Empire’s Jussie Smollett to Hosts 16th Annual Heroes in the Struggle Awards Presentation & Reception at 20th Century Fox Studios

Black AIDS Institute/Heroes in the Struggle Honors Taraji P. Henson, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Gina Belafonte, and Gina Brown

17 hits p2 ebrite head no bg-crop-u909The Black AIDS Institute inducts a select group of individuals and organizations that have made commendable heroic contributions to the fight against HIV/AIDS in Black America. The 16th Annual Heroes in the Struggle Awards Presentation & Reception will be held on September 16, 2017, at the Darryl F. Zanuck Theater at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles at 6:00 PM.

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Empire’s Jussie Smollett to Hosts 16th Annual Heroes in the Struggle Awards Presentation & Reception at 20th Century Fox Studios

Founded in May 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on the Black communities. Our motto is Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution. The Institute’s mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions, leaders, and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy and mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view.

The 2017 inductees include Taraji P. Henson, Laverne Cox, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, Gina Belafonte, and Gina Brown. The 2017 Corporate Hero is Novant Health. Black AIDS Institute Board Member Jussie Smollett serves as Chair and Host. The 2017 theme is Black Men Honoring Black Women and celebrated R&B singer/songwriter Ledisi performs a special tribute. The awards presentation is produced by Russelli & Hall.

“At the age of fifteen, I began working with the Black AIDS Institute and I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors,” said Smollett. “Although it is not spoken about like it used to, the AIDS epidemic is not over, especially in Black communities. I am humbled to pay tribute to these remarkable women in our community. Continue reading

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22nd Newport Flower Show to Celebrate Fete Des Fleurs

The 2017 Newport Flower Show, themed Fête Des Fleurs: Paintings and Parterres, will celebrate its 22nd year with a variety of special events, expert guest speakers, beautiful floral designs, impressive horticulture exhibits, stunning garden displays, unique shopping opportunities, and more. Inspired by France, America’s premier summer flower show will transport guests’ imaginations to the place that has inspired generations of artists and gardeners. Attendees will travel on a French adventure, from grand gardens to Paris chic, at Rosecliff, one of Newport’s most beautiful historic mansions modeled after the Grand Trianon at Versailles. The Show opens on Friday, June 23 and runs through Sunday, June 25, 2017.psnc-logo

With Newport’s largest private ballroom, Rosecliff was constructed in 1902 as a party pavilion for one of the leading society hostesses of the Gilded Age. This snow-white terra-cotta mansion was created for Theresa Fair Oelrichs, heir to the Comstock silver lode in Nevada. It hosted many of the most fabulous entertainments of the period, including a fairy-tale dinner and a party, featuring magician Harry Houdini.

The magnificent three-day event welcomes back Bartlett Tree Experts as the Presenting Sponsor of the Newport Flower Show, which benefits The Preservation Society of Newport County. Additional sponsors include ALEX AND ANI, Atria Senior Living , Brooks Brothers, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Southeastern New England, Swarovski, United, and The Newport Daily News.

Show Highlights:

The Show will feature celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham and noted scholar on French garden history Dr. Eric T. Haskell as special guest speakers, scheduled on Friday and Saturday. Guests will have the rare opportunity to learn from the uniquely talented Leatham, who works as the Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris in addition to designing events for celebrities and world leaders like His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and many more. Leatham is considered the most exciting floral designer in the world. Awarded the prestigious “Knighthood” (“Chevalier de L’Order des Arts et Letters”), the French Government’s highest honor for artists, Jeff designed the first major event to be held in the famed “Galerie des Glaces” (Hall of Mirrors) at Versailles since the time of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. His work is compared to contemporary art (and is featured at international cultural, business and entertainment events). His vase designs were so exquisite that the Dallas Museum purchased them for their permanent collection. His work.

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Celebrity floral designer Jeff Leatham

Haskell, Professor of French Studies & Humanities and Director of the Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College in California, will share his knowledge on French gardens, their history, and more with guests. Dr. Haskell will share his vast knowledge on French gardens during his lecture “Lasting Landscapes: The French Formal Garden.” He received his Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of California, Irvine, and also studied Art History and Architecture in the graduate program at UCI and at the École du Louvre in Paris. He has delivered over 550 public lectures and scholarly papers in 28 states and 11 foreign countries. In 2013 Haskell received two of France’s highest honors: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académics (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms) and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters).

