Fashion show aims to prove style not limited to high-end labelsWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo native Philana Marie Boles once shared an elevator with Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. She said she didn’t breathe.
Boles spent most of her adult life in New York City where she wrote for major publishers and worked for Spike Lee’s film company.
“[It was] the best of the world and the worst of the world,” she said. “It’s true: if you can make it in New York, you really can make it anywhere. … It toughened me. It made me stronger, it made me wiser, it made me a sharper businessperson.”
Her favorite job — “by far” — was a media relations associate at Glamour.
“It’s very much like ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’” she said. “I loved fashion but I couldn’t afford Dolce & Gabbana T-shirts; I was making like $15 an hour.”
Two years ago, Boles returned to Toledo for family reasons. She didn’t want to return at first, but now calls it a blessing.
“Some things in life you can plan and sometimes you have to follow life’s plan,” she said.
In 2013, she founded P. Marie Talent Management after being contacted by a few young models.
“I knew what it was like to be a young person here and have big dreams … no one could tell me at 14 or 15 years old that I couldn’t conquer the world,” she said. “I just knew it was my calling to help guide [young people here].”
The business grew from there. This past fall, Boles opened P. Marie Studios at Common Space Toledo to host regular photoshoots and workshops. The business has grown to 23 models.
Boles, a goal-oriented person, said she didn’t know what the business would become.
“I just decided to see where it was going to take me,” she said. “I knew that with the talent I had under me I would stop at nothing to help them reach their goals.”
One of the models is Dana Raye, a senior at Notre Dame Academy, who started modeling at 13 years old. Raye hopes to one day move to California and star in a movie.
She also wants to work for Doctors Without Borders.
“My biggest role model would be Dorothy Day,” Raye said. “To see someone take the life path that she did and develop this whole idea of taking care of people who are less fortunate and creating her own homeless shelter … her life story is very inspiring.”
P. Marie Talent Management will host Fashion Defined, a fashion show featuring clothes exclusively sold at the show’s two sponsors: Savers Thrift Stores and Bass Pro Shops.
“I think, as a society, we tend to be [obsessed with labels],” Boles said. “I always tell them that fashion doesn’t define you, you define fashion. You should be able to model in whatever … hopefully it’ll inspire not just them but other young people that come out to see the show.
“They pulled some really cool stuff. I can’t wait for people to see what they came up with,” Boles said.
Boles said she thought she achieved all the professional goals she had until she started helping young people.
“I’m dreaming new dreams,” she said. “A lot of my dreams are to see them be not just successful but to be good people.”
Fashion Defined is set for Jan. 3 at UAW Local 14, 5411 Jackman Road. Tickets are $12 online in advance and $15 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.pmarie.com.