Celeste Smith (left) and Dominique Luster (right) strike a pose for Work of Art. Image courtesy of ModCloth.

ModCloth may have become part of the Walmart family—to the displeasure of many in Pittsburgh—but the locally-founded online clothier still wants to honor its roots. Now women of the city’s art scene are being given the spotlight as part of the company’s latest fashion campaign.

ModCloth recently launched #StyleforAll Work of Art, a curated collection of chic workwear modeled by several influential female arts professionals in Pittsburgh. The campaign also provides bios that delve into each woman’s job, favorite artist and personal style.

ModCloth fashion director Lizz Wasserman says the collection was inspired by British artist and 1960s Op-Art pioneer Bridget Riley, along with the colorful Warhol flowers painted on empty storefronts and buildings all over Pittsburgh.

“As we’ve been working on casting our Style for All campaign, we’ve tried to tie in the inspiration behind the collections and trends each month to find an inspiring group of women to shoot with,” says Wasserman. “Being able to shoot with these amazing women in the Pittsburgh art world was such a perfect connection of art history and the future of art: these women.”

Elana Schlenker pairs a backpack with a floral romper. Image courtesy of ModCloth.
Elana Schlenker pairs a backpack with a floral romper. Image courtesy of ModCloth.

Among those featured is Nina Barbuto, founder and director of the Garfield-based community arts and technology space Assemble. She believes the campaign showcases the womenmany of whom she considers “dear friends”who work to make Pittsburgh’sd art scene a welcoming place for everyone.

“We have a supportive community in the arts,” she says, but admits there are challenges facing those who work in the city’s museums, shops and other art spaces. “More interest, patronage and participation from people would be appreciated. If you feel ‘you can’t do art’ or ‘you are not creative,’ finding a place or someone in the art world of Pittsburgh might help you to find a portal to your true self.”

Nina Barbuto in a maxi dress and cardigan. Image courtesy of ModCloth.
Nina Barbuto in a maxi dress and cardigan. Image courtesy of ModCloth.

Work of Art covers a wide array of arts-related careers, ranging from Dominique Luster, who works for the Carnegie Museum of Art as an archivist for the Teenie Harris exhibit, to Elana Schlenker, an independent graphic designer and publisher. Also in the mix are 1Hood Media CEO Celeste Smith, assistant fine art curator Akemi May, multimedia producer Njaimeh Njie, and Kara Skylling, who serves as exhibition coordinator and facilities manager at Carnegie Mellon University’s Miller Gallery.

The campaign also highlights the importance of creating stylish professional attire that caters to all sizes and body types.

“As a person who identifies as a curvy female, I want to make sure that whatever I wear, I can be respected for my mind and my heart but still be me,” says Barbuto, who also works as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture.

She adds, “Personally, the real challenge is finding blazers in all the colors of the rainbow with pockets.”

Amanda Waltz

Amanda Waltz is a freelance journalist and film critic whose work has appeared locally in numerous publications. She writes for The Film Stage and is the founder and editor of Steel Cinema, a blog dedicated to covering Pittsburgh film culture. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and oversized house cat.