April 25, 2008

Dear Media:

Thank you for your interest in the STRUT 08 Fashion, Music, Dance and More Fashion show scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 9 p.m. at North Hills. It promises to be both ground-breaking and trend-setting entertainment for the emerging Triangle fashion scene.

STRUT 08 will celebrate the talent, creativity and achievement of seven designers with personal ties to the Raleigh area. They have achieved fame on the national and world-wide fashion stage without forgetting their heritage and connections to North Carolina. In fact, these designers say they draw upon their Southern experiences and values as inspiration for their creations.

One very special aspect of STRUT 08 is a silent auction and bidding party to raise money for Interact. This non-profit organization helps victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault throughout Wake County and each of the designers and show sponsors have donated items for the auction to support this important cause.

Included in this media packet you will find a fact sheet, news releases, photos and bios on those who are contributing to and making STRUT 08 possible. Please let us know if we can provide you with additional information or visit

Thank you for informing your audiences about this special event.


Brian Williams
Creator and Producer/STRUT 08          
Brian Williams Television
(919) 556-9642

Angela Bendorf Jamison
Public Relations/STRUT 08
(919) 523-5991 

STRUT 08 Fact Sheet

STRUT 08 Fashion, Music, Dance and More Fashion show will take place Thursday evening, May 3, 2008 at 9 pm at 4380 Lassiter North Hills Avenue in the North Hills shopping complex.


The work of seven nationally acclaimed fashion designers including
 • Amy Stephenson -- Stephenson Denim Finery,
 • Miranda Laughlin -- Bleighm,
 • Elizabeth Yarborough -- Yarborough Jewelry,
 • Holly Aiken -- Holly Aiken Bags,
 • Chuck Stewart -- Tumbling Colors,
 • Victor Lytvinenko -- Verses Jeans, and
 • Bruce Wilson -- Meschantes Couture.

All seven designers have roots in the Triangle area and maintain personal or professionals ties here.

The lines from several local clothiers and boutiques will also be displayed on the runway, including those from NV Clothes for Men, UniquitiesMix, Kerry Catherine Jewelry, Scout and Molly’s, Fantasia, Monkees, The Spectacle, Phortiistorm, the Metallic Spiral, Sunglass Hut, J & B Clothing, bebe at Crabtree Valley Mall, and Soho.

One student designer from the 2008 North Carolina State University (NCSU) Art to Wear Fashion Show has been selected to present his designs during STRUT 08. That designer is Justin De LeBlanc, a senior studying architecture.

Forty-seven runway models will be part of the May 3 show. Lilu Jael, Jean Morisson, Madison Pleasant, Lee Stalcup, Amanda Wagner, Courtney Lee, Evan Stacy, Jen Ryan, Maryo Eggleston, Kimberly Zapko, Erin Duea, India Lucas Leon, Emily Mistr, Joanna Crowder, Laconya Polk, Felicia Rio, Ashley Bowers, Anna Pollard, Otheay Fisher, Ally Kisiel, Ashlie Coleman, Andrea Brewer, Rachel Cole, Brenna Beiler, Christy Jones, Noele Daniels, Sabra Trexler Ivey, Amanda Church, Awa Manneh, Erika Hinsdale, Dora Valeria, Moses, Rich Kubiak, Lamont Selby, Kyle Servido, Jay Adkins, Eric Dawkins, Blair R. Williams, Anthony Lynn, Caleb Allen, Weston Monroe, Miller Harris, Daniel Bockish , Faheem Mujhid , Jason Wiggs and Moussa Hdiay


MorissonPoe, an urban rock band that was formed in Florida and relocated to Raleigh, will be performing songs from its latest release, Evolution, produced by Nile Rodgers. Lead singer Jean Morisson is opening STRUT 08 with a song & dance number from Rent showcasing a modern approach to a Broadway classic. The group was voted Favorite Local Band for 2006 and 2007 during The Social Magazine Readers Choice Awards.


Members of the North Carolina Dance Institute will perform dance numbers during the May 3 show. Dedicated to building a strong foundation in the arts, North Carolina Dance Institute of Raleigh is focused on education and exposure to classical ballet and contemporary dance forms including jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, Broadway and rhythm tap. Sweet Tease, a professional burlesque troupe from Richmond Virginia, will be performing their original numbers St. and Little Brown Bottle.

