As New York City welcomes the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, it said farewell to the greatest show on earth, the Super Bowl whose surrounding events are about the men who play it now or have retired from the game, but last Friday, January 31, it was all about the ladies who support and cheer them on, as the who’s who in fashion, entertainment, business and blogging got to see upcoming trends by at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Flagship store, as Off The Field Players’ Wives Association, held their annual charity fashion show.
In it’s 13th year, the fundraiser, which in addition to Saks was co-produced with Seventh House PR and co-sponsored by Credit Suisse and Sam’s Club; is held annually in a Saks store located in the Super Bowl host city.
As they do each year, the NFL Wives had private fittings with a Saks stylist who put the women in fabulous on-trend looks for the season by top designers such as St. John, Burberry, Abi Ferrin, Oscar de la Renta and Narcisco Rodrigo.
The wives and girlfriends including guest model Good Morning America’s Sara Haines strutted down the cat walk in this year’s theme, “On the Town”; which according to Nicole Woody, event chair and proud wife of New York Jet and current ESPN broadcaster Damien Woody, said was perfect for New York City.
This truly exciting and fun event was co-hosted by the multi-talented Dawn Neufeld and former NFL player Chester Pitts. Neufeld is no stranger to hosting. This mother and wife to former NFL player Ryan Neufeld is also a TV host, corporate attorney, board member, current reigning Mrs. Frisco and stunned in an orange Antonio Berardi dress. Pitts was a stand out former offensive lineman turned Executive Consultant and Sports Analyst.
The two kept the crowd entertained throughout the morning that included a silent auction, brunch and award presentations. This year’s Women of Impact Awards honorees were Erika Liles, philanthropist and COO of KWL Enterprises, Rachel Lloyd, Founder of GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) and Pat Smith, wife of former NFL player Emmitt Smith, Founder and Owner of Pat Smith Enterprises, Founder/CEO of Treasure You, and President of Pat and Emmitt Smith Charities.
Off the Field Players’ Wives Association is dedicated to supporting philanthropic initiatives focused on enhancing the quality of life for families around their local communities. This event raises money for organizations in the host city and this year a portion of the proceeds benefited GEMS, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services in New York.
During the event I spoke with Media Relations Manager and founding member of Off The Field Players’ Association Gail Easley, on the creation of OTF who mentioned, “the purpose of Off The Field was to bring together wives of former and current NFL players and to develop initiatives that would connect them to their communities.” Easley, along with Saks SVP & GM, John Cruz, Seventh House PR, and OTF President Erika Lassiter, received surprise honors at the brunch.
Off the Field Players’ Wives Association is comprised of the wives of active and retired professional football players. In addition to being a resource to their members their mission is to empower their members to perform and support philanthropic initiatives that enhance the quality of life for families in their communities. The annual fashion show is just one of the many events they put on. To learn more about their programs visit their website here.
GEMS, Girls Educational & Mentoring Services is the only organization in New York State specifically designed to serve girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) was founded in 1998 by Rachel Lloyd in response to an overwhelming need for services for girls and young women at risk for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking who were being ignored by traditional social service agencies. To learn more about GEMS and to support their efforts visit their website here.
Pat Smith Treasure You Jewelry Collection: http://www.flickr.com/photos/92367827@N04/sets/72157634904659856/
Reagan Charleston Handcrafted Collection: http://reagancharleston.com/
Make sure to follow, I have more photos to share of the event in my next articles.