RANCHO SANTA FE — As guests checked in at the 62nd annual Art of Fashion Runway Show 2017, servers holding trays of chilled flutes with champagne awaited them as they entered the lawn area at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. Before the Sept. 14 runway show, attendees perused designer boutiques knowing that a percentage of those purchase proceeds went to help support the more than 40 nonprofits The Country Friends supports.
Runway designers at the show included Bally, Brunello Cucinelli, M Missoni, Max Mara, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, The Webster and Versace.
Longtime event-goers were there for the day as well as first-timers such as local estate planning attorney Sara Tasch.
“This is an incredible event,” she said. “The list of charities was endless, with so many of them close to my heart. I cannot wait to attend next year.”
Before the runway show, mistress of ceremonies Kathleen Bade of Fox 5 News, shared how honored and thrilled she was to return this year. She explained how the Art of Fashion Runway Show and Luncheon was presented by The Country Friends in partnership with South Coast Plaza.
“If that is not a winning combo, I don’t know what is,” Bade said.
While Bade announced an extensive list of people who assisted in the event, she also highlighted long-time partner, The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
“This is a spectacular venue at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe,” she said. “And it is a historical setting for the Art of Fashion.”
Next up was president of The Country Friends, Deborah Cross, who explained how their organization had been helping San Diegans one hand at a time since 1954.
“Over the years, we’ve raised more than 13 million dollars for San Diego-based charities with a special emphasis on women, children, the elderly and those with disabilities,” Cross said. “These charities provide crucial care and support for those in need.”
Event co-chairs Maggie Bobileff and Denise Hug also said a few words. Bobileff thanked everyone who offered their help and generosity, noting that this year’s event surpassed their goals.
Hug thanked everyone and then placed special attention to honoree of Art of Fashion 2017, Jenny Craig.
“Thank you, Jenny,” Hug said. “You’re so deserving to be our honoree and you are a friend to everybody. You make the world a better place.”
Craig then said a few words before the runway show. She gave high praise to her community of Rancho Santa Fe.
“I really do appreciate this community, because every time we ask you to help, you always step up to the plate,” Craig said. “I am just so proud of this community and all the people who worked so hard to make it (The Art of Fashion) so successful. Thank you for coming today to support this cause, but even more importantly, I want to thank you for supporting me all these years. I love you and thank you.”