Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Marant, Monique Lhuillier, and Lanvin are among the international designers and luxury retailers to be showcased on September 16 when The Country Friends presents the 2021 Art of Fashion in partnership with South Coast Plaza. The runway show also includes looks from the fall-winter collections of Camilla, Max Mara, Saks Fifth Avenue and Versace.
The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe again serves as the venue for this annual fall fête. Honorary chairs are Les and Deborah Cross, recognized for their extraordinary 14-year commitment to the organization. Deborah also serves as event co-chair with The Country Friends President Suzanne Newman and Director of Operations Yvette Letourneau.
“We are delighted to partner with South Coast Plaza once again on San Diego County’s premier fashion event,” says Newman. “Proceeds benefit dozens of local charities whose needs grew even greater due to the pandemic.” Since its founding in 1954, The Country Friends has donated nearly $14 million to those in need with special emphasis on women, children, the elderly, the military and disabled.
A live auction and opportunity drawing features designer handbags, clothing and jewelry, including a pair of 18k white gold, iolite, and diamond earrings by John Matty Co. valued at $4,000. Top prize is a $15,000 five-day Amazon River cruise including a four-night stay at luxury hotels in Lima and Cusco, Peru, courtesy of Scott Dunn Exceptional Travel, Belmond Hotels and Aqua Expeditions. Alaska Airlines is once again donating round-trip, first-class tickets for two to anywhere the airline flies. Shop and dine at South Coast Plaza with a $2,000 gift card and $300 for lunch or dinner at the acclaimed Knife Pleat restaurant.
The Art of Fashion begins with a Champagne reception including light bites from the French Gourmet, and the always popular photo lounge on The Inn’s lawn. Guests are invited to shop South Coast Plaza mini boutiques featuring fashion, fragrance and accessories from Camilla, Diptyque, Max Mara, Mulberry, and Oscar de la Renta. Ten percent of sales benefits The Country Friends’ selected charities.
Centerpiece of the event is a professionally produced runway show that highlights the latest collections from South Coast Plaza’s premier international designers. After the show, guests gather on The Inn’s Croquet Lawn for a festive luncheon, live auction and opportunity drawing. The Art of Fashion concludes with “Sip, Shop and Support,” the chance to continue boutique shopping.
Title sponsors are Les and Deborah Cross and “Runway” sponsor is Scott Dunn Exceptional Travel. “Couture” sponsors include Hoehn Jaguar Land Rover, John Matty Co., Dr. Sirius and Amber Yoo of SKY Facial Plastic Surgery, the Warren Family Foundation, and The Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa and Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. “Fashionista” sponsors are Bobileff Restoration and Service: Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati; Dr. Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD, The Mirandon Foundation for Hope, and Torrey Pines Bank. “Designer” sponsors are Andrea Naversen Wait and Tamara Lafarga-Joseph.
Longtime supporters include The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, as well as Denise and Bertrand Hug, who once again are hosting the Art of Fashion Patron Party at Rancho Santa Fe’s renowned Mille Fleurs. Ranch & Coast Magazine is returning as the main media sponsor. Additional sponsors are Giving Back Magazine and Fairbanks Living Magazine.