Silent Auction and Bidding Party to benefit Interact

The designers, along with the show’s sponsors, have donated items for a silent auction to raise money for Interact, a Raleigh-based non-profit dedicated to providing safety, service and support to victims and survivors of family violence and sexual assault in Wake County. A "little black dress" formerly owned by Oprah will also be auctioned and is expected to be one of the highlights of STRUT 08 when it graces the runway modeled by Othaey Fisher, an Interact spokesperson and former victim of domestic violence.

Bids can be placed online at until May 2, 11:59 pm. A bidding party will be held prior to the show on Saturday, May 3 from 6:30 – 8:30pm in North Hills store front space at 4361 Lassiter Road. Admission is free. All items will be on display and food and drinks will be available for purchase from Mura Japanese restaurant. Winning bids will be announced at the Post Party at midnight at Mura, 4121 Main at North Hills Street in North Hills.


The STRUT 08 venue is located at North Hills in Raleigh, 4380 Lassiter and North Hills Street. The show will be performed live for an audience of 750 ticket holders. The Capital Ford stage will be 32-feet wide by 20-feet deep backed by a 9x12-feet television screen and fronted by a 40-foot-long runway. There will 248 seats surrounding the runway. The remainder of the audience will be seated on the main floor or bleachers. Areas will be made available for standing room only ticket holders and an area designated for media/photography will be situated at the end of the runway.

The set design will follow a black and white theme accented by colorful fabrics created by designer Chuck Stewart of Tumbling Colors, a special consultant to the show. There will be a red carpet main entrance to the venue.


There is ample parking in the North Hills parking decks. Most stores at North Hills close at 9 p.m., the time the fashion show begins.


Immediately following the fashion show, STRUT 08 ticket holders will get free admission into Post-Party event at Mura Japanese Restaurant & Bar, 4121 Main at North Hills Street, hosted by owner G. Patel and general manager James Park. The designers and models will be in attendance. There will be music and a DJ outside the restaurant and food and drinks available inside. At midnight, the winning bids from the STRUT 08 silent auction will be announced.


The show will be recorded and produced for television. It will be broadcast on CW22 Channel 2 Raleigh on Saturday, May 10, 8 – 9:30pm and Sunday, May 18, 3 - 4:30 p.m. and on MyRDC Channel 12 Raleigh on Sunday, May 11, 8 - 9:30pm and Saturday, May 24, 2:30 - 4 pm.


The show will be performed live for an audience of 750 ticket holders. Tickets prices range from $25 to $100 and can be purchased on line at The $25 general admission ticket holders will be seated on bleachers and in standing room only areas. The first 200 general admission ticket holders will have the option to sit in the bleachers and the remaining will be in the standing room only areas. Seating diagrams may be viewed online at


The Designers of STRUT 08

Seven nationally recognized designers with connections to the Triangle-area of North Carolina are bringing their creations to the stage during STRUT 08 on May 3, 2008, 9 p.m. at North Hills.

Miranda Laughlin/Bleighm  (

Miranda Laughlin’s line of women’s apparel has been called, "feminine, classic and provocative with an emphasis on fitting and flattering the female form." The success of Bleighm (pronounced blame) is a culmination of years of hard work and a childhood dream come true. During her days at Athens Drive High School in Raleigh, Laughlin realized she was destined for a career in the fashion world. After spending summers modeling in New York City, she earned a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology and interned for women’s wear designer Cynthia Rowley. She worked as a fit model for Zac Posen, the contemporary dress designer and a celebrity favorite. After gaining the confidence and experience she needed to start her own company, Laughlin came back to her hometown where she has prospered as one of the country’s finest young designers.

Laughlin on why she returned to Raleigh to launch her company:

"Although New York’s energy is very electric, I missed the beauty and nature that surrounds Raleigh. I notice it so much more after living in a cement jungle. I feel incredibly inspired here. Raleigh feeds my soul."

Amy Stephenson/The Stephenson Denim Finery  (

Amy Stephenson's first line was launched in 2007 with the simple goal of providing luxurious, pure and sustainable denim clothing. Her target customer is the modern woman who craves understated luxury and a sexy, comfortable fit. Working out of two offices, one in Manhattan's renowned SoHo district and the other in the denim capital of Los Angeles, Stephenson's work has been described as timeless, effortless and very "tom-boy chic." She grew up on her family's farm in McGee's Crossroads, near Benson. Stephenson attended the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and then left for Parsons/The New School in New York City to earn a degree in fashion design. She had the opportunity to work with established designers such as Diane Beaudry, Christian Francis Roth and JR Morrissey before introducing her own line, The Stephenson Denim Finery.

