Columbia's "Red Hot Runway" Designers Strut their Stuff for Charity



The "Red Hot Runway" fashion show was held at Columbia College recently as a Kick-Off for the upcoming "Chicago Red Dress Party" (April 16th).  13 designers participated and included Jiayin Zheng, Sadie Smith, Kelly Coll, Dana DuPree, Chloe Flora, Kristin Gillespie, Jacqueline Amezcua, Omotola Akinbiyi, Russell Yost, Katya Flores, Ruth Reyes, Amy Hilber and Johnny Hicks. The judges included Jerry Szec, founder of XOXO, designer Miriam Cecilia Carlson, Timeout's Kevin Aeh and moi! 

The designs were red, as instructed, and included evening gowns, cocktail dresses, short club wear and everything in between. Kate Jacobson produced the show to perfection and visual artist Michael Zoccoli made sure the runway popped.  All of the designs were inspired, but in the end, 3 designers took home the honors.  The winner for the evening was Amy Hilber, 2nd place, Chloe Flora and 3rd place winner was Russell Yost.  The room was packed with fans and friends cheering them on. 

Emcee Justin Jacobson introduced PR whiz Ryan Beshel and Kyler Powell, who spoke eloquently about their involvement to help raise awareness and funds dedicated to the research and care of HIV/AIDS patients.  "The Chicago Red Dress Party" on Saturday, April 16th, will benefit the Aids Foundation of Chicago as well as the Equality Project.  Mark your calendars now for this fun event for a worthy cause beginning at 8:30 PM, 525 Monroe. I will be co-hosting along with NBC's Marcus Riley.  Chicago's own Miss Foozie will be there as well as hot recording artist Kristine W., who will be performing her new single, a fiery dance track, "Fade." 

So dig deep in your closets and wear your best RED on Saturday, April 16th!  Hope to see you all there!  For tickets and more info, please visit

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