BerkChique! 2018: Shopping For Good Yields Great Buys
You hear it a lot during the season. Compliment a woman on what she’s wearing and the response is likely to be “I got it at BerkChique!”
The Berkshires’ premier annual pop-up clothing sale and fundraiser function, BerkChique! ushers in the season and helps us get our wardrobes in order for the busy months ahead. Returning for its 7th year, the “shop” will be held at the West Stockbridge Historical Society this weekend. WAM Theatre is the host this year.
The donated merchandise — new and gently used clothing and accessories — has come out of some of the most fashionable closets in the Berkshires, as well as the “The Bonnington Collection” from the area’s preeminent fashionista, Vicki Bonnington. She, along with philanthropist and businesswoman Nancy Fitzpatrick, conceived of BerkChique! as a fun way for donors to clean out closets in support of local nonprofits. Since its inception, the event has donated over $150,000 to organizations.
This year there are five beneficiaries: WAM Theatre, Berkshire Humane Society, Community Access to the Arts, and IS183 Art School of the Berkshires.
“Every year it’s a different store,” says Bonnington. “First, you never know where it’s going to be. It’s difficult to find a venue when you need at least 3,000 square feet, a place that’s warm and dry, with parking…for free. And, of course, there’s always new clothing and accessories for sale.”
Rack at a previous BerkChique!
What could be better? You’re shopping for a good cause, and the prices beat retail. Just be sure to wear presentable undergarments; the dressing room’s a communal one. But that’s part of the fun. People form camaraderie in the dressing room, so no one’s going to let you go home with anything you probably shouldn’t.
“Every year is a little bit better and bigger. We’ve actually gotten a lot more donations than in previous years, probably due to the ‘WAMily.’“ Bonnington says, referring to WAM’s director, Kristen van Ginhoven and her network of fans.
What happens to the merch that’s not sold?
“None of the stuff we collect gets thrown out,” says Bonnington. Unsold items and those that don’t make it into the sale are donated to the Berkshire Humane Society’s Catwalk Boutique, Shakespeare & Company, the Soldier On Women’s Program, Goodwill Industries of the Berkshires and Suit Yourself.
West Stockbridge Historical Society
9 Main St., West Stockbridge, MA
First Dibs Shopping Party: Friday, May 11, 5:30-8:30 p.m., $100 (Tickets here or at the door.)
General Shopping: 6:30-8:30 p.m., $25 for 1 or $40 for 2
Weekend shopping, free admission
Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sunday, May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.