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Carlisle indies team up for catwalk show

Independents in Carlisle joined forces to host a collaborative fashion event last week, which was intended to promote their businesses, encourage customers to shop locally and raise money for charity.

Department store Hoopers, womenswear retailers Chameleon and Creme, plus menswear indie Casanova hosted a catwalk show at Carlisle Racecourse last week, as part of a fundraising event.

The event, which was called Glamour and Glitz, raised money for the children’s unit at the Eden Valley Hospice in Carlisle, and attracted more than 400 people, with tickets priced at £20 each.

The retailers hosted individual catwalk shows for the brands stocked in their stores, with models including football players from Carlisle United and their wives.

Terry Foster, owner of Casanova, which sells menswear brands including Pal Zileri, Gant and Paul & Shark, said: “With business getting a bit tighter, the event was a good marketing exercise and the money went to a good cause.”

Jessica Farrer, co-owner of Chameleon, which stocks brands including By Malene Birger, Sarah Arnett, Paige Premium Denim, Set and Meghan Fabulous, said the event helped raise the profile of the independent womenswear market in the town.

“There aren’t that many independents in the area, so this was a good way to encourage people to get used to shopping in boutiques,” she said.

Farrer added that she is looking to relocate to a bigger store closer to Carlisle city centre and will also launch a transactional website later this month.

“We get asked an awful lot whether we have a website, particularly from customers outside Carlisle, so it’s what we have to do,” said Farrer. “Hopefully it will attract shoppers from outside the area.”

Chameleon, which celebrated its first anniversary in September, hosted a similar event earlier this year when it teamed up with vintage boutique Ruby Blue to show off their autumn 08 collections in a catwalk show, which raised £1,800 for charity.

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