The weekend is here and while I’m looking forward to some rest (finally! this has been a crazy busy week), I’m also looking forward to The Everyday People Fall and Winter Fashion Show, produced and hosted by Shalishah “Petey” Franklin, owner of Strange Fruit Productions. One of the hardest working women I know, I was able to get her to take a few moments away from her work (the show is tonight at AIM Co-Op Studios (287 Madison Ave.) and give the NDLoop readers a little more insight into Strange Fruit Vintage.

Tell us a little about SFV.
Strange Fruit Vintage is an online urban vintage clothing boutique that specializes in offering quality clothes and accessories from the 1980s to the present. Since launching in the spring of 2010, SFV has held three pop-up shops in Memphis and has been featured in various publications including the Memphis Flyer, and on the popular SFV was also featured on “Flipside Memphis,” a documentary produced by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with Live from Memphis that highlighted all things unique to Memphis.

Vintage (in the fashion world) is classified as anything over 10 yrs old. What made you choose the 80s-90s as Strange Fruit’s niche?
I am a 80s baby and I am consistently inspired by hip hop, art and popular culture from this time-period. I began throwing events under the moniker Strange Fruit Productions a few years ago and at one event in particular, I projected the movie Breakin’ on the wall to play silently during the party.  Some of my younger crowd marveled at the movie…just stared and watched it. It was at that time that I had an epiphany…there is a new generation or two, who have only heard about the 1980s. So, I decided to begin SFV to introduce the original clothes to younger generations and to re-introduce the original clothes to people who already know and love the era.

What was your inspiration behind hosting an “every day people” fashion show (which I hear is sold out, by the way. Kudos! That’s a huge accomplishment).
Thank you. The Everyday People Fall and Winter Fashion Show is indeed sold out and that is a huge honor and accomplishment for me. I’m humbled by it honestly.  Selecting “everyday people” for the fashion show all goes back to Strange Fruit Productions, my original party company. Being an artist, living in Memphis, not necessarily fitting comfortably into the club scene or typical entertainment experience here, I created SFP to offer an artistic experience where people could just be themselves. I’m a firm believer in diversity on so many levels and I think we as a society have to get to a point where we appreciate people not for their similarities but for their differences.

How did you select your models?
My models in the upcoming show are dancers, artists, rappers, social workers, epidemiologists, actors and many other things. They are tall, short, thin, curvy, various races, various ages….they are me…they are you.  And that’s the point. They are everyday people and damn beautiful for it. Some of them I’ve known. Some of them I’ve met randomly over the past month and awkwardly asked them to model in my show.  Some of them responded to a model call a month ago.

I know that you’re a big proponent of individual style; are the model’s looks a collaborative effort or where there certain looks already set but you needed the right person to rock them?
For the most part, the person makes the clothes and not vice versa. I have over 400 vintage pieces in the SFV studio and I gathered my 25 models and began styling their outfits for the show based around who they are as people. Some of my girls are really really sassy and you will know exactly why they are wearing the items they are!

What can those lucky enough to score a seat expect from the show?

This is a culmination of what intense creativity, love, and faith look like in action. 70 straight up and down fabulous looks, 25 beautifully diverse models, 5 performances including beatboxers and violinists, in an artistic and collaborative space, set to great 80s and 90s music on a fantastically warm night in downtown Memphis. For those who will be there, thank you in advance. For those who didn’t score a ticket to this show, I hope that you join us for the pop up shop immediately to follow and open to the public, 8-10p.  And most importantly, I hope you all stay “NDLoop” with SFV….there’s so much more.

Where can people shop & find out more Strange Fruit Vintage?
Each week we offer the “seven on sale” on featuring hot and rare finds for men and women.  We also do events in the Memphis area and will be expanding to other cities very soon.  Follow us on twitter @iamstrangefruit. Grow where you’re planted.

It’s always a pleasure talking to someone so dedicated to their craft. She’s proof positive that hardwork really pays off!

So dear readers, who scored tickets to the Fashion Show? Who’s going to shop? Comment below and keep us NDLoop!