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This committee manages a dazzling, and daunting duty—the fashion show. In a “nutshell” it: recruits & trains models; obtains stylish fashions for show; organizes the show stage and sound systems; coordinates show choreography & music; manages volunteers for set-up and breakdown; and works with chairs on the budget. One word here makes all the difference between success & failure:  Teamwork.  This enormous job requires a lot of collaboration. Collaboration with other committees.  Collaboration with stylists & stores.  Collaboration with models. Collaboration amongst your fashion team.  To see what our fun & fabulous shows look like, check out this page:  

Fashion Show Videos & Photos  


Fashion divides into the following: 

Step 1:  Decide: Fashion Show or No? (hint: pros outweigh the con)

Step 2:  Important Considerations

Step 3:  How to Approach the Fashion Show?

Approach 1:  Outsource to Department Store

Approach 2:  Outsource to Local Boutique(s)

Approach 3:  Bring in a Pro

Approach 4:  Produce it In House (Yourselves) 
Links to Committee Coordinators 
(needed for Approach 4)

Music & Choreography
Staging & Sound

              Sample Documents & Important Links

 Step 1:  Decide-F ashion Show or No? 


We strongly recommend having a fashion show. It's make your event more fun, and improves outreach, communication, fundraising. Ultimately it makes your event MUCH stronger.  We lay out the pros and cons below.  (The pros far outweight the one con!)

For brainstorming initial ideas, check out this page:  Fashion Show Videos & Photos


Model red  pink


PRO:  Opportunity for better Mission Outreach  

° Outreach with community models:  
  When choosing c
ommunity models, you invite influential locals. They get
  invested in the mission, and invite friends and supporters, who come to
  the event to cheer them on.  Voila, your mission message spreads!

  See our Model Invitation

° Outreach with local businesses:
each out to local businesses and sponsors to provide models & buy tables.
  Do they have compatible in-house missions?  They may buy model spaces
  to honor valued female employees, launch in-house contests for 
  employees to win spaces, and/or buy tables for valued females
  employees or clients. Voila. Mission message spreads among employees,
  clients, and their friends and family.

   PRO: Opportunity for Increased Revenue & Fundraising  

° Sponsor revenue: sponsors pay to provide models for the show (above
  under Outreach with local businesses)

° Auction revenue:  an opportunity to hold a live auction before the
  fashion show
° Make Me Your Shoemmelier revenue: chance to implement this 

  PRO:  Opportunity for better Communication

° A captive audience
  Without a fashion show, it's very hard to get audience attention.  No one
  wants to stop shopping and socializing to listen. 
But with a fashion show,
  everyone is seated, and listening. Now you have excellent 
opportunities to:

          • Talk about charity mission
          •  Hold a Best in Shoe contest
          •  Have shoe guys deliver swag bags

•  PRO:  Opportunity to be the Glamorous, Fun,  Original Event

° What value can you place on a reputation for fun? 
  More friends.  More friends means better attendance. People love a fun  
  event, which also serves a worthy cause.

CON:  More Work & Expense.

        °  But we know it results in better revenue.  Why hold a fundraiser at all if
           you don't want it to be the best it can be?!



 Step 2:  Important Considerations   


Models swim




Guidelines you need to know:

•  View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

   What does a great WW&S fashion show look like?  The above link will give 
   you some ideas!

•  An ideal show is 18 – 20 minutes. If it goes longer than this, it gets dull

•  Send out a model about every 30 seconds.

 Count on twice as many looks for the total running time as the show.  If your 
   show is 
18 minutes, you'll need 36 different outfits--and more than this you
   send out more than one model at one time.

•  Count Don't narrate the show. This saps the energy & reduces the
  sophistication.  They don't narrate NY Fashion Week shows.  If you need to
  talk about the clothes & models, put it in the program on a loose sheet in the
  program or on the chairs or tables. 

•  It’s been really fun to see men in the shows, so include 2 or 3 

•  Breaking the show into segments creates more theater. Here’s the link to the 
   segments from a great Saks show 

•  Create theater with simple choreography and wow moments. We elaborate on 
   the Music/Choreography page.

•  Have the models smile and play it up. Even if they are professionals, it’s way 
  more fun to see the models smile than have the model pout, which is a big 
  downer. Adding simple things like taking off sunglasses, adding a dance step,
  a wink or blown kiss can make a big impact

•  Music is very important.  It must be fun and upbeat. No slow songs. We have 
  pre-recorded mixes you can use that go to 28 mins in length.  Here's a 
  sample playlist.

•  Professional models are beautiful while community models are soulful and fun. 
   The direction you go depends on several things to consider, which are laid out
   on  the models page

•  Protect your borrowed clothes!  Make sure clothing is not damaged, and is 
   returned at the end of the show.  Sad, but yes people do steal from charities.
   And models can be unwittingly careless.


