There aren’t many small towns that can boast a New York City fashion designer in their midst — but Turners Falls can!
Love brought Richie Richardson from the big city to the region, but its beauty, potential, and sense of community have kept him here. Splitting his time between the Big Apple and Turners Falls, Richardson runs FAB Fashion Boutique on Second Street, bringing high fashion to Franklin County.
He shared what he finds so special about the village that he calls his second home and how he’s bringing fashion week to Avenue A with Executive Producer Tony Dunne.
This segment originally aired on March 31, 2022.
Read the full transcript:
Zydalis Bauer, Connecting Point: The largest of the five villages that make up the town of Montague, this former industrial town has, like so many others before it looked in recent years to arts, culture, and a burgeoning small business scene as a way to bring new life to it. And that includes introducing high fashion to Avenue A.
Love brought clothing designer Richie Richardson from New York City to the area. But its beauty, potential, and sense of community have kept him here. Splitting his time between the Big Apple and Turners Falls, Richardson runs FAB Fashion Boutique on Second Street.
He shared what he finds so special about the village that he calls his second home with executive producer Tony Dunne.
Richie Richardson, FAB Fashion Boutique: What I have found in the four years that we’ve been here at FAB, so many new people have come to town, like I once was. And I’ve met many of these people. And what I’ve heard from them is that there is this buzz they’ve heard somewhere.
And it inspires me because Turners Falls is a tiny speck. I mean, downtown Turners Falls is one block, one square block. But there is something that is happening here, that there’s a cultural — there’s a — there’s a connecting something that is bringing people here that they’re hearing about. And it feels like a little creative center that you can come into and bring your piece into, because it’s going to give something back to you.
Almost like a Thanksgiving. Everybody comes to the table with something, and then there’s this wonderful feast with all of these different flavors, because we all bring a different dish. And Turners Falls feels like that to me, a wonderful amalgam of all of these things happening.
We don’t have a lot of diversity. I am the diversity in town. I love that I am the diversity in town because I shout a lot and and I use myself as a sort of a cultural ambassador to constantly tell people what’s possible here and to share with people my experiences here.
We decided to introduce Fashion Week a few years ago. It was something that gravitated and people felt that this is an opportunity to bring the fashion focus here.And because I have a lot of friends in fashion, I was able to put the word out and bring them here.
To create the kind of fashion week in New England that becomes a major portal, a major hub that allows for diversity, allows for cultivating new ideas, new people, showing new worlds. So, we are developing this.
This will be the third year. And we really have this vision that we want this to be something that is owned by this region, particularly Franklin County. Something that gives us a sort of a name branding in terms of fashion, something that impacts the tourism, something that impacts community, something that brings people together, something that allows for new and emerging creatives to show their work.
So, the platform, the architecture that we are setting in place is to give recognition for all of these parts. And like the the same analogy I use with Thanksgiving is, all of those pieces that come together that are able to share with the entire community.
Going to New York, I am very excited. When I’m coming back here, I’m very excited. Because what here allows me…it allows me the opportunity to practice the kind of things that I can practice in a space that only allows for that here.
So I’m a yogi, I run, I…all the things that I need to do with nature allows for that here.