Catwalk for Charity: Fashion show moves to larger venue at Statler Hotel

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//PICTURED ABOVE: Fashion show co-chairs Zoe Cote and Inez Johnson, center, with models Suha Irfan, class of ’21, and McCall Verska, class of ’30, at a promotional photoshoot at D magazine.

On March 29, Hockaday students will captivate the crowd with their struts across the stage, walking confidently across the room on their intense catwalk for charity.

The models will walk the runway at the Junior Ballroom of the Statler Hotel in a fashion show to raise money for Genesis Women’s Shelter and WiNGS Dallas.

The mission of the Genesis Women’s Shelter is “to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact.”

WiNGS is a Dallas-based organization whose mission is to “empower women, fight poverty and impact generations.”

These organizations align with the main mission of the show – which is fully woman-run – to empower women.

Seniors Emma Roseman and Varsha Danda founded the Hockaday fashion show in 2018. Last year, they raised over $2,000 for the Genesis Women’s Shelter and the Akola Project. Danda and Roseman recognized the impact young women can have on the community, so they used the fashion show as a platform to showcase young women’s talents.

“We thought that the Hockaday community would respond really well to a fashion show,” Danda said.

Juniors Zoe Cote and Inez Johnson will follow in Roseman and Danda’s footsteps as co-chairs of this year’s event. “Varsha and Emma have been helping guide us through the process of event planning,” Cote said. “They are quick to answer any of our questions and provide us with as many resources as they can to best prepare us for this year’s show.”

Cote and Johnson have incorporated ideas from last year as well as new ideas to put together this year’s show. However, the mission of the show remains the same.

“Through the fashion show, Zoe and I want to demonstrate women’s ability to empower other women and enact change,” Johnson said.

Similar to the show last year, a blurb about the models’ interests, passions and inspirations will play in the background while the models walk. This aims to promote the celebration of the whole person, not just a woman’s face and body.

However, one of the biggest changes is that five St. Mark’s boys will walk alongside the Hockaday girls at the show. As they walk, blurbs about women who have inspired them will be read.

Another change is the bigger venue. Cote and Johnson have expanded the scope of the show by moving it from Hockaday to the Statler Hotel.

In the end, a bigger venue provides a wider scope of spectators of the event. This contributes to Cote and Johnson’s main goal of fundraising.

“The goal this year is to [not only] fundraise for both organizations but also to bring the community together and make the show an unforgettable event,” Cote said.

To promote the show, the board hosted a promotional photoshoot at the D Magazine offices in December and a fundraiser at Village Burger Bar in January. Some of the proceeds raised at the dinner went to benefit the show, Genesis and WiNGS.

Currently, their main means of fundraising are sponsorships; however, Cote and Johnson are anticipating more revenue from ticket sales.

Each viewer will pay eight dollars for a ticket to the event, both supporting the fundraiser itself and the many students who will model in the show.

Over 50 Hockaday students plan to participate in the event. Johnson estimates about three to six models from every grade. The models were selected from a first-come, first-serve survey.

The models will showcase works from three fashion designers who just graduated from the business management program at WiNGS in November. Models will wear their accessories, sneakers and vacation or loungewear. The models also will wear clothes from Koch Boutique, one of the show’s gold sponsors (the highest level of sponsorship offered) and from the Genesis Benefit Thrift Store.

The event itself should last two hours. In addition to the fashion show, there will be a DJ, a silent auction, a raffle and speakers, including Johnson and Cote, the CEO of WiNGS, the head of Genesis and the three entrepreneurs from WiNGS.

Businesses that Hockaday girls frequent such as the Juice Bar, Rusty Taco, Koch and Black Swan Yoga have donated products for the auction.

Story by Sasha Schwimmer

Photos provided by Inez Johnson


Sasha Schwimmer

Commonly confused with Beyonce, Sasha enjoys living her double life: typical Hockadaisy by day, popstar by night (like Hannah Montana but better). Some of her favorite dance moves include the Funky Monkey, the Sprinkler, and, of course, the Beez Kneez.

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