Other free lectures and demonstrations by noted plant experts, flower designers and gardeners will

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Dr. Eric T. Haskell

also be presented throughout the weekend.

Fashion icon and interior designer Iris Apfel will also join the Newport Flower Show’s Afternoon Tea reception on Friday, June 23 for a conversation on her fabulous life, fashion, and style. The Afternoon Tea reception will be held on the front lawn of Rosecliff at 3:00 p.m. where guests will be treated to a sampling of savory and sweet delicacies as well as flavored versions of iced or hot teas.

The Opening Night Party, the unofficial “kickoff to summer in Newport,” will take place on Friday, June 23 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a cocktail buffet, live music and dancing, a seaside supper, and other entertaining surprises. The show will continue through the weekend with unforgettable garden exhibits, horticultural entries, floral designs, and children’s programs, all staged

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Iris Apfel

throughout the elegant reception rooms of Rosecliff, its oceanfront terrace and lawn.

New this year, the Newport Flower Show will offer a Fête de la Lune (Feast by Moonlight) at Rosecliff on Saturday, June 24 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Guests can spend an evening strolling through the display gardens, shopping with Flower Show vendors on the front lawn, and viewing the floral designs inside Rosecliff before the sun sets, then can enjoy a summer picnic basket supper on the grounds while viewing the display gardens. Attendees can also opt to stay after supper for a viewing of the 2015 hit movie “A Little Chaos” starring Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, and Stanley Tucci; film tickets are sold separately. Continue reading

Los Angeles LGBT Center Expands Services for Homeless LGBTQ Youth With Support From S. Mark Taper Foundation

This week the Los Angeles LGBT Center announces it has received a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation to support The Center‘s Homeless Youth Services. The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in their respective communities.2b6088cc959028b4289c4dd619d45523

The grant will help fund holistic services including food, showers, emergency shelter, transitional housing, education, college access services, employment training, job placement assistance, addiction recovery and other health and wellness support.

On any given day or night, there are several thousand homeless youth ages 24 and younger living on the streets of Los Angeles. At its Youth Center, which is open seven days a week, the Center provides three meals per day; clothing; support group; a charter high school, GED, and college prep program; an employment preparation, training, and placement program; and more. The Center also offers a place to stay at its emergency shelter and longer-term housing at its transitional housing program.

In 2016 the Center served more than 74,000 meals at its Youth Center and provided more than 22,858 bed nights to homeless youth. Additionally, more than 109 homeless youth secured jobs through the Center’s Youth Employment Program.

With a staggering 40 percent of youth living on the streets in Hollywood identifying as LGBT, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will be able to expand its life-saving services to homeless youth because of the S. Mark Taper Foundation’s generosity,” said Center Director of Children, Youth & Family Services Simon Costello. “No organization offers a wider range of services for LGBT and questioning youth than the Los Angeles LGBT Center. We are honored to work with the S. Mark Taper Foundation to provide whatever support and services that youth need to get off the streets and become healthy, equal and complete members of society.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center does exceptional work in helping homeless youth find a better quality of life, and we are proud to help the Center continue its mission,” said S. Mark Taper Foundation Executive Director Adrienne Wittenberg. “Too many youths find themselves trying to survive on the streets of Los Angeles, but with our relationship with the Center, together we will transform and uplift the lives of these youth for the better.

Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. The Center is an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; the world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.

Richard Lawson And Tina Knowles Lawson Build New Non-Profit WACO Theater Center In Los Angeles

Venue To Be Home Of Richard Lawson Studios, Mentorship Programs, Mobile Theater, Stage Productions And Empowerment Classes

WACO To Launch With Inaugural Wearable Art Gala On April 29, 2017 At The California African American Museum

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Solange Knowles, Bianca Lawson And Kelly Rowland to Serve as Honorary Chairpersons

Dreams do not have an expiration date, and that is what we plan to instill in our students at WACO Theater Center.”Richard Lawson

Actor and master acting teacher, Richard Lawson, and fashion designer, art collector and philanthropist Tina Knowles Lawson have joined forces to establish the new WACO Theater Center in Los Angeles. As founders of the recently built non-profit art and performance center, the husband and wife team are kicking off the occasion with the First Annual Wearable Art Gala. The charitable event is set to take place at the California African American Museum (CAAM) on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Los Angeles.

