Baltimore fashion heats up this summer

The leaders of Baltimore's fashion scene are collaborating to stage three days of fashion marketplace events in the city this summer.

The third annual Fashion Block at Artscape and the Fashion and Art Block in the Inner Harbor will bring fashion trucks, boutiques, designers and other vendors to the city to showcase and sell their work.


Fashion Block at Artscape, which is being held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 19 in the parking lot next to the Walbert building in Station North, began in 2012 after the arts festival's fashion stage was discontinued because of a lack of funding. It's being organized by the Baltimore Fashion Alliance and AIRS, a program that provides housing support to people with AIDS and others.

The event, which will be near Artscape's Station North stage, also serves as a fundraiser for the Baltimore Fashion Alliance and AIRS. It's not an official part of Artscape but channels the festival's spirit, said Wear It Out Baltimore spokeswoman Caprece Jackson-Garrett. It will encompass everything "from children's wear to drag queens," she said.

"We're very pleased to continue this newfound tradition," said Jackson-Garrett, who is also the incoming president of the Baltimore Fashion Alliance. "Everybody is all there in the name of fashion and fun."

On July 26 and Aug. 30, the inaugural Fashion and Art Block at the Inner Harbor will run from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pratt Street promenade between Charles Street and Light Street. It is being co-produced by RAW Baltimore and Wear It Out Baltimore. Both days will feature a fashion show with professional models and commentary from the participating vendors and designers. In addition, the Fashion and Art Block will host local artists who will have their work on display and for sale.

Participating vendors for the events, many of them Baltimore-based, include the Tin Lizzy Mobile Boutique fashion truck, yoga clothing company 3 Clothing and designer Evette Street. Jackson-Garrett said that more than 25 vendors will be featured at each event. Items for sale will include custom designs and one-of-a-kind garments.

"We're going to have some very interesting things that you won't find elsewhere," she said.

Baltimore has a rich history of fashion and design that dates back to Reconstruction-era clothing makers, Jackson-Garrett said. Organizations like Baltimore Fashion Alliance, RAW Baltimore, and Wear It Out Baltimore are intent on turning the city into a bona fide fashion destination, she said, and the coming Artscape and Inner Harbor events will help them work toward that goal by showcasing the best the region has to offer.

"We are ever so excited that we can connect Baltimore and the visitors with the opportunity to be exposed to creative talent," she said.