Out of the (shoe) box ideas:

•  One event that was in its 3rd year, had an all men’s show featuring the
   doctors, techs and execs from the hospital. The audience loved it! They
   brought out women for the last segment, which included about 5 looks. We
   don’t suggest this in a first or second year event, but it would be fun to shake
   up a mature event.

•   Divide your show into themed segments.  Here is a sample from our 
   2012 Saks event in Lexington . (All songs were remixed by the DJ to increase
   the beats per minute)

Segment 1 = Little Black Dress (song: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, remixed); they played up the shoes and hosiery in this one with fur hats and red & pink short gloves, so cute!!! 
Segment 2 = Vineyard Reds (song: "Zou Bisou Bisou" by Gillian Hills, remixed, from the Mad Men season premiere); love that they did a wine-themed segment and thought another name for this could be "Cabernet Classics"  
Segment 3 = Shades of Gray (song: "Hello, I Love You" by The Doors, remixed and "S & M" by Rihanna, remixed)
Segment 4 = Contemporary Leather (song: "Bossa Nova Baby" by Elvis, remixed, and "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra remixed); or the French version is fun too.
Segment 5 = Masculine/Feminine (song: "Levels" by Avicii, remixed);  All about women in ties and the whole androgynous thing which is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! 
Segment 6 = Printing Press (song: "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox, remixed); all about prints 

Segment 7 = Embellished Evening (song: "Titanium" by David Guetta, remixed); they played up fur with the gowns which was over the top 
•    Give everyone a printed list of the complete looks so they know who every single piece is made by from the clothing to the shoes, handbag, hosiery, etc., and where to find them.


Step 3: How to Approach the Fashion Show ?


Fashion Shoe Train 2





How to Approach the Fashion Show:

View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

First, you need a Fashion Chair.   And if you produce it yourselves, "in-house", you will also need fours coordinators (see under Approach 4 below).

Here are 4 ways to approach producing your show:

Approach 1: 

Outsource it to a department store. (Higher-end stores will require professional models.) You’ll still need to manage this and coordinate the staging, lighting, sound, etc. We highly recommend styling the show in segments. Here’s the link to the segments from a great Saks show.

Approach 2: 

Outsource it to a local boutique or a couple of boutiques. They will still need 
managing, including choreography/music oversight, and styling help, as well as 
backstage assistance.

Approach 3:

Bring in a professional or volunteer stylist to produce it for you. Finding one who will donate all this time can be hard, so don’t het your hopes up. Either donated or paid, they will need managing and might need choreography and styling help as well as backstage help

Approach 4: 

Produce it "in-house".  If you do this, you’ll need a committee, and several coordinators, whose jobs are laid out on the coordinators pages



 Approach 1




Approach 1 – Outsource it to a department store

•  View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

The Fashion Chair must manage the relationship with the store. She can't 
   just hand it over and expect them to show up on game day.

•  Check with all department stores in your community.  We've worked with the 
  gamut from Belks and Dillards to Saks and Niemans.

•  All department stores will be doing the show purely for what's in it for them,
  i.e. marketing and sales.

º What’s your demographic? This impacts which stores will be interested.
Stores work with clients.  Hence, they are most likely to say yes to the
  best customers
.  Find out if you have any on your committee.  Who are the
  big names supporting your event and charity? Are they clients?  
  Can you bring them in to ask?

º When you make your pitch for partnership, lead with what’s in it for them.

º Is there a sales opportunity for them at the event? 
º Can you bring a group of 30 – 50 people in a couple of weeks before the
  event for a VIP shopping evening?  
º It’s all about who you know…

•  Saks and Niemans have done several shows.  They do great work; however,
  in order to enroll them you must have the right audience, and the right local
  person asking.  (We can't enlist them for you.)

º Their response is entirely based on who’s asking and if they see the
  marketing value for themselves.
º They respond to good customers and groups they know will have their target
   audience in attendance.
º Both of them have strict requirements for lighting/staging/sound that can get
   very expensive.
º Other expenses include models, hair and security for the merchandise.
º How these expenses get divided up between the charity and the store all
  depends on your relationship with them and what they feel they will get out
  of the event. In the couple of dozen times charities have worked with them,
  we’ve seen them run the gamut from paying for nothing to everything.
º Make-up usually is handled by one particular line that is carried in the store
  and the make-up artists who work for that line. (Chanel is the most common.)
  The line is then represented in the department store’s “booth” in the
  marketplace. This allows them to sell cosmetics and help cover the cost of
  providing the make-up artists.

Other department stores will work in a similar way but are usually more lenient about professional vs. community models and expenses. 



 Approach 2


Fashion Shoe Train 2


Approach 2:   Outsource to a Local Boutique(s)

•  View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

The Fashion Chair takes on more responsibility with this approach than with
Approach 1.

