Written by: Bri Thomas
The devastation Hurricane Harvey caused in our home state was really hard to watch and the road to recovery will take years. While Austin received strong rain bands from the storm it wasn’t anything compared to the damage to our beautiful Texas coast in September. And nearly everyone knew someone who was affected by the historic storm.
It felt like the entire state came together and donated aid to our Texas friends and leave it to the thriving Austin fashion community to lend a helping hand to an evening of fashion to add to the JJ Watt Fund. Coordinating a benefit fashion show was something personal for Matt Swinney, founder of Austin Fashion Week and Fashion X. “I feel like as Austinites, we all vacation in Port Aransas and certainly have friends and family in Houston,” said Swinney. “I don’t know about you, but I just sat there feeling helpless, thinking, ‘How can we make an impact?’”
Therefore, he did what he does best: He mobilized people – in just a few days with the help of his assistant Kylie Bollwitt. – in order to make the Hurricane Harvey Benefit Fashion Show come together, on Friday, September 8, with no hesitation, he and his team made a few quick phone calls, posted to social media and sent out texts – and everyone was more than happy to help, with volunteers coming together and asking how else they could assist.
A fab lineup of 22 local designers and retailers. silent auction, location, music, lights, runway, in nine days. Every aspect of the show production was donated.
“That is when it really hit me, like, this will work,” Swinney said. “It wasn’t hard. I never once had a moment thinking that this community wouldn’t band together.”
Models walked for free, the J.W. Marriott donated space, Koh Gen Do did all the makeup free of charge, while Urban Betty and Red Stella were in charge of hairstyles. DJ Rich donated his music services, charge, My Event Is The Bomb set up a photo booth, Markey’s did all the AV, projection & lighting, Strong Events made it pretty, and Todd White, Webber Productions & Fashionably Austin offered up photography/videography services along with Jared Tenant. The Mrs. handled the few charges there were – so that Fashion X could make sure 100% of the money raised would go to the Texas Disaster Relief, via J.J. Watt, who will be/has been distributing millions of dollars to affected areas.
The Mrs. handled the few charges there were – so that Fashion X could make sure 100% of the money raised would go to the Texas Disaster Relief, via J.J. Watt, who has been distributing millions of dollars to affected areas.
The night featured many looks from Austin’s fashion community. Miles David featured flowy, silky and easy feminine pieces. Velvet and volume were played within dark and dramatic ways during The Garden Room‘s show.
Austin School Of Fashion Design showed children in sparkly dresses and jumpsuits, as well as a great pair of high-waisted, ‘70s-inspired pants.
Electric colors, sleek ponytails, peacoats and the perfect game day outfit for UT students came from Amberleaf.
Daniel Esquivel gave futuristic looks with silver, sparkle and sunglasses.
We were given stripes, sheerness and chunky gold jewelry with Midi Soliz.
Hardness and softness mixed in Redbird Boutique’s show, with lots of flared silhouettes and textures.
Whether brides like long trains, lots of tulle or plunging necklines paired with tiaras, Sally Daneshjou delivered.
Estilo’s outfits ranged from casual to dressy and were all complimented by slicked-back hair and chunky gold heels.
Masha Osoianu showed fitted dresses with a string-like textile.
Graphic makeup and words – printed on burlap-like material – were seen from Gail Chovan.
Bearded men who were clearly having a good time modeled Ross Bennett’s sleek suits and snazzy button-downs.
Hip-hop vibes were given off from the sporty male and female designs by Samantha Plasencia.
This Is Sloane delivered oversized red clothing items, with graphic prints, stripes, rose-colored sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats.
Full skirts, embellishments and a party vibe were the themes of Adrienne Yunger’s runway.
Saint Bernard had everyday looks ranging from dresses to jeans.
Signature fringe and smart layers were seen via Rare Trends.
Kelly Wynne & FOUND gave sporty and cute dresses for all ages, as well as a fun jersey for the finale look.
Tassels pops of colors and unique cutouts were seen in Kemi Alao’s outfits.
Big Bertha’s Paradise incorporated over-the-top head accessories, such as an astronaut’s helmet.
We loved seeing our community work together, fashionably, for a great cause, and we were thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful event! In all, it was reported to us that more than $30,000 was raised at the event.