Project Runway meets Biz Markie: All for charity. Need I say more?

By Megan Shippam,

It’s what every girl dreams of hearing and what every guy secretly enjoys. Getting complimented on their stylish sensibility and their “Oh this? I just thought this outfit up in my head” look.

However, when it comes to fashion in Sactown, there is an underground scene at best. I admit that I jump at any local fashion event, albeit the only ones worth writing home about were past Hair Wars. But they’ve since lost their pizazz due to what seemed to be a dying progressive scene. Enter the new stylists in town.

Come Friday, Nov. 19, these trailblazers are going to knock your socks off with “Fashion Gives Back.” Part Launch Party, meets Project Runway, meets concert entertainment by a hip-hop legend – all to benefit the Capitol City Aids Fund. Sew that all together and you get the ultimate charity event of the season!

Who are these style gurus you ask? Well! Practicing their catwalks are Mary Gonsalves Kinney and Michael Gonsalves of Sister | Brother Style. Siblings by day – styling duo by night.

Finally! This is what Sacramento has been waiting for. At least this is what me and my twenty-something friends have been desperately craving. It’s just the fuel we Midtowners need to get inspired by the local scene. I mean, isn’t that what we live for??

Fashion Gives Back
This Friday at Lounge on 20, the Launch Party will feature a real runway show with local designer collections, peppered with pieces by Chris Collins. You may recognize him; he’s the San Francisco designer who made it to the top 5 of Project Runway, Season 8.  Yeah, that guy.

To top it off, musical entertainment will be provided by none other than the legendary, Biz Markie. This event is going to be high fashion, high energy and just plain fun. Watch out Zoe Camp: No “Taylor/Brad” situations allowed here. And who knows – if the bubbly is a flowin’, you might score yourself a free, subconscious style consultation on the spot from Sister | Brother. I’m just sayin’.

But Mary and Michael both insist the event is less about them and the focus is more about giving back to the community and inspiring creativity among the locals. “What better way to get people involved while benefiting the Capitol City Aids Fund who gives back to so many charitable organizations. It really is a win, win for all of us” said Michael.

About Sister | Brother Style
Sister | Brother started making waves just six close months ago, and the siblings have been running just to keep up with the cyclone of support that has hit them. Before it all started, Michael recounted back thinking, “There really is a fashion economy here in Sacramento it’s just under the radar. But there also isn’t a branded style company in the market…and then the light bulb just went off in our heads.”

Since they both can remember, the two have been obsessed with fashion and found it to be their creative outlets. Mary, who absolutely lit up when we started talking about the subject, explained that she found herself dressing her family and friends for various occasions. Everyone would come to her for styling advice and she enjoyed creating outfits and ensembles as a way to project her inner expertise.

She always took risks with high fashion and pushed stylistic boundaries. “My brother and I had always wanted to go into business together, but instead of just selling clothes at a boutique, we wanted to focus more on the creative process.” Mary said.

Growing up, Michael found his favorite hobby was reconstructing and altering his wardrobe to create new accessories that had never been made before. While living in LA, he would occasionally wander into Fred Segal. One day a buyer noticed a cuff bracelet that Michael was wearing and asked where he got it. This was before the whole “Cuff Craze” broke out. When he replied, “I made it out of an old belt I had” the buyer asked him if he could make 20 more for an event the following weekend.

Not many of us have the bragging rights to say that a buyer was interested in something we made. Let alone actually paid attention to something we wore at the famed Fred Segal no less. But in Michael’s case, that was a reality.

In such a short time Mary and Michael organized a winning business model that encompassed their love for helping people and their passion for creativity via styling. Michael’s affinity for repurposing, vintage and consignment cultures beautifully compliments his sister’s style, which is more high fashion, yet all-world classic. Ahhh, the best of both worlds in my book.

In need of some major wardrobe inspiration? Follow Sister | Brother’s fashion daily blog to keep up to date on the latest fashion trends, and of course impress your friends by recounting verbatim the latest posts.

For tickets to Fashion Gives Back, visit But hurry, space is limited and you won’t want to miss this one-of-kind event.

About Megan Shippam

Megan Shippam has covered stories about local restaurants, retailers, galleries, and festivals in the Midtown Grid specifically. Through her experiences with Sacramento culture, she has worked with owners to expand beyond their cover stories through outreach programs to deliver impactful lifestyle experiences. Megan was raised in Sutter Creek, a small town in Amador County and currently lives and works in Midtown as the Partnerships and Promotions liaison at The Glass Agency (formally Glass McClure).


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Posted by on Nov 17 2010. Filed under Charity and Volunteering, Events, Fashion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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