BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio — The much-anticipated 52nd Annual Designer Dress Days, a National Council of Jewish Women of Cleveland fundraiser, is still a go in this year of COVID-19 — with a few changes.
One of those changes should make shoppers happy as the NCJW is promising special, lower “Pandemic Pricing.” Other changes have the event being held during the weekend of Oct. 16-18, including Saturday, Oct. 17, rather than extending into the following week, as in past years, and a different venue. The event will this year be held at the NCJW’s Thriftique Showroom, 5055 Richmond Road in Bedford Heights. In recent years, the event has been held at the larger Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood.
For those unfamiliar, Designer Dress Days combines the fun of bargain shopping with fashionista finds and the satisfaction of philanthropy. Featured are great finds and deals on gently-worn exclusive designer brands, such as Rag and Bone, Prada and Armani, plus luxurious furs. Unlike past years, jewelry and accessories will not be for sale at this year’s event.
“We get donations all year round for Designer Dress Days,” said Debbie Rosenthal, a NCJW board member, vice president of retail operations for the organization, and DDD co-chair, along with Solon’s Kelly Markowitz. “So, we’re working year round to sort them and hang them and tag them and price them. It is a highly anticipated event. We send out flyers about six weeks in advance, we’ve done a photo teaser, and we’ve placed things on Facebook and Instagram to get people excited for the event.
“We’ll be in a smaller venue with more exclusive designer clothes, so that means there’ll be less merchandise (than past years), and limiting the number of people that can enter at a time.” State guidelines for indoor events will be followed, including mask wearing and distancing.
“We had many meetings to discuss what DDD would look like this year because of COVID, and it was not feasible for us to do it at the JCC with the amount of customers and volunteers we normally have.
“It’s a special event, it’s our annual fundraiser for National Council of Jewish Women,” said Rosenthal, of Orange. “It benefits women, children and families of northeast Ohio — all (including non-Jewish) families.”
Rosenthal has worked at many DDDs, the first several years as a volunteer. Looking through donations, she said, is always a pleasure for volunteers.
“We have a lot of fun going through all of the donations, hanging clothes up and pretending we’re trying them on, but we wait for the sale and our volunteers are allowed to shop. And our members shop, as well. There’s a lot of energy at the event. It’s just a very fun experience, and it’s for a cause, so it makes you feel very good that we’re doing such a positive thing for our community, and having fun at the same time. We’ll have fabulous prices this year that we’re calling ‘Pandemic Pricing.’”
Donated clothes are regularly sold at the Thriftique, but for DDD, the exclusive designer clothes are set aside for the special sale.
As for what will be available at DDD, Rosenthal said, “We have dresses, we have blouses, we have blazers and jackets, we have cashmere sweaters, skirts, pants, we have leather products and fur coats and jackets. Lots of items.
“We’re really excited about this year’s event,” she said. “We’re putting all safety requirements in place and we have a lot of good things. We’re looking forward to it.”
Only credit/debit cards will be accepted at this year’s event, and there will be no available dressing rooms. Designer Dress Days will begin with a preview day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 16. There is a $20 admission fee for preview day, and advanced registration and payment are required. To reserve a one-hour time slot, call 216-379-7238.
Sale days will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18, and are free and open to the public.
For more information, call 216-378-2204, or visit DDDs Facebook page @DDDCleve.
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