Stephenson on how growing up on an NC farm influences her design:

"There are valuable lessons learned from growing up on a farm in North Carolina. It makes me more grounded in such an outrageous and frivolous world. My product is pure, free of ostentation and made with the utmost integrity."

Elizabeth Yarborough/Yarborough Jewelry  (

Former book editor Elizabeth Yarborough began designing jewelry in an effort to re-engage her hands and creative senses. Born and raised in Louisburg, North Carolina, she attended high school at Chatham Hall in southern Virginia, then studied literature and writing at Vassar College and the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, before moving to New York City in 2003. In the spring of 2006, she left the corporate book world for an arts & crafts spree in her East Village apartment, which evolved into her jewelry line, Yarborough. Her unique designs are known for their color, humor, and unexpected materials such as buttons, tassels, ribbons and yarn. Yarborough Jewelry is sold worldwide, and has been featured in Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, the New York Times, Lucky, and Elle Accessories, among other publications.

Yarborough on the inspiration behind her designs:

"Growing up in North Carolina, I was hugely influenced by the bright colors all around me, in Southern fashions and in homes throughout the South. I love incorporating these colors into my jewelry, and hand-crafting each piece into a wearable work of art."

Holly Aiken/Holly Aiken Bags  (

After graduating from the School of Design at North Carolina State University, Raleigh-native Holly Aiken had a vision and a dream of creating uncomplicated bags using distinctive, indestructible materials. This simple idea quickly turned into a career and led to the creation of the business bearing her name. Primarily made from vinyl with bold trim and accented by stripes or crisp geometric shapes, each of Holly’s bags is handcrafted with precision and care. All of her totes, messengers, clutches and best-selling diaper bags are made and sold for a growing national clientele out of her studio located in Raleigh.

Aiken on where her creativity comes from:

"My parents own Patsy Aiken Designs, a Raleigh-based children’s’ clothing and manufacturing business they started in 1979. I think growing up in a creative, entrepreneurial family has definitely inspired what I do today."

Chuck Stewart/Tumbling Colors   (

From a large, unassuming warehouse space in downtown Raleigh, Chuck Stewart creates some of the fashion industry’s finest custom-dyed and textured fabrics. Flowing silk dresses and carefully stone washed denim jeans start out as raw fabrics, and are brought to life by Chuck and his team of textile experts. His secretive list of clients includes some of the most celebrated names in the business along with national retail chains and big-name department stores. Chuck earned a bachelor’s degree in textile chemistry from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1977 and left North Carolina briefly to earn a master’s degree in textile engineering from Georgia Tech. He worked for more than 25 years in the corporate textile industry before founding Tumbling Colors, a textile dyeing and finishing company, in 2000. He is currently a doctoral candidate in color science at NCSU.

Stewart on why he does what he does:

"North Carolina and textiles have always been synonymous and color has always been a part of my life. My father worked as a dyer at Cannon Mills in Concord and I am proud to have followed in his path. I am excited to see a new wave of textile design and manufacturing growing from the lessons and experiences of the many who preceded us"

Victor Lytvinenko/Verses Jeans  (

Occupying the same Raleigh warehouse as fellow designer Chuck Stewart, Victor Lytvinenko uses vintage sewing machines to create his Verses line of men’s’ jeans from fabric and materials made in North Carolina. His fine, handmade brand can be found in upscale boutiques around the nation. When he was one-year old, Lytvinenko’s family moved to Cary from the Northeast where his Ukrainian grandparents had settled when first arriving in the U.S. He graduated from Enloe High School, attended St. Peter’s College on a soccer scholarship and played internationally. He went on to earn a business degree from North Carolina State University and in 2007, pursued his design interests by founding Verses. Victor’s fiancée and business partner is Sarah Yarborough, a trained designer. Together they believe in producing quality over quantity with each handmade pair of jeans, reflecting the pride and independence of America’s rekindling garment industry.

Lytvinenko on how he brings N.C.’s heritage back to life through his work:

"Up until about 30 years ago, most jeans were made in North Carolina. We’re rekindling that on a small scale by using fabric, thread and zippers from North Carolina to create Verses jeans made specifically for men looking for the finest designer denim."

