A taste of New York comes to Garrison Avenue Saturday night


Let’s face it. Arkansas doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to fashion trends. Many of us in smaller communities are happy with a version of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s approach to dressing. Instead of hoodies, we’re prone to reaching for our favorite Razorback shirt or something that shows our pride in – insert mascot here.

That’s all beginning to change, though. Perhaps the growing interest in current fashion trends is tied to Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data showing more Arkansans than ever work in business and business services, and education and health services. Additionally, the age of the uniform is ending in many service industries and employees are now left to their own fashion devices.

Arkansans of all ages are more mobile than ever. We enjoy visiting New York City with friends, and we are developing a growing desire for effortless comfort and style.

Tammy Aldridge is banking on this growing desire for comfortable style. Her store, Simply Couture on Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith, is filled with affordable luxury that reflects styles and trends showcased in fashion hubs around the world.

In celebration of New York Fashion Week, Tammy is hosting New York in the Fort, a fashion show benefiting Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center.

Tammy explains, “Simply Couture is a destination for women from across our region. It’s as much about the experience as it is about finding that perfect outfit for everyday wear or a special occasion. New York in the Fort will take these Simply Couture encounters to a whole new level. We want to create an evening that transports our guests to a runway in New York City. Plus, we’re working with a local nonprofit that benefits lots of women in our area when they need support.”

Tammy selected Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center because her lifelong friend, Daphne Dahlem, works at the center. Tammy says she loves Fort Smith and the people of this region and that partnering with Heart to Heart just makes sense.

“Each of us, at some time or another, has needed help, and we didn’t know where to turn. Heart to Heart helps women find hope and restores self-esteem. The organization helps fulfill practical needs, as well as emotional needs during what can be frightening times. Daphne’s work inspires me. I just thought it made sense for us to make more memories together, even as we create moments for moms and daughters, good friends, and even the guys.”

Tammy credits her husband, Bobby Aldridge, with shaping the experience at Simply Couture. A comfortable couch and a flat screen TV provide a relaxing atmosphere for those family members who don’t share a love of shopping.

New York in the Fort takes place September 10, at 7:30 p.m. at 305 Garrison Avenue in downtown Fort Smith.

Tammy explains the runway show, featuring the Delta Gamma Fraternity at UAFS, as “15 minutes of electric motion, fueled by New York-inspired lighting and sound.”

Tammy hand-selected each of the wardrobe items. While she’s keeping specifics under wraps until showtime, the connoisseur of Couture says the runway will complement the kinds of styles available in her shop every day. Show items will feature clean lines and delicate colors that will work well in an office environment or a night out with friends. Tammy gets a charge out of finding versatile foundation and statement pieces that any woman can comfortably and affordably wear, whether she’s a senior in high school or an executive at ArcBest Headquarters in Fort Smith.

Following the show, guests will be invited to mingle and enjoy complimentary champagne and tasty, chic snacks provided by Creative Kitchen in downtown Fort Smith. A special performance by a female DJ will conclude the evening.

Admission, snacks, and champagne are complimentary. 10% of all sales during the evening will be donated to Heart to Heart Pregnancy Support Center.

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