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RICHARD LAWSON & TINA KNOWLES LAWSON

We are truly thrilled to establish a new creative center in Los Angeles where art can occur,” Tina Knowles Lawson says, alluding to WACO’s acronym. “The purpose of this endeavor is empowering people to gain the skills and ability to identify and pursue their dreams no matter who they are or where they came from. It is also to give both professional and non-professional actors, artists and youth a place to celebrate their own talent and artistry.” Richard Lawson adds, “WACO is our dream come true.”

Richard Lawson has a long and distinguished career as an actor and master teacher that spans five decades. His first professional job was in the national company of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Charles Gordone, No Place to Be Somebody. Some of his selected films include Steven Spielberg‘s Poltergeist, Walter Hill‘s Streets of Fire, Stick with Burt Reynolds, The Main Event with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, Coming Home with Jane Fonda and Jon Voight, Audrey Rose with Anthony Hopkins and Marsha Mason, Wag the Dog, starring Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman, How Stella Got Her Groove Back, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Angela Bassett, Guess Who, starring Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher, and For Colored Girls, directed by Tyler Perry.

As an acting and teaching protégé of Milton Katselas, one the finest and most respected acting teachers in the world, Lawson recognized a hole in the teaching model and went on to create the Richard Lawson Studios (RLS).

Using a complete approach to acting that includes traditional scene study as well as audition technique, RLS integrates on-camera instruction, filmmaking, and business administration into a comprehensive course of study. State-of-the-art computer technology is applied to his time-tested acting techniques. Lawson imparts his 46 years of experience as a successful actor, teacher, public speaker, and drug counselor for the National Basketball Association to motivate and empower artists and non-artists alike, professionals, job-seekers and regular people to achieve their creative goals. (For more information about Richard Lawson, visit http://www.richardlawson.net)

Tina Knowles Lawson is a fashion designer who has been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, L’official, InStyle, and Sports Illustrated. Knowles Lawson was a designer and stylist for the superstar group Destiny’s Child, creating original garments for the tours, magazine shoots and television appearances, including The VMAs, BET Awards, and the Grammys. She has also designed for her daughter Beyoncé’s tours and television performances, including The Academy Awards. Together, they created three successful clothing lines; House of Deréon, Deréon, and the Miss Tina line. Knowles Lawson has hosted a show on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and her work has been featured on “Good Morning America”, “The View”, “The Today Show”, “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Hollywood Access Live”, “Tyra” and “Ellen”. Knowles Lawson has also designed costumes for a number of hit movies including Dreamgirls, Pink Panther, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Obsessed and Cadillac Records.

Passionate about her philanthropic endeavors, Knowles Lawson, her family and Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland along with St. John’s Church has built and established a center for young people known as The Knowles-Rowland Center for Youth located in Houston, Texas. Tina Knowles Lawson’s philanthropic endeavors include the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments, sponsored by the Knowles family’s Survivor Foundation, which offers temporary living for those in need of shelter; and, in partnership with her daughter, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, the Beyoncé Cosmetology Center at Phoenix House in Brooklyn, New York which empowers women to develop creative skills in the cosmetology trade and to carry their talent into the professional world.

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WACO Theater Center logo

She was also one of the faces of Miss A Meal, a program founded by Rudy and Juanita Rasmus, to eradicate hunger in the Houston area. For her work, Knowles Lawson has been the recipient of the prestigious Ace Awards, the International Global Leadership Award, and the Golden Hanger Award. The University of Houston and the Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation (TWEF) have recognized Knowles Lawson for her philanthropic work and achievements in business. A natural teacher and adviser, she makes time to speak regularly at schools and mentors young women. Now relocated to Los Angeles, her philanthropic spirit has come with her and together with her husband, Richard Lawson, they have established the WACO Theatre Center.

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First Annual Wearable Art Gala Poster

For the inaugural Wearable Art Gala, the Lawsons looked no further than their own family to help bring attention to their mission. Thus, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Solange Knowles, Bianca Lawson and Kelly Rowland will serve as the Gala’s Honorary Chairpersons. The evening will include live and silent auctions and guests will be invited to explore the CAAM‘s galleries and exhibitions. The museum serves as the ideal venue for the Gala and for wearable arts to be feted by guests dressing in art and original fashion designs. The wearable art movement is surging now due to fashion designers such as Knowles Lawson who bring greater attention to wearable art pieces by encouraging patrons to be creative and design their own wearable art. The Gala will be dedicated to the arts.

