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SCAM ARTIST: Ron Smith, a man who bills himself as a business manager at a show production and public relations firm called S30 PR, seems to be scamming young designers yet again this season. Smith was assigned to work on shows for designers Julianna Bass, Allison Parrish and Cindy Renee Mathieu of Sodaliscious Clothing. That was until he alerted the designers via text message on Saturday morning saying, “After tirelessly going over the details of the show and the other designers show and the fact that all funds were not paid in, we have to cancel the show.” Bass, who said she gave Smith $7,500 toward show production costs, said Smith first called her after she was profiled in a new designers story in WWD last June. “He said he focused on helping up-and-coming designers who can’t afford to have shows at the tents during fashion week,” Bass explained. “He sounded very knowledgeable and trustworthy, I had no reason to believe he was scamming me.” Bass, who was scheduled to show her fall collection at the West Side Loft on Wednesday at 8 p.m., has managed to pull together some extra funds from friends and family and will now show at Mr. West Lounge at 559 West 22nd Street on the same date and time. Parrish was also scheduled to present her line at West Side Loft. She will now show her line at Greenhouse at 150 Varick Street today at 11 a.m. Sodaliscious Clothing has opted to postpone its show until a later date. All designers involved said they have been trying to reach Smith in hopes of getting their money back but he never returned their calls.
Smith’s first scam was reported back in September 2007 when he pulled the plug on a group fashion show he organized at the Hudson Hotel, disappointing participants who got word via an e-mail that read, “Show is not happening. Best, Ron.” One designer involved in that show in 2007 was Vengsarkar Budhu, who gave Smith $5,500 to participate. He said he received Smith’s e-mail that the show was canceled the day before it was supposed to take place. Budhu said he has never recovered the money and has been unable to reach Smith. Repeated calls to Smith’s cell phone by WWD were not returned.