show plans to celebrate the many members of the Boston fashion scene on Sunday, from those who set the local trends to those who can use clothing and style to create opportunity.
Featured Image Courtesy of The Mall at Chestnut Hill