Walla Walla’s first fashion fiesta

Linnaea Weld

Tonight fashion will hit the streets of Walla Walla with a runway show and celebration hosted by Walla Walla Clothing Company. The event is in honor of Eileen Fisher, a designer whose self-named clothing company is based in New York.

The event will take place in a tent on Main Street, starting with wine, food and mingling with Eileen Fisher staff at 5 p.m. The runway show will start at 6 p.m., displaying clothing from the fall/winter collection, and a fashion and trend discussion will take place afterward. In terms of community involvement, local restaurant T Maccarone’s will do the catering, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to two local charities.

While Eileen Fisher regularly hosts trunk shows at Walla Walla Clothing Company, when store co-owner Theresa Morasch was asked to be involved with the designer’s 30th anniversary, she decided to amp up the event.

“We decided to step it up … the next 10 levels” said Morasch. “[Eileen Fisher has] never seen anyone do an event like this before.”

In addition to Eileen Fisher fashion staff, or “tipsters,” coming to Walla Walla from LA, there will be models from Seattle, along with staff from Eileen Fisher Seattle. Walla Walla Clothing Company has been planning this event since July, and Morasch is excited to bring such a big, new event to Walla Walla.

“It’s something fun and new for people to come to,” she said. “We’re excited.”

The event will be unlike any other celebration in Walla Walla. Both the size of the event and the focus on runway fashion make the show something to look forward to, both for residents and students.

The scale of this event represents Morasch’s commitment to the long-standing relationship between Eileen Fisher and Walla Walla Clothing Company. The store has been selling clothes from the designer since it opened in Walla Walla 13 years ago.

“We started carrying Eileen Fisher in a fairly small way, and our business has grown with the brand,” said Morasch. “Nobody in this town really knew about Eileen Fisher until we brought it to this town.”

Walla Walla Clothing Company is the largest independent retailer of Eileen Fisher in the nation. The store sells other brands and designers as well, with a focus on clothes for all price points, as well as a focus on goods made in the United States. The clothing company is unique for Walla Walla. There are two other locations, including as a shop in Boise, and two more locations in the works.

“We are a small big boy’s business,” said Morasch. “Usually [Eileen Fisher specialty stores] are 1,800 to 2,400 square feet, and we’re at 5,000 square feet.”

Because of the caliber of the company and the merchandise they sell, Eileen Fisher fits well in the store and with shoppers in town.

“She has something in her wardrobe for anyone. I mean, I’m wearing Eileen Fisher today,” said Morasch.

Tonight, 13 years of working with Eileen Fisher and the status of being a large fashion establishment in Walla Walla will come to fruition in the event. Not only is this event bringing something new, high caliber fashion, to Walla Walla, but a similar event will probably not happen for a long time after this.

“Nobody has ever done something like this, but it’s something we probably won’t do again,” said Morasch. “It’s a lot of work.”