By Jana Schiowitz Posted September 23, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA Fashion for Charity co-founder Diane Superville wanted to accommodate more guests and change the flow of her annual fund-raiser this year, and did so by taking over the Moore Building and tapping Mary Rego of marketing and branding company Brand Collective to develop a production strategy, create a campaign, and secure partners and sponsors.
“Initially, Diane approached me to take things up a notch and take it to another level. I felt there was a lot of potential to bring in bigger designers and centralize the location,” Rego said. The Leading Ladies League also came on board to assist with partners and the guest list.
Previously, the fund-raiser was held at Palmetto Bay Village Center, and drew fewer than 500 guests. This year, more than 800 fashion industry professionals, political figures, brand ambassadors, and members of the media came out to raise awareness about sex trafficking and child abuse, as Florida is one of the top three sex-trafficking destinations in the U.S. “We thought, 'What better place to host this event than in the venue known for holding amazing fashion shows?'” said Rego. Funds generated from ticket sales, a cash bar in the general admission area, a silent auction, and pop-up boutiques went to benefit two nonprofit organizations: Project Start Off Smart through the Homestead Police Department and the Edge Charitable Foundation.
The event spanned three of the four floors in the Moore Building. The first floor housed the check-in area, a lounge with a 12- by 12-foot center bar, and a 60-foot runway designed by Michael Designs. Custo Barcelona began and ended the fashion show with looks for both kids and adults. Between shows, a bionic ballerina, wearing an illuminated costume provided by Zhantra Entertainment, entertained guests with performances on the runway while DJs Benton and Johnny the Boy spun music. AVER Productions also provided lighting, used as a transitional element for each show.
On the second floor, sofas, ottomans, and trees dressed in lighting decorated the V.I.P. lounge. Perks for those who purchased $75 V.I.P. tickets included access to the lounge and two gift bags, one with an art book by Romero Britto and the other filled with sponsor products. Pasha's Miami Beach provided Mediterranean menu items including mini potato borek, mini chicken adana balls, and chocolate mousse served in martini glasses for dessert.
The third floor doubled as a pop-up boutique shopping area. Vendors like Rik Rak Salon and Motives by Loren Ridinger offered complimentary makeup, hair, and eyelash treatments, while other vendors displayed items for sale, with part of the proceeds going back to the charities. “We were just elated and overwhelmed with how many people came to support the cause, because Floridians really feel that it is an issue,” Rego said.