Bruce Wilson & Katharine Mirabeau/ Meschantes Couture  (

Seeking a better quality of life for their families in 2006, Bruce Wilson, owner/general manager, and Katharine Mirabeau, designer/owner, moved production of their acclaimed Meschantes Couture line across the country from Las Vegas to be part of the booming cultural scene in the Triangle. Since making the move, the company, which specializes in creating corsets and corset-based garments for movie and television stars as well as wedding gowns for brides, debutantes and other special occasion party-goers, has found a prospering in the heart of North Carolina. Together, Wilson, a seasoned business manager, and Mirabeau, who earned a degree in historic costume design from the University of Texas, have resurrected the art of designing classic, custom-fitted, one-of-a-kind corset creations for both men and women. Today, Wilson and Mirabeau have expanded their business into production facilities in both Cary and Fuquay-Varina, and have opened a new design studio in Holly Springs.

Wilson on why he and Mirabeau moved Meschantes Couture to North Carolina:

"We carefully researched various cities in the United States and chose the Triangle for the quality of life it offers our families and the ready availability of creative, skilled craftspeople we need in our business. By having the best of both worlds here, we offer the highest quality corsets and corset-based garments for our clientele."


The Creative Talent behind STRUT 08

Brian Williams -- Creator and Producer  (

After more than 25 years of experience as a network television producer and director in New York City, Brian Williams moved to Raleigh in 2006 and started Brian Williams Television, a full-service television production company. Over the course of his career, Williams has won numerous awards including six Emmy Awards for outstanding event production and programming. His network television production credits include The New York City Marathon, The Tiger Woods Story, New York Fashion Week Celebration and the ESPN Tennis Tour. Since moving to Raleigh, Brian has produced the Streets of Southpoint holiday season kick-off that drew an audience of more than 45,000 people last year. The event was modeled after Christmas in Rockefeller Center which he produced while in New York. Williams’ other local credits include the North Carolina Theater Capital Awards and Social Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards.

Williams quote on why he created STRUT 08:

"There is a vibrancy that permeates the Triangle area. It’s what enticed me to move here and inspired the idea behind STRUT. The atmosphere here is conducive to creativity and entrepreneurship. The large number of talented artists, designers, writers and performers who make this area their home is a testament to this being a creative hotbed. Triangle residents also love to turn out for a really good show. STRUT 08 will deliver the kind of energizing fashion, music and dance that the Triangle will come out to see and be glad they did."

Betzi Hekman -- Fashion Show Director  (

Betzi Hekman is director of the STRUT 08 fashion show, drawing on her past experience of planning fashion and cultural arts events to make it a one-of-a-kind show. Originally from New York, Hekman relocated to Raleigh in 2004 and continued her work in theater production, writing, directing, acting and Chicago-style improv. In 2007, she joined NV Clothes for Men in North Hills. As store manager and buyer, she attends trade shows, scours the area and stocks the trendy men’s wear store with an abundance of styles, many from local designers. Hekman has quickly established herself among the Triangle’s top fashion-minded aficionados and demonstrated an eye for local talent. She’s helped her store earn two separate awards for Best Men’s Boutique in the Triangle, one from The Independent Weekly and the other from Social Magazine.

Hekman quote on the significance of STRUT 08:

"STRUT 08 will showcase North Carolina-inspired fashion from America's top designers as well as the hottest fashions from Raleigh's local boutiques. Forty-seven models, 10 Designers and three entertainment acts -- STRUT 08 isn't a fashion show; it’s the fashion event of the year."

STRUT 08 Silent Auction, Bidding Party and T-shirts

Benefit Interact

Wanting to find a way to give back to the local area that has inspired everyone involved in STRUT 08, Interact was chosen to receive the proceeds from an online silent auction and bidding party that will take place prior to the May 3 fashion, music and dance show. Interact is a private, non-profit agency that provides safety, support, and awareness to victims and survivors of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.

Each of the designers, as well as the sponsors and producers of the show, has donated items for the silent auction. Items can be viewed online at

One highlight of the silent auction and bidding party will be a "little black dress" once owned and worn by Oprah Winfrey. The dress was purchased during a 2004 Oprah show that raised money for the talk show host’s Angel Network. Winning bidder of the Badgley Mischka dress was the Triangle’s own Sandra Carringer from Apex. She’s stipulated that the dress continue to raise money for other charities and helped bring it back to the Triangle to benefit Interact, thanks to the generosity of First Citizens Bank and other donors.

Othaey Fisher will be modeling the dress during the bidding party and on the runway during the STRUT 08 Fashion Show. Fisher, now a mom and volunteer for Interact, benefited from the services of Interact when she was a teenager.

