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Simon Fashion Now kickoff at South Park Mall


Models on the runway.

South Park Mall was the heart of Charlotte’s fashion scene Friday evening with the beginning of the Simon Fashion Now two-day event! There were four shows, featuring clothing found in the mall, which ran from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The atmosphere was chic and full of energy. Along with invited guests, shoppers unaware of the event stopped in observance as models stomped down the runway. Speaking of models, Kalyn Hemphill was featured in the shows. Kalyn is one of the models on the current season of Lifetime Network’s Project Runway and Models of the Runway. Her parent agency, Page Parkes, booked the event, and her presence did not go unnoticed. Cheers and applause were heard each time she graced the runway.

This is the second year that Simon Property Group has produced the Simon Fashion Now event, but this is its first year in Charlotte! Jacque Ellis, a Simon representative, stated that with the amount of support and involvement from South Park shoppers, Simon Fashion Now will definitely be back again next year. Along with creating sales volume for its stores, Ellis explained that Simon wanted South Park’s loyal customer base to experience an extraordinary fashion event that portrayed the retail mix  provided in the mall. The shows did that by showcasing different brands and stores located in South Park. Store showcases included Macy’s, Guess, bebe, Lucky Brand, Intermix, Cole Haan, and many more. Additionally, all makeup used on the models was provided by MAC cosmetics, which is located in Belk’s. Gift bags, which were placed in the seats at the beginning of each show, included an assortment of information, coupons and product samples from various South Park stores.

Beyond the fashion, Simon incorporated the community into the production of this event. Select students from the Art Institute of Charlotte worked as dressers backstage; quickly helping the models get clothed, and monitoring the looks created by the Simon stylist. The students greatly appreciated this opportunity, as it gave them great industry experience. Also, the Dress for Success show used prominent women in the Charlotte community to model its looks. A local news reporter, a magazine publisher, a radio host, and an account executive were among the phenomenal women featured.

Friday night’s shows were spectacular, and the fun will continue throughout Saturday. There will be a show each hour from 1:00 to 5:00pm in the Center Court of South Park Mall, and it is open to the public. This event is definitely a fashion MUST SEE!