2016 Studs, Struts & Stilettos Construction Fashion Expose: Creative Construction Fashion Fun-Raiser

Fashion designers of a different thread and their models are working around the clock to bring you the very best in a less than conventional runway showdown. 

Building industry professionals cleverly disguised as fashion designers have been challenged to create one-of-a-kind, haute couture apparel largely crafted from materials used by builders. Who says paint chips can’t be pretty?

Studs, Struts & Stilettos, brought to you by Rochester Area Builders Association, will take center stage on Thursday, April 21 at the Mayo Civic Center Auditorium. The construction fashion expose is now in its third year, and proceeds will once again benefit Rochester Area Habitat for Humanity. 


Silent and live auctions are standard at many benefits but not at Studs, Struts & Stilettos. This heady affair is anything but commonplace. You can safely tuck your paddles and silent auction numbers away for another day. After purchasing your ticket of choice, simply kick back and enjoy the show. 

If you so choose, you can get yourself in a proper state of mind by attending the pre-party at the Cambria showroom complete with food, drink and lively tete-a-tete. At the expose you will be treated to a spirited, yet friendly rivalry between fellow designers and their models. 

The visionary ensembles being strutted down the catwalk will take your breath away. I was in attendance last year, and I can attest that the prolific “Project Runway” contestants have nothing over your very own local talent.

And that’s not all. You also have a post-show opportunity back at Cambria. Unwind with other showgoers, discuss your favorite getups and get up close and personal with masters and models. 


According to last year’s “Best in Show” recipient, Karen Blissenbach, the main objective of the Studs, Struts & Stilettos 2016 committee is to build, no pun intended, on its already successful platform. Blissenbach states, “The kinks have been worked out, and the event committee is delighted with its venue, the Mayo Civic Center. It allows them plenty of room to grow, both in designer participation and attendance.”

Last year’s event featured 18 participants, and hopefully 2016 will attract 24-plus. Yet another goal is to raise the bar on ingenuity and originality. Alexis Simmons, model of the winning gown in 2015, coined the event “a concert in creativity.” The team of Blissenbach and Simmons will be back together again this year, and from what I understand, they are formidable competitors. Although they would not share what’s on the drawing board this time around, rest assured they will be well prepared to defend their title.


April 21 is just around the bend so get your tickets today. This year promises to be a “move over Marc Jacobs” sensation. Prepare to be wowed. For all details and to purchase tickets, visit rochesterareabuilders.com.

Sue Whitney is a best-selling author, “Better Homes & Gardens” editor, nationally renowned public speaker, founder and owner of JUNKMARKET Style and the nation’s leading expert in the vintage re-design industry. To learn more about Sue visit junkmarketstyle.com.