From performance, fashion, music, and the visual arts, including painting and sculpting, it’s never too late to develop and cultivate talent,” says Lawson. “Dreams do not have an expiration date, and that is what we plan to instill in our students at WACO Theater Center.” Continue reading

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Receives $10,000 Grant From The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in Partnership with Macy’s

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a grant for $10,000 from The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in partnership with Macy’s to fund an HIV prevention program tailored for LGBT youth. The grant will be used by the Center’s Sexual Health and Education Program, which provides cutting-edge HIV prevention care that includes rapid HIV antibody testing, ultra-sensitive PCR/DNA HIV testing, comprehensive Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing and STI treatment, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and more.

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The Los Angeles LGBT Center

The Center is honored to be recognized by ETAF for its unique work in the community. Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 600 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. The organization is an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people can be healthy, equal and complete members of society.

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The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) logo

The late Dame Elizabeth Taylor established The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) in 1991 to support organizations delivering direct care and services to people living with HIV and AIDS, especially the most marginalized communities. Today, ETAF also provides grants for innovative HIV prevention education and advocacy programs to existing organizations around the world. With aagrd8rrkey domestic advocacy funding focuses on comprehensive sexual health education and HIV criminalization reform, ETAF continues to bring the marginalized to the center of attention and advocate for their rights. The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation has granted to more than 675 organizations in 44 countries and nearly all 50 states in the U.S.

The work that the Los Angeles LGBT Center does to help people affected by HIV/AIDS is impressive and very much aligned with Elizabeth Taylor’s passionate commitment to the cause,” said Joel Goldman, Managing Director of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. “ETAF and our partners at Macy’s are thrilled to present the Los Angeles LGBT Center with these funds to help further our shared mission.”macys-logo

Through their Cause Marketing Program, Macy’s recognizes their responsibility to the community and their concern for the needs of their neighbors. They are proud to partner with ETAF and have contributed to this grant.

For The Cure: Carson Kressley, Victor Cruz, Bill Nye And More Participate In First Ever Blue Jacket Fashion Show To Benefit The Prostate Cancer Foundation

Mario Cantone, Don Lemon, Ian Mellencamp, Thom Browne, Joseph Abboud, John Varvatos And Others Participate In National Awareness Campaign

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Celebrities, media, and influencers gather at Pier 59 Studios as the inaugural Blue Jacket Fashion Show is set to begin

Yesterday, the inaugural Blue Jacket Fashion Show took place at Pier 59 Studios as part of New York Men’s Fashion Week. In partnership with Johnson & Johnson, the Blue Jacket Fashion Show benefited the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF), founded by philanthropist and financier Michael Milken.bluejacket_745x510-jpg-676x373

The Blue Jacket Fashion Show is the kick-off event for The Blue Jacket Initiative founded by Frederick Anderson and Laura Miller (Anderson/Miller) and is a national awareness campaign designed to demystify and create a platform to openly discuss men’s cancer issues. Anderson/ Miller is a marketing and promotion agency based in New York City.

The Show brought together the fashion, entertainment, sports, healthcare, and media worlds around a national platform to openly discuss men’s cancer issues, with an emphasis on prostate cancer. Coinciding with February’s Cancer Prevention Month and New York Men’s Fashion Week, the Show included participation from designers such as John Varvatos, Nick Graham, Joseph Abboud, Nicole Miller, Proper Cloth, Stephen F, Maggie Norris, Theory, Gustavo Moscoso, Craft Atlantic, Rag and Bone, Thom Browne and Haspel who used their creative talents to “reinvent” the traditional blue blazer.

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Backstage at Pier59 Studios before the inaugural Blue Jacket Fashion Show, held in partnership with Johnson & Johnson to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation

Those walking the runway wearing one-of-a-kind blue jackets included models, actors, athletes, members of the media and business titans. Among those who walked are: actor Mario Cantone, musician and model Ian Mellencamp, New York Giants Wide Receiver Victor Cruz, TV personality Carson Kressley, science educator and host of the forthcoming Netflix series Bill Nye Saves the World Bill Nye, New York Yankees Pitcher CC Sabathia, New York Post’s Richard Johnson, model Alex Lundqvist, and CNN Anchor Don Lemon. Following the show, all of the specially designed jackets modeled were included in a live auction, with proceeds going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, statistics show that prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in America. It affects everyone out of eight men at some point in their lifetimes. Every 3.3 minutes a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, and millions of men and their families are fighting this disease on any given day across the globe.

