Fashion Week Celebrated in Unlikely Places

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UWS Dry Cleaner creates homage to Fashion Week with Barbie dolls.

Apthorp Cleaners Fashion Week 2013

I can tell you there’s obviously a real interest in Fashion Week on the UWS, and we love it.

As the southern end of the Upper West Side teems with people consumed with the action generated by Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, a little further north on Amsterdam Avenue a neighborhood dry cleaner is celebrating the event with their own homage to high fashion clothes and that fashion icon, the Barbie doll.

In recent years, the windows at Apthorp Cleaners between 78th and 79th Streets on the UWS have become a destination for children of all ages in the neighborhood. Owner Debra Kravet began displaying fashion savvy Barbie dolls in October 2011 with a simple pink bedroom diorama in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month. What started, as a community health based message has become an avocation for Kravet as she continues to enthrall the neighborhood with her creative displays. “The children in the neighborhood enjoyed that first window display so much that I began planning a Barbie Thanksgiving dinner window, a Small Business Saturday holiday shopping theme, a Go Red for Heart Health scene, and I’ve just kept it going.”

This month, Mrs. Kravet is celebrating the UWS phenomena of Fashion Week. One of her 30” x 30” windows offers a behind the scenes glimpse of Barbie models getting ready for the runway (with a tip to on lookers to always protect their clothes from hair care and make up products), and the other window features her runway favorites from the latest Robert Best (Barbie’s favorite couturier) collection, as well as an audience of very well-dressed New Yorkers, and a Ken photographer on hand to memorialize it all.

“We always know how popular our window displays are based on how many times a day we have to go out and wipe the finger prints off the glass. With that as a guide, I can tell you there’s obviously a real interest in Fashion Week on the UWS, and we love it,” says Kravet.

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Debra Kravet
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