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Sunbrella hits the runways

Promotional events help reposition the brand

Model wearing Sunbrella fabric dress

To help influence perceptions consumers have of Sunbrella fabrics, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics has recently sponsored fashion shows at leading retail outlets. The shows feature models dressed in haute couture outfits and draw inspiration from New York’s Fashion Week and the high-profile fashion shows in Paris and Milan.

“Sunbrella fabrics have been featured in fashion shows at trade events for many years, but these recent promotions are among the first focused on consumer audiences,” said Greg Rosendale, residential furniture fabrics manager for Glen Raven. “When consumers see Sunbrella fabrics in a beautiful dress on a runway model, it just clicks. They understand there is a new Sunbrella that is more comfortable and stylish yet as durable as ever.”

Recent runway shows have been hosted by national home furnishings expert Joe Ruggiero, who designs a collection of Sunbrella fabrics and also designed the outfits worn during the shows. Fashion shows have included stops in Florida, Dallas and Scottsdale, Ariz., with each show produced cooperatively with area retailers and drawing large crowds of enthusiastic consumers.

“The fashion shows are an example of taking a familiar product and putting it into a different context for a huge impact,” Ruggiero said. “Another benefit of the fashion shows is how they illustrate the cross over in design influences between home furnishings and apparel. Many of the fabrics I am designing today are influenced by trends in apparel, and the Sunbrella fashion shows really bring that point across.”

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