The Charity Fashion (CFS) show started fifteen years ago as a part of the Stanford University Asian American Cultural Show. At the time, it was an event that was geared towards raising awareness about sweatshop labor in the garment industry in Asia. In 2007, Charity Fashion Show broke off and became it’s own entity with a more global emphasis in its program. This began the Charity Fashion Show’s consistent emergence as one of the largest fashion shows on the West Coast, pushing the envelope with its innovative, creative and well executed events. CFS is now dedicated to fostering a more ethnically diverse concept of beauty, bringing together people, inspiration and fashion. The event is entirely produced by Stanford students who have professional experience in the fashion industry. It is now the largest fashion show on the West Coast based on size of audience, number of designers present and length of runway.
One of the main sponsors of the event was Helium Magazine, a new fashion magazine in the Bay Area that launched their inaugural issue at the show. Their presence was evident from the moment attendees walked toward the big CFS white tent and was greeted by a 10 foot tall Helium CFS advertisement, which was the backdrop for photo shoots.
Drummer Allen Bellamy Chiu was wearing a German Air Force visor hat, German fox fur scarf, vintage 1920’s vest, and slim fit denim jeans. Guitarist Victor James rounded out the group in his Armani Exchange shirt and American Apparel slim pants. Their appearance showed off the band’s stylistic edginess, however they are really about the music. Beautiful, smooth vocals and uptempo beats entertained and pumped up the energy of the crowd. Some of the songs they performed include Blond Ambition Red Temptation, Hush Madame X, French Connection and Hot Sahara.
After the great performance by Fans of Jimmy Century, the evening could have easily ended on a fulfilling note, however that was just the prelude to the entertaining evening of fashion. The main part of the event was the highly anticipated runway show. Participating designers included Tosca Soraya Otten (avant garde fashion), Shin Choi (RTW), Magdalena Trever (swimwear), Clutch Couture (organic denim & knits), Mary Meyer (knits), Maryam Garba (RTW), Kitty Andrews Millinery (headpieces), Future Faces of Fashion high school student interns (Nicoe Pansoy, Elizabeta Shmatko, Taylor Tompane and Mary Lucas), Alexandria Von Bromssen (RTW), Morgan Olson (RTW), Carole Hochman (sleepwear), WDesigns (evening wear), Civil Society (men’s apparel), Karen Lum (RTW), Swati Couture (couture), Priestess NYC (RTW), Aksel Paris (men’s apparel), Nanette Lepore (RTW), Lenny (swimwear), Kittinhawk (evening wear), Kent Denim (men’s apparel), Eva Franco (dresses) and Danielle Pettee (evening dresses). The flow of collections worked together perfectly, ranging from streetwear to avant-garde, from sleepwear to evening wear. Color palettes varied from designer to designer, ranging from all-black to bright usage of colors. Each collection brought to the runway something unique and memorable.
Just a few of the many highlights of the evening include Tosca Soraya Otten’s avante-garde evening wear, Swati Couture’s elegant couture dresses, Kitty Andrews Millinery’s festive hats and headpieces, Alexandria Von Bromssen’s edgy outfits and Danielle Pettee’s colorful, fun evening dresses. With over 20 designers showcasing their collections, detailed reviews on each collection will be published within the coming weeks.
All proceeds from the show is being donated to KIVA, a global micro-finance non-profit organization. Sponsorship money is still coming in, but they are expecting to make a generous donation to KIVA, supporting loans to at least 25 entrepreneurs.
The Charity Fashion Show was a success in major part due to the donation of services and monetary contributions from sponsors. The vendor for the tent, sound and light was Spider Ranch Productions. All hair styling for the models was done by Umbrella Salon. Smartwater even hosted a special preview showing of the Tosca Soraya Otten collection a week before the Charity Fashion Show. Other event sponsors include Best Buy, Blackfest 2010, Bless Makeup Artistry, Candy Kitchen, Creative Nail Design, Cyperus Media, Daniel Craig Promotions, Epic Center, Equinox, Gap, Helium Magazine, KIVA, Label San Jose, Monster Energy, National Marriage Boycott, Neiman Marcus, OPI, Popchips, Red Label Films, Samba Glow, Shoppista, Stanford Terrace Inn, The Stanford Fund, Vivanista, Wasteland and W Designs.
The event was driven by the management of Executive Director Thom Scher and Director of Development Stephanie Werner. Both have experience in the fashion industry and with organizing CFS: Thom joined CFS his first year at Stanford, 3 years ago and Stephanie joined last year. When asked how it was working with Thom and Stephanie, model Lisa Yun Chen commented that “Thom and Stephanie were great to work with. They are so professional with what they have done. Their stellar behind-the-scenes involvement really paid off when it all came together so seamlessly on the day of.”