Breaking Barriers At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Rosie O'Donnell set to open fashion show featuring Ciara, Bethany Mota, Dascha Polanco, Thalia, Laverne Cox and more
The Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection presented by Macy’s will be back at the tents at Lincoln Center today, February 12th at 8 p.m. to raise awareness for heart disease nationwide. The livestream begins at 8 p.m. with a pre-show hosted by actress, singer and songwriter, Laura Bell Bundy. Emmy Award-winner Rosie O’Donnell will open this year’s show that is slated to feature more than 20 celebrity walkers and a performance by American girl group Fifth Harmony.
Despite the publically held misconception, heart disease is not just a man’s disease. In fact, 1 in 3 American women die from heart disease and stroke. Celebrities such as Star Jones and Laura Bell Bundy – both heart disease survivors – are helping to break the barriers on gender disparities, reframing this serious health issue. Many of the celebrity walkers are also breaking barriers in their own industries: Laverne Cox is the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy in an acting category, Thalia is one of the best-selling Latina artists of all time and Bethany Mota is one of the most popular YouTube celebrities.
«We know that by reaching people where they are—in this case, not only here in New York, but those following New York Fashion Week from around the globe online and on social media—we can raise awareness of the serious issue of heart disease in women», said Nancy Brown, CEO, American Heart Association. «We’re thankful for the support of our friends in the entertainment and fashion industry in sharing this message with so many people. Raising awareness is critical to helping women live healthier lives, and for that reason we couldn’t be happier to play host to the Red Dress Collection again this year».
The Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection also breaks traditional fashion week barriers by showcasing up-and-coming designers who would not normally have the opportunity share their designs on the runway. This year, the show will feature three looks from designers in the not-for-profit, independently run Fashion Incubator Programs housed at Macy’s in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia: Agnes Hamerlik, Stephanie Bodnar and Jovan O’Connor. Even some more well-known designers such as Tamara Mellon have never showcased their collection during New York Fashion Week, and for this cause, she is custom-making a dress for Alexa Ray Joel, who lost her grandmother to heart disease.
The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement, known for the iconic red dress symbolizing the continued fight against the No. 1 killer of women, and its national sponsor Macy’s, are teaming up with 20 female celebrities including, Alexa Ray Joel (musician/model), Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie), Bethany Mota (social media star/model), Carla Hall (The Chew), Catt Sadler (E! News), Ciara (musician), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is The New Black), Donna Mills (Knots Landing), Hoda Kotb (TODAY), Irina Pantaeva (supermodel), Jennette McCurdy (Nickelodeon’s iCarly), Kristin Cavallari (The Hills), Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black), Star Jones (TV personality), Thalia (Latin pop star), Tracy Anderson (celebrity trainer), and Zendaya (singer and Shake It Up actress). These celebrities will wear red dresses from notable designers including Oscar de la Renta, Donna Karan, Monique Lhuillier, and Carmen Marc Valvo.
«For me, this isn’t just a charity fashion show. This is personal», said Donna Mills. «This is an opportunity for me to make my mother, who I lost to heart disease, proud. By taking a stand–in a fabulous dress by the incredible Mark Zunino–I’m advocating for more women to know their risks and join me in the fight against this largely preventable disease».
Macy’s, the American Heart Association’s founding national sponsor of Go Red For Women for more than a decade, is the presenting sponsor of Go Red For Women’s Red Dress Collection. Macy’s has raised more than $50 million through the generosity and commitment of Macy’s associates and customers, which has helped to fund women’s heart health research and education by the American Heart Association. Additionally, Thalia will be walking the red carpet in her own collection available exclusively at Macy’s, which also features a dress that benefits Go Red For Women.
«Macy’s is a founding partner of the Go Red For Women movement and has proudly helped raise more than $50 million for the cause since its inception», said Martine Reardon, Macy’s chief marketing officer. «We are excited to be a part of Red Dress Collection for the second year, which will feature emerging designers from the Fashion Incubators housed at Macy’s in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia – as well as the newest member of the Macy’s family, Thalia Sodi».
To view, the Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection Livestream, go to GoRedForWomen.org/RedDressCollection. For media materials, visit GoRedForWomen.org/media. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women and Red Dress Collection 2015 is nationally sponsored by Macy’s. Go Red is trademark AHA, the Red Dress is trademark DHHS.
About Red Dress Collection. The Red Dress Collection was founded in February 2003 and is a fashion show now produced by the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement featuring couture red dresses from the industry’s elite designers worn by top celebrities in entertainment, media, and fashion. The fashion show aims to drive significant awareness and action—in an expected place like New York Fashion Week–for one of the greatest health threats facing women today: heart disease. The Red Dress Collection is presented by Go Red For Women national sponsor, Macy’s.
About Go Red For Women. Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women because it’s not just a man’s disease. In fact, more women than men die every year from heart disease and stroke. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Go Red For Women advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, with additional support from our cause supporters. For more information, please visit GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART (1-888-694-3278).