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Joaquin Duato, Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson and Carson Kressley at the Blue Jacket Fashion Show benefiting the Prostate Cancer Foundation

Continue reading

The Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection Fashion Show Returns to New York Fashion Week

The American Heart Association Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection 2017 Fashion Show Presented By Macy’s Merges Entertainment, Media And Fashion As Celebrities Raise Awareness Of Heart Disease And Stroke In Women

Celebrities on the runway include: Adrienne Bailon, Jessie James Decker, Diane Guerrero, Jazz Jennings, Juliette Lewis, Rachel Platten, and Laurie Hernandez

The American Heart Association announced that the Go Red For Women™ Red Dress Collection (Fashion Show) 2017 presented by Macy’s will return to New York Fashion Week at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Thursday, February 9, 2017. The fashion show is slated to feature 19 celebrities in gowns by top fashion designers. Founded by NHLBI’s The Heart Truth®, the event reminds women of the need to protect their heart health. The show begins at 8 p.m. ET, along with a Facebook Live on Go Red For Women‘s Facebook page.gored_logo

Cardiovascular diseases cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year – more than all cancers combined. However, 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. The most important action: know your numbers. Knowing the most critical numbers for your heart health including Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar, and Body Mass Index (BMI) could save your life. Go Red For Women and Macy’s are encouraging all women to learn their personal health numbers. Your heart might depend on it.macys-logo

Macy’s, the founding national sponsor of Go Red For Women, is the presenting sponsor of the annual Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection. To date, Macy’s has raised more than $60 million through the generosity and commitment of Macy’s associates and customers, which has helped to directly fund women’s heart health research and education.

Walking in this year’s Go Red For Women’s Red Dress Collection presented by Macy’s are: Adrienne Bailon (co-host, The Real); Bonnie Somerville (Code Black); CCH Pounder (NCIS: New Orleans, Sons of Anarchy); Diane Guerrero (Orange is the New Black, Jane the Virgin); Jazz Jennings (activist/I am Jazz); Jeannie Mai (co-host, The Real); Jessie James Decker (singer/designer/reality star); Juliette Lewis (Secrets and Lies); Lauren Holly (Motive); Laurie Hernandez (Olympic Gymnast); Lea Thompson (Switched at Birth, Back to the Future); Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black); Lucy Lawless (Zena: Warrior Princess, Parks & Recreation); Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf); Maureen McCormick (Dancing with the Stars); Peyton List (Jessie); Rachel Platten (singer); Stephanie March (Law & Order SVU); and Veronica Webb (model).

The Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2017 presented by Macy’s will feature three looks from designers in the not-for-profit, independently-run Fashion Incubator Programs housed at Macy’s: Masha Titievsky from the Chicago Fashion Incubator, Bethany Meuleners from Fashion Incubator San Francisco, and Amanda Casarez from the D.C. Fashion Incubator. Wearing these designs will be Lorraine Toussaint in VARYFORM by Masha Titievsky, CCH Pounder in Bethany Meuleners, and Veronica Webb in Amanda Casarez.

This year, for the first time ever, heart disease survivors will be walking alongside the celebrities. Last year, Macy’s took its commitment to women’s health to the next level by holding a nationwide employee associate casting call to identify five associates from Macy’s stores who’ve been personally impacted by heart disease. Odilia Cristabel Flores from New York City, a Senior Manager in Macy’s Social Compliance Department, and AHA Real Woman Nicole Hardy from Scarborough, Maine will be hitting the runway to raise awareness for a cause they know all too well.

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During the month of February, Macy’s offers customers additional ways to support this worthy cause through merchandise that gives back, including this limited-edition red dress by Calvin Klein (above, $134.00).

We are grateful to all of the celebrities and survivors walking in this year’s Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection for inspiring women world-wide to prioritize their heart health and make ‘Know Your Numbers’ actionable,” said Nancy Brown, Chief Executive Officer, American Heart Association. “The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is honored to be a part of New York Fashion Week with Macy’s, to shine a bright light on women’s heart disease, both on and off the runway.” Continue reading