Fashion Raises Funds for Women’s Coalition

Model Jai Issa, wearing a design from Envii Boutique, walks the runway at the third Crucian Fashion Fest Sunday in Frederiksted. (Photo by Kelly Greer Culp)
Model Jai Issa, wearing a design from Envii Boutique, walks the runway at the third Crucian Fashion Fest Sunday in Frederiksted. (Photo by Kelly Greer Culp)

Fashion and fundraising for a good cause was the order of the day at the third annual Crucian Fashion Fest held Sunday at The Fred hotel in Frederiksted.

As models sashayed up and down the runway, more than 75 attendees enjoyed a relaxing Sunday at St. Croix’s newest west-end hot spot while contributing to a worthy cause.

As the owner of Island Contessa, Lori Hirons is the driving force behind Fashion Fest. She joined with a few boutiques and jewelry stores with an idea to raise funds for the Women’s Coalition of St. Croix while showcasing island styles and handmade wearable art. Hirons said several of the pieces that were displayed at the fashion show were sold. There was also a live auction and donations were accepted.

“It was a success, we sold more tickets than we anticipated, everyone was satisfied,” she said.

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Women’s Coalition board member and fund-raising coordinator Lavonne Wise said Fashion Fest is one of her favorite events.

“I get to just sit back and enjoy, Lori does everything,” she said.

According to Wise, the proceeds from the event have grown each year.

“The first year the event raised $200, the following year it raised $2,000. I’m excited to see what will be raised this year,” she said.

The event is a way to “raise awareness and understanding about what is actually being done at the Women’s Coalition” Wise said, adding that after the show a lady said she was surprised to learn the extent of the coalition’s programs. Services provided by the organization includes crisis intervention for male, female and transgender, emergency shelters, support groups, outreach and education.

Women’s Coalition advocate Molly Buckley owns Molly’s and St. Croix Ultimate Blue Water in Frederiksted, and has been a part of Fashion Fest since the beginning. She showed some of her island inspired designs at the show and urged the pubic to support the Women’s Coalition by volunteering.

“Just spending a few hours answering the phones will be a big help’, she said.

After the show, a client of the Women’s Coalition spoke to Hirons, expressing her gratitude.

“Thanks so much for organizing these events so you can be there when we need you,” she said.

Participating stores include Adorn, Crucian Gold, Envii Boutique, Belle Femme, IB Designs, Island Contessa. Joyia Inspirational Jewelry, Keiki Bikini, Molly’s and Susan Mango.

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