Runway models introduce consumers to the ‘New Sunbrella’
Clint Engel -- Casual Living, December 5, 2007
Sunbrella fabrics are not typically associated with haute couture, but a special event in Arizona recently showcased the performance fabric on runway models at a fashion apparel show hosted by designer Joe Ruggiero. The “Fashion al fresco” event is part of a new approach for introducing Sunbrella performance fabrics and Ruggiero’s trend-setting home furnishing designs to consumers.
“Over the years, I have designed a few garments for charity and trade events, but I had never done an entire clothing collection until now,” said Ruggiero, who was the show’s featured designer at the Robb & Stucky Interiors location in Scottsdale, Ariz., in early November. “It was an easy and enjoyable transition for me because when you design for home furnishings you are influenced by fashion and you are always thinking of the ultimate consumer.”
The Ruggiero couture collection, all sewn from his Sunbrella fabrics collection, included 16 outfits ranging from evening wear to clothes for relaxing by the pool. With his Sunbrella fabrics inspired by international travels, Ruggiero could select fabrics that fit perfectly in color and design with a wide range of apparel, from saris to kimonos.
“Consumers today are reimagining familiar products in new and different ways, which makes the fashion show an approach ideal for Sunbrella,” Ruggiero said. “As the show in Scottsdale clearly demonstrated, runway models are an excellent way for us to get the attention of consumers and demonstrate the elegance of the newest generation of Sunbrella fabrics for the home.”
According to Greg Rosendale, market manager for residential fabrics for Sunbrella, additional runway shows are under consideration.
“The event in Arizona was a tremendous success, and we are considering taking the show to other locations around the country,” Rosendale said. “Our goal is to show people that Sunbrella’s new looks are beautiful enough for all areas of the home, inside and out. What better way than with stunning garments made of Sunbrella fabrics worn by runway models?”
Joseph Ruggiero & Associates, Inc. is a multi-media home design and television production company in Los Angeles. Ruggiero designs furniture for Norwalk Furniture and Caperton Furnitureworks, along with a complementary collection of Sunbrella brand performance fabrics and Phoenix trims for residential interiors, distributed to the trade by Silver State Textiles and offered to consumers through Calico Corners. Ruggiero also designs a collection of cast aluminum furniture for Terra Furniture, all-weather wicker for Woodard and Viro.
Ruggiero appears on HGTV in “Homes Across America” and is preparing a program for PBS.