It’s not all spreadsheets and seminars, folks.
Harvard Business School showed off the catwalk talents of its best, brightest and most buff students at its annual charity fashion show Wednesday night, taking over the Boston Park Plaza hotel ballroom and packing it to the rafters.
The event, which benefits children’s charity Cradles to Crayons, was cohosted by the Harvard Retail and Luxury Goods Club and MIT’s Sloan Business School Retail, CPG and Luxury Club. Brands supplied fall looks designed to fulfill every post-MBA need — from Rent-the-Runway designer duds to Joanna August bridal, Blank Space bespoke suits to Outdoor Voices workoutwear. Baume & Mercier also sponsored.
HBS students nominate their peers to model. The chosen ones worked it with full aplomb — blowing kisses to students in the balconies, taking mock selfies, busting a few dance moves. In the audience, classmates howled appreciatively. One group of women paired LBDs with orange “Session 8” terry-cloth sweatbands, perhaps commemorating a study group or seminar.
But this is one of the world’s most competitive business schools, after all, and at least two students took the chance to parade their start-up: Alex Mahylis, a first-year HBS student, showed Topology, a new men’s shirt brand. He and partner Eric Li sourced indigo fabric in Japan to create the slim-cut shirts.
Their site, weartopology.com, has been live since July, taking hundreds of orders through word-of-mouth. A blog details the duo’s ups and downs for fellow entrepreneurs. Shirts retail for $95.
“We hope to launch as many as 12 micro collections each year as we move forward,” Li said. “We love what brands like Gustin are doing, by pushing back on the idea of a few seasonal collections and releasing new products as often as weekly.”
The duo is currently scouting fabrics from Nepal for its next capsule.
Helena Monteiro, a Boston graduate from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, launched six looks with an ath-leisure bent, including a quilted black top, chambray shirts, and slouchy pants. She was recently tapped as a designer-in-residence for Kit and Ace, the luxury techno-cashmere brand that just opened on Newbury Street.
“I design concept pieces based on what I’m inspired by and what the locals in the area want to see or are missing in day-to-day life,” she said. “Every six or seven weeks, I design between 15 and 25 pieces.” She sends mood boards, color inspiration, technical flats and some samples to the brand’s headquarters in Vancouver for evaluation.