STRUT 08 T-Shirts

STRUT 08 t-shirts, created by two of the fashion show designers, will be sold to raise additional funds for Interact. The black, 100-percent cotton tees are also 100 percent North Carolina. "They were knit, cut, sewn, dyed and printed in our state, "explains Chuck Stewart of Tumbling Colors and a special design consultant for STRUT 08. Stewart worked with a North Carolina based manufacturer to get the shirts, dyed them in his facilities and had them screen printed near Greensboro. The STRUT 08 logo will be on the front of the shirt, with an illustrated runway design created by Miranda Laughlin. Her Bleighm line of women’s apparel will be part of the May 3 STRUT 08 fashion show. The t-shirts will be sold at the silent auction bidding party and fashion show on May 3 at North Hills. Cost will be $25 each. A few of the shirts, signed by the designers, will also be items in the STRUT 08 Silent Auction.

STRUT 08 Official Sponsors

Brian Williams Television - Presenting Sponsor  

Brian Williams Television is a full-service production company with the ability and resources to deliver a concept to network, local TV or website. The company provides the production personnel and facilities to create everything from a 30-second ad to a two-hour entertainment special or sporting event. Services include development, writing, budgeting, on-air talent, staging, lighting, audio/TV facility selection, post-production editing and transmission. The company produces award-winning, entertaining and informative programming from its headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. Whether the need is to announce a new promotion or location, introduce a new product or training technique or simply update a video media package, Brian Williams Television can meet most creative and production needs.

Social The Magazine – Promotional Sponsor  (

Social The Magazine covers Raleigh’s, Wilmington’s and Richmond’s current social trends, cultural issues and the local fashion, nightlife and bar scene. The magazine is published monthly and is distributed across the Triangle for free.

Capital Ford – Stage Sponsor   (

Capital Ford, located off Capital Blvd. in Raleigh, is the number one Ford dealership in the Carolinas with over 500,000 new and pre-owned vehicles sold. As the flagship member of the Carolinas Ford Group, Capital Ford has a sales staff dedicated to helping customers think through all aspects of a vehicle-purchasing decision. Located in the heart of Wake County, Capital Ford is committed to helping people find the right vehicle to suit their individual needs.

Mura (

Mura is one of Raleigh’s most acclaimed restaurants for authentic Asian cuisine. The Japanese fusion restaurant, located in North Hills, serves a variety of steaks, seafood and the finest grade sushi and sashimi. Metro Magazine named Mura the area’s Best New Restaurant in 2006.

Sono (

Just opened in February of this year in the Hudson condo building on Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh, Sono is a Japanese restaurant with big city style that is reflected in its vibrant exterior and interior décor and sophisticated menu.

Samuel Cole  (

Samuel Cole Salon of North Raleigh is one of an elite collection of salons associated with Bumble and bumble salon in New York City. Owners/stylists Jack and Joelle Ray offer 30+ years of combined experience and are considered among the top experts in their field by leading publications such as Salon Today and American Salon and the Italian magazine Estetica. The skilled and talented stylists of Samuel Cole will be providing the hair and makeup for the STRUT 08 models and featured designers.

Salon Moxie (

Salon Moxie of North Raleigh is a new salon concept from hair stylists Jack and Joelle Ray who also own Samuel Cole Salon. Serving as an intermediary between budget salons and those that are more upscale and expensive, Salon Moxie offers its clientele an affordable yet contemporary and high-energy experience. Salon Moxie stylists will be assisting with the hair and makeup for STRUT 08 models and featured designers.

North Hills (

North Hills has contributed to the emergence of Raleigh's Midtown district by combining upscale shopping with office, retail, residential, entertainment and hotel components on the Beltline at Six Forks Road. Developed by Kane Reality Corporation, the multi-faceted world of North Hills offers one hundred acres of opportunity and activity including a Starbucks in every direction, fourteen movie screens, dozens of award-winning restaurants, luxury hotel rooms, state-of-the-art work out facilities, salons and day spas, and over 90 boutiques and national shops for the finest fashions and all of life's necessities.

Raleigh (

Card-holding members of Raleigh are recipients of exclusive discounts at Raleigh restaurants, retail stores, entertainment venues and more. Offers are also featured via updates that are e-mailed to members on a weekly basis.

CW22 and My RDC Television ( and (

When STRUT 08 airs on these Triangle television stations in May, it will join other popular fashion and celebrity programming such as America’s Next Top Model, Gossip Girl and Celebrity Expose. CW22 and MyRDC are owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc, with 58 television stations in 35 markets. Sinclair's television group is affiliated with all major networks and reaches approximately 22 percent of all U.S. television households.


For more information, contact          

Angela Bendorf Jamison
Communicopia Marketing Services, Inc.
135 South White Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587-2739
(919) 523-5991