Santa Clarita residents were able to celebrate both fashion and female empowerment at the Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley’s 8th Annual Fashion Show and Boutique at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Sunday.
Almost 300 people attended the “red carpet runway” themed event, which included a luncheon, fashion show, performances by the Hart High School choir and Elite Dance Studios, and a boutique where attendees could purchase clothing from local shops.
Karen Schnurr, president of the Santa Clarita Soroptimists chapter, said that the fashion show is one of the organization’s biggest annual fundraisers and that this year’s proceeds would support the “Dream It Be It,” “Go Girls” and “Live Your Dream” programs.
“We chose the red carpet theme because we thought it would be a fun theme near the holidays,” Schnurr said. “People like to dress up for Christmas, the New Year and go to parties so we thought the theme worked well. We raised about $20,000 last year and we hope to do at least that well this year.”
This is the first year that the fashion show has used professional models, which Schnurr said was to help the show have a new look and a more authentic runway feel.
This year’s event welcomed special guests including 14-year-old Maggie Homa, who won the Red Carpet Runway Makeover raffle, keynote speaker Barbara Bundy, vice president of education at the Fashion Institute of Design and Marketing, or FIDM, and Shamayel Ameri, an Afghan refugee and recipient of the international “Live Your Dream Award.”
“It was a natural fit to have Barbara Bundy speak at this event about volunteerism, which is a subject that’s very dear to her heart,” Schnurr said. “She’s very passionate about women and girls and many women are employed in her line of work. She’s the head of education at FIDM and she knows that we’re very focused on promoting education for women.”
Fashion show co-chair Annie Schwartz said that she is glad that the fashion show has become a consistent annual event that community looks forward to.
“We have a lot of fun and bring people out to not just enjoy fashion but the community and getting together in the afternoon,” Schwartz said. “Fashion is one of the biggest industries in the world and people love to see fashion shows for the beautiful clothing, the music and the energy.”