The Strong Museum and The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency Partner to Offer Toy Runway Show

The Strong News Release
One Manhattan Square Rochester, NY 14607 • 585-263-2700 •

October 1, 2019

For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365,

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325,

The Strong Museum and
The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency
Partner to Offer Toy Hall-Themed Runway Show
on October 14

ROCHESTER, NY—Calling toy-loving fashion fans! The Strong and the Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency will present a family friendly runway show on Monday, October 14 from 4 to 8 p.m. as part of the Family Affair program during Fashion Week of Rochester. The show is the kick-off event for Fashion Week, which is celebrating 10 years and runs from October 14 to October 19. It will feature fashions inspired by a myriad of the toys enshrined in The Strong’s National Toy
Hall of Fame.

The toys in the prestigious National Toy Hall of Fame—from fashion-forward Barbie to the sporty skateboard to the simple, classic hula hoop—all provide wonderful and whimsical inspiration for the world of fashion,” says Mary Therese Friel, founder and CEO of the Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency and Former Miss USA. “We’ve put together clothing and apparel items that capture the spirit of these toys and our talented models will bring them to life in a playful and joyful way that the entire family will enjoy.”

The runway show will feature models inspired by the likes of Barbie, Star Wars action figures, G. I. Joe, Raggedy Anne, Dungeons and Dragons, and many more toys. (To see a full list of past inductees to the National Toy Hall of Fame, visit Each of the models will carry a placard denoting the year of induction into the Toy Hall. Earlier in the day, playful fashion activities will also be a part of The Strong’s Dress-Up Day on October 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program allows guests of all ages to transform into a fashion model with a glamourous outfit, take a turn on the catwalk, and stop by the styling salon to give Barbie a new hairdo.

“Fashion design is a creative and playful endeavor, and the museum jumped at the chance to see the toys in the National Toy Hall of Fame presented in such a unique and entertaining way,” says Kelly Lucyszyn, director of advertising and marketing publications at The Strong, who assisted in conceptualizing some of the fashions for the show. “We’ve worked with The Mary Therese Modeling Agency many times in the past, and there’s no group better equipped to marry the worlds of high-end fashion and toy inductees.”

To see the full listings of Fashion Week of Rochester activities, or to purchase tickets for the Family Affair event, which benefits the Center for Youth Services, visit

About The Strong
The Strong is a highly interactive, collections-based museum devoted to the history and exploration of play. It is one of the largest history museums in the United States and one of the leading museums serving families. The Strong houses the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of historical materials related to play and is home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games, the National Toy Hall of Fame, the World Video Game Hall of Fame, the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play, the Woodbury School, and the American Journal of Play. Together, these enable a multifaceted array of research, exhibition, and other interpretive and educational activities that serve a diverse audience of adults, families, children, students, teachers, scholars, collectors, and others around the globe.

About The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency
The Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency is a full-service modeling agency with a complete training program, established in 1987 by Mary Therese Friel, Former Miss USA, Ford Model, National Spokesperson, Goodwill Ambassador and Author. Mary Therese Friel, LLC specializes in representing professional models and talent and providing professional training in the areas of modeling, acting, pageantry and self-development.

About Fashion Week Rochester
Fashion Week of Rochester launched in 2010 to engage the community in a three-day event that would spotlight local designers, boutiques, businesses and artists while shining a light on youth homelessness. In its ninth year, Fashion Week 2019 will include five runway shows October 14 to 19, and continue to bring awareness and financial support to The Center for Youth’s homeless programs, so no child or youth in our community is faced with an uncertain, unstable or unsafe place to live.