Much of what we discuss in Approach 1 is applicable here. You’ll have more flexibility but also more responsibility. So that your boutiques understand what you
expect, ensure they read all of the fashion show sections on the How To:  

  Music & Choreography
• Models
  Staging & Sound

Also show them:  photos & videos. 

We’ve done several events where there has been a total disconnect the day of the show, and by that time, it’s too late. Here are things to get clear on:

•  Can a single store manage 40 – 50 looks alone?

If you need more than 1 store, how does each feel about partnering with another
  store?  Can they cooperate and collaborate?

•  What about bringing in men’s clothing for the few men in the show? Do they
  have access to men’s clothes or does the committee need to find the right store?

•  What are the needs and how do you handle the production aspects like

º Staging & Lighting?  See this page:  Staging & Sound
º Hair/make-up – are there contacts the owner would prefer? You’ll likely
  need to bring this in from a local salon and manage it all yourself
º Choreography (we ended up choreographing an entire show a few hours
  before the event because it wasn’t communicated to the boutique owner
  that she needed to do this). If the
boutique doesn’t manage choreography,
  who will? See choreography section to learn more about this so it’s
  interesting (see this page Music & Choreography)
º Is their music right? Run it by us. Music is very important.  It must be fun
  and upbeat. No slow songs. We have 
pre-recorded mixes you can use that
  go to 28 mins in length.  Here's a 
sample playlist.
And see this page
  Music & Choreography

•  When and where will they fit and style the models?  Read this page:  

•  How much help will they need backstage?  Collaborate with your
  Volunteers Chair

•  How do you ensure that no clothes will be damaged?

•  Will they sell the clothing at the event? Is so, when and how will this happen? 

•  Finally, make sure the show they're planning is really fun, but still sophisticated.
  (No goofy hats, please.)

 Approach 3


Models swim 2-L



Approach 3:  Bring in a Pro

•  View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

A professional (perhaps volunteer) stylist does it all from soup to nuts or just the clothing part. We have see professional stylists do amazing jobs at several of our events and the fees range from $3,500 on the low side to $7,000. It includes:

Selecting the clothing from a variety of boutiques and department stores and
  selecting the clothes

•  Securing the hair and make-up artists from a local salon who donate their time  

•  Putting together the play list for the fashion show.  Is their music right? Run it by
  us. Music is very important.  It must be fun and upbeat. No slow songs. We have 
  pre-recorded mixes you can use that go to 28 mins in length.  Here's a sample
And see this page Music & Choreography

•  Fitting the models

•  Choreographing the show and rehearsing the models

•  Transporting the clothes to the event site the day of and managing the security

•  Packing it all back up and returning them unharmed to the stores

Important Notes:  

•  Stylist Agreement
  Have an agreement with your stylist so s/he knows what you expect.

•  So that your professional understand what you expect, ensure they read all of the
  fashion show sections on the How To:  

  Music & Choreography
• Models
  Staging & Sound

Ensure the show they're planning is really fun, but still sophisticated. 
  (No goofy hats, please.)

• Speak with the Marketing Committee Chair PR Committee Chair and find out 
  if they are negotiating a magazine partnership. If so, the magazine may provide
  a stylist to assist with the fashion show. Many have stylists in house, or under
  retainer. This should be requested in the beginning of the negotiations of the




 Approach 4



Models - country outfits-L


Approach 4:   Produce it Yourselves. 

•  View Fashion Show Videos & Photos Here

This is a huge job.   It incorporates many aspects of Approaches 1, 2 and 3.  It
requires excellent collaboration & in-house management by your Fashion Chair.

Steps for the Chair:


  Important Considerations Make sure you've reviewed all of these tips.

 The 4 Parts of Your Show
 Your Fashion Show breaks down into the following 4 sections.  Go to these 
    individual pages and read them in order to learn how to successfully manage
    these areas.

Music & Choreography
    º Coordinating show choreography & music

    º Recruiting, training, and organizing 

Staging & Sound
    º Organizing the show stage and sound systems

    º Obtaining stylish fashions for show

•  Assign 4 “Coordinators” to help with details of these 4 areas. You may also just 
  have 1 or 2 people who share these positions.  But DO NOT try & do it all by
  yourself.  Again, make sure that your team reads all of the sections &
  Important Considerations

•   Volunteers:  Collaborate with the Volunteer Chair to find & manage volunteers
   for set-up and breakdown.  You may also need people to assist backstage.

•   Budget: Collaborate with Charity & Event Chairs on the show budget.







Sample Documents

(For Viewing & Downloading)

Fashion Show Checklist
Fashion Show Committee Timeline
View fashion video & photos here
Stylist Agreemet Sample
Important Considerations
Sample Playlist
Staging & Sound
Music & Choreography