Runaway Spring Release Party

Gabe Eng-Goetz RSRP

Best. Party. EVER.

Okay, a slight exaggeration.

Party of the Year might be more appropriate, and even with eight months to go, it will be hard to dethrone such a combination of immaculate weather conditions, Durhamites, passer-bys, and the overall beautiful vibe of party and people.

“April 12th’s Spring Release Party was our way of showing that Runaway is not just a clothing line, but a lifestyle brand. One of our primary goals for 2014 was to host more events and become even more entrenched in local culture.” – Gabe Eng-Goetz, Designer

As we say in the biz, “Sky’s out, thighs out!” You’re right, maybe we don’t actually say that, but attendees were certainly justified showing some skin in their favorite shorts and Runaway tanks for an afternoon maxin’ at Mercury Studios, who graciously played host to the Runaway Spring Release Party.

 The city of Durham was anxiously waiting out the brutal winter season. Sunny skies and warmer air were just over the horizon. In anticipation of the event, Eng-Goetz and myself spent some time at the Paradoxos Festival downtown promoting the brand and spreading the good word.

It must have worked.

Some of the brightest young entrepreneurs who spent Thursday and Friday at Paradoxos were in attendance for the Spring Release Party. Gifted individuals like Katie Deconto of Mercury Studios, Taylor Mingos of Shoeboxed, and Laura Richie of The Carrack, mixed and mingled with many more of Durham’s future community leaders from a range of disciplines. It was a true representation of how tight the degrees of separation are in Durham, and how talent gravitates towards talent. This includes a number of musicians, artists, and ex-Runaway models who have collaborated with Goetz in the past.

Having a Rolodex of friends who happen to be amazing creatives has its perks. Party goers had the chance to watch Supergraphic Printmaking Guru Raj Bunnag showcase his specialty from start to finish.

Screen Printing Part 1:

Screen Printing Part 2:

Screen Printing Part 3:

Raj Bunnag of Supergraphic with the finished product.

The highlight of the evening (besides the free PBR) was without question the secret debut performance of newly formed Durham supergroup, C4 Complete, comprised of musicians Jon LeSueur of LiLa, Tommy Rau of Big Hell, plus Duncan Webster and Joe Hall of Hammer No More The Fingers. Only a few practices less than two weeks before the party was all the veteran performers needed to bring the house down. The band enlisted local emcee Shirlette Ammons, whose aggressive rhymes and stage presence fused seamlessly with the electronic rock reverberating through the walls of Mercury Studio.

Overall, Eng-Goetz recognizes that the people of Durham are what ultimately made this such an amazing event. “I was very pleased with the turnout; an energetic, diverse crowd that came to throw down with some of Durham’s finest.  Sales were great. C4 Complete crushed it.  All in all it was a great day for the brand and the city I call home.  The support was tremendous.”

More than selling clothing, the Spring Release Party celebrated the power of community. The Durham Effect. Those familiar with Runaway, and those new to the brand, shared in a powerful moment of reflection on past, present, and future culminating in the mutual appreciation for what we had accomplished, and what is inevitably approaching the place we call home. The Spring Release Party challenged all those who do not believe Durham is on the cusp of transformation.

Full disclosure, the Clarion Content was one of the proud sponsors of Runaway Clothes Spring Premier Party.


Columnist Justin Laidlaw is a renaissance man. His interests range from the music business to politics, from Durham’s history and culture, to the world beyond. The co-host of Clarion Content’s podcast, he is fast becoming a veteran columnist. He is a fashion model, a tech sceptic, a business manager and more.

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