Annual Red Dress Fashion Show Returns to UIW

February 23, 2024

Two participating Red Dress Fashion Show studentsOn Saturday, Feb. 24, the Annual Red Dress Fashion Show will take place in the UIW SEC Ballroom at 11 a.m. Since 2006, the University of the Incarnate Word has hosted the Red Dress Fashion Show to raise awareness of women's heart health. The Red Dress Fashion Show will feature the garment designs of UIW fashion students, as well as visiting high school fashion students, with scholarship funds awarded to the winning designers to help further their education.

Dr. Melinda Adams, professor and program director for the UIW Fashion Management Department, is proud of the growth and initiative her students have demonstrated in preparing for this event. She feels that this show is an opportunity to celebrate creativity and the skills of the students.

“It is great to watch the students mature, learn new skills, and watch them apply those skills in creative ways,” shared Adams. “I have gotten to watch them grow into the young professionals that will be entering the industry. I also love seeing them take what has been taught and taking the lead in putting this show together while training the next generation to follow them.”

As proud as she is of her students, the foundational goal of spreading awareness for cardiac health has remained at the forefront of her mind