Southern California's Top Fashion & Retail Events 2009

February 16, 2009, 8:00 AM EST

Lucy Liu and honoree Manolo Blahnik at the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style

Photo: Berliner Studios/BEImages

1. Rodeo Drive Walk of Style
The City of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee cosponsor this annual event on the famed shopping street, where one big-name fashion icon scoops up the Walk of Style award. In September, it went to Manolo Blahnik at a Parisian-themed party.

2. Class Trade Show
This fashion trade show only debuted in March 2008, but by the time it returned for its second go at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in August, it was clear it had gathered significant steam and cachet. Green initiatives and California-style bonuses—like surf lessons for participants—set the show apart. This year's installation took place on February 2 and 3. 

3. Divine Design
This five-day shopping fund-raiser draws thousands to benefit Project Angel Food and the Beverly Hills Fire and Police Department. In its 16th year, the 2008 event ran from December 4 through 8 at 9900 Wilshire in Beverly Hills.

4. Macy’s Passport
This annual fall AIDS fund-raiser takes to Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar with a high-energy fashion show complete with dancers and special effects. Pre- and after-parties in an adjacent tent keep the crowd fed. The event also makes a San Francisco appearance.

5. Gen Art Fresh Faces in Fashion
This show—which in years past debuted designers like Zac Posen, Milly, and Rebecca Taylor—also features a pre-show reception and a big after-party. The 2008 event, hosted by Mandy Moore, took to the Petersen Automotive Museum in October.

6. Chips Charity Luncheon
This decade-old spring ladies’ luncheon hosted by the Colleague Helpers in Philanthropic Service honors fashion designers—most recently Tory Burch—at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The event benefits family-aid group Children’s Institute Incorporated.

7. FIDM’s L.A. Fashion Gala Debut Show
Nearly three decades old, this show gives the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising’s graduating students a forum to present their designs, and benefits the FIDM Scholarship Foundation. There’s also a black-tie fund-raising gala and dinner. The 2009 event takes to the Barker Hangar on February 28.

8. Country Friends of Art Fashion Show
Nonprofit organization Country Friends produces this show and luncheon, in partnership with South Coast Plaza. Held at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe for its 53rd year on September 18, 2008, the show drew more than 400 guests.

9. Los Angeles Fashion Week
Although October 2008 marked the end of the IMG-Smashbox partnership to present Mercedes-Benz Los Angeles Fashion Week, we’re holding a spot on the list to see how the program might reinvent itself in 2009.

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