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ITHACA, NY -- Downtown is your runway as Fashion Week returns to Ithaca after a year’s absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, from April 18-25, won’t look quite the same in years past, but Downtown Ithaca Alliance’s Business Development Director Kristina Thelen said they’re still trying to make people feel exposed to different spring fashions downtown.

“We’ve tried to devise different ways to do it contactless, while still being engaging and entertaining and safe,” she said.

Part of that is nixing the big in-person fashion show for seven different fashion-focused videos created in downtown businesses.

“They’re more apparel focused and we’ll be doing a showcase on each,” Thelen said.

You should also keep your eye out for the traveling selfie station, which will have a red carpet and velvet road to make you feel like you’re on the runway even if you’re just in your latest pandemic loungewear look.

“Our tagline this year is ‘My Fashion, My Rules,’” Thelen said. “We want people to celebrate the fashion they’re wearing at that moment. Our selfie station is definitely ‘come as you are.’” 

She added that it was a way to get people involved while keeping things safe and low density. 

The event will be book-ended by local businesses showing off their goods at tables at Hilton Garden Inn to visitors in town. Benjamin Peters will kick off the fashion week and Fibers will bring it to a close. Additionally, on April 24 there will be a vintage pop-up show in the back reading room corner of Buffalo Street Books. The bookstore will also provide a collection of reading material on the topic for people to peruse.

“People will get to see these one-of-a-kind pieces of vintage fashion,” Thelen said.

Eight different locations downtown will be providing either a sale or promotion during fashion week. Petrune will also be giving away a free pair of sunglasses with each $50+ purchase, and Trader K’s is doing a 20% off your entire purchase sale.

“We tried to find ways to elevate the event since we can’t have the same in-person events,” she said.

And even though the event may look a bit different this year, Thelan said the shopping and fashion will still shine through.

“People are getting really great things in,” she said. “It’s so great to see those corals and oranges and yellows showing up.”

Click here for a full list of events, sales and participating locations.

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