Web Exclusive: Hilltop Fashion Show

Hilltop Restaurant Week Fashion Show


By Kimberley Cuachon-Haugh

And with a round of dinner and drink orders, the show took off quietly; almost unexpectedly actually.

Cobalt Grill was vibrant with a mélange of foodies and fashionistas all multitasking—shopping, making mental notes—while chewing—and still looking fabulous. 

Whitney Stevens, owner of Esmé, a chic bohemian boutique, charily called everyone’s attention to introduce the first ever Hilltop Restaurant Week Fashion Show. It was an event that Stevens has been waiting to host since she opened her store last year.

Frances Kahn, Jodi G., Esmé, Peace, Love & Balance and Dan Ryan’s showcased the season’s latest fashions while implementing fashion for real life.

Frances Kahn presented high, luxurious style. Jody G. strutted contemporary separates. Esmé followed through with their “beloved style.” Peace, Love & Balance, inspired us to do downward dog to don their pieces. And Dan Ryan’s anchored the show with tailored classics that got all the women thinking, “My man needs a man-over.”

Stevens mentioned in an earlier interview that it was unfortunate that there wasn’t an event that brought together the Shops at Hilltop. “A fashion show would just be perfect. You know, something that all the retail stores could participate in.”

Caught in the midst of trying to stay afloat and profitable, events that promote unification should always be present. MacArthur Mall’s marketing and sponsorship director, Karen Winters, strives season after season to achieve this with specialty events that benefit the merchants and the customers alike, such as their regular presence on the Hampton Roads Show.

The night’s event, according to Frances Kahn store manager, Anne Johnson, “was totally beneficial in supporting Hilltop Shops. We are a community supporting each other’s businesses.”

Johnson, who has been with the company since it opened its location at Hilltop Shops in August 2003, said, “This is a big part of who we are and what we are about.”

The audience contained regular customers of all the retailers who came to show their continued support. But peppered through were potential customers who have never shopped at any of the stores before.
Discount incentives were distributed personally to the audience by the models, giving them an even closer look at the fashions.

Whitney Oliver, who modeled an Haute Hippie long skirt paired with a Diane Von Furstenberg leather fringe jacked summed up her experience in one word: “camaraderie.”  And the fashion show encompassed just that for the merchants and the audience alike.  Breaking bread, sipping wine, and being tantalized by fashion—life in full circle.

Kimberly Cuachon-Haugh is the director of social media and web development at Frances Kahn.

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