ENERGY / by Alex Young

 farESH Brand at Energy part of Style Week Pittsburgh courtesy of  Xavier Thomas  a.k.a. ArtLikeUs

farESH Brand at Energy part of Style Week Pittsburgh courtesy of Xavier Thomas a.k.a. ArtLikeUs

When people foreign to Pittsburgh think of the city, they think of the gloomy, smog-filled town built on the foundation of industrial steel, the Robber Baron's of the early twentieth century--like Andrew Carnegie and the Mellon family--and of course, the great Pittsburgh Steelers. They do not think about the low-cost of living and increased purchasing power residents in The Steel City have compared to larger, more populated metro centers, such as Washington, D.C. or New York. Hosting Google and Apple satellite offices, as well as 100 self-driving Uber SUVs roaming more than 90 neighborhoods, the city is Silicon Valley on the East coast. People do not think about that either.

However, Pittsburgh is consistently rated as one of America's most liveable cities due to its low crime rates, expanding yet affordable residential and commercial areas, and investment in educational and technological resources. Simply put, those who often left Pittsburgh looking for professional opportunities elsewhere now stay home, and those who are fleeing gentrified city-centers and expensive cost of living now move to Pittsburgh. As the city's identity has changed from and industrial economy to one of the leading cities for innovation and research, its ancillary scenes have begun to flourish as well.

Previously, on Saturday, August 20, as part of Style Week Pittsburgh, Ryan Brown of farESH Brand, Straightforward Consulting, and Tara Fay curated live music and pop-up shops for the event called Energy. Held at Ace Hotel in East Liberty, clothing brands like Astronaut Kartel Clothing, Daily BreadDragon Sup Design Company, Frost Finery, Tacky Tique Men's Vintage, and more set up tables in the old gymnasium turned event space. Music from Courtesy & The People, DJ Bamboo, DJ Jx4, and others completed the ambiance of a curated trade show for Pittsburgh style and culture.

The artful and creative surge in Pittsburgh currently happens because "people want to feel personally connected to what they do," local artist phenom Justin Emmanuel says.

While the lane for ambitious creativity has always been present in The 'Burgh, people of the past trusted the reliable and industrial sources of income. At the moment, the wave is doing for yourself to make your own dreams come true.

During Energy part of Style Week, Brown, Fay, and Straightforward Consulting offered an opportunity for local businesses to sell and advertise in front of an audience akin to their target markets. While listening to music originating from The 'Burgh, young people of many backgrounds explored each table browsing jewelry, high-end streetwear like Supreme, and vintage products, especially those celebrating Pittsburgh.

 Courtesy & The People photographed by Xavier Thomas

Courtesy & The People photographed by Xavier Thomas

Those at the event saw the progressive nature the city possesses. Aidan Wallace, a Pittsburgh native who has been away in New York and abroad in Europe for the greater part of five years said, "Pittsburgh is changing, and it makes me want to move back and contribute to the city that raised me."

Opportunities to express ambitions and creativity continue to emerge in the city due to self-motivation and Pittsburgh pride. Catch a chance to experience the movement on Thursday, August 25 and Saturday, August 27 at Spirit, a bar venue in Lawrenceville where attendees will hear the 2000s and contemporary hip-hop breathe. These events are also put together by Brown of farESH Brand along with Natalie Coccia.