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Springfield’s first-ever fashion week highlights local designers

August 4, 2023 : New England Public Media

It looks like Mason Square is getting a serious makeover.

The first-ever Springfield Fashion week launched in the city featuring distinct pieces from local designers at Tower Square and a pop-up shop in the Mason Square area called Proven.

Joshua Croke, a MassDevelopment fellow, helped kickstart an initiative to get local fashion designers and creative's together to promote their clothes, art and jewelry.

"The Springfield Creative Cities Collective had recently awarded a grant to Jaron Norwood, who had an idea to create the first Springfield Fashion Week," Croke said. "And a bunch of us started coming and showing up at meetings to plan what has become a 12 plus event week for Springfield's first Fashion Week."

Jennifer Godin, a marketing director, also helped organize fashion week in the city.

"There has been a pretty big movement in the area to grow a creative economy, and we're trying to do things that will help achieve that goal," Godin.

Godin said the Springfield Creative City Collective, the Springfield Cultural Partnership, and MassDevelopment partnered to sponsor the week-long event.

Croke said the pop-up shop has been particularly successful, noting how amazed they are at the local designer talent in Springfield.

"We have so many folks that are being celebrated and also getting some getting some cash for what's purchased here, which is really amazing," Croke said.

But Croke said it's not just about selling clothes. They said the revitalized pop-up space will be open to residents.

"This was the former Rep. Ben Swan's legislative office. And it has not been in use for quite some time. So this initiative is really focused on really activating vacant space and really giving it back to the community," Croke said.

The final fashion show called Cosmic Cycles will take place on Ben Swan Way Saturday evening.