L. Allen to begin annual fashion week

L. Allen LLC will kick off its fifth annual fashion week on Thursday.

Lawrence Allen, who attended Florida State University in 2007 for fashion design, started the small business in Tallahassee in 2009. L. Allen creates custom designs for the local community and also does online inquiries.

Charlotte Waters, chief operating officer for L. Allen, said there’s more to fashion week than just fashion.

“In 2010, Lawrence came up with the idea to bring together his passion for fashion with his support of cause near to his heart,” Waters said. “That is how he came up with creating an event that centered around fashion but allowed people to be exposed to organizations in need of their help and awareness.”

The week starts with a fashion show at Krewe de Gras, which is located at 1304 N. Monroe St. The show starts at 7 p.m. and will feature couture fashions from local stores and boutiques. Tickets for the show are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

Shaquana Hall, a senior nursing student at Tallahassee Community College from St. Petersburg, said she’s excited about the fashion show.

“I can’t wait to see what kind of designs they have,” Hall said. “I hope they have some items for sale because I’m coming ready to buy.”

On Friday, the fashion week will continue with the Midtown Model scavenger hunt. Participants will meet at Fifth Avenue Taproom and follow clues to find the models. Each clue spot will have drinks, food or shopping specials. The hunt starts at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are $10.

Michelle Gates, a worker in the hospitality industry from Tallahassee, thinks the scavenger hunt will be fun.

“I haven’t done one of those in a long time,” Gates said. “It’ll be fun looking for the models. I hope they have good shopping deals.”

On Saturday, the fashion week will come to a close with the fifth annual Fashion’s Fight Against Cancer. This event will feature fashions from designer L. Allen and spring lines from Tallahassee boutiques at the Woman’s Club of Tallahassee.

In 2013, L. Allen expanded its business to the Web, creating a growing store that customers could shop at leisure. In addition, L. Allen founded the annual Fashion’s Fight Against Cancer and L. Allen Fashion Week to benefit local organizations.

“The fashion events currently benefit the Joanna Francis Living Well Foundation,” Waters said. “Joanna Francis is a local Tallahassee woman who is also a survivor of breast cancer. She is currently battling cancer again.

“The foundation started as a way to help financially supplement the needs of patients undergoing treatment. Insurance does not cover basic needs like gas or babysitters or utilities, and so this organization came around to act as a community support for patients who need it.”

According to its website, L. Allen is the longest running fashion show in Tallahassee to feature fashion designers along with local stores and boutiques.

“When the show first began five years ago, Lawrence solicited those stores, boutiques and designers that would want to participate,” Waters said. “There weren’t that many fashion shows going on outside of the universities, and so it was not as easy to convince some businesses to participate. However, within a few years, businesses became accustomed to the quality of the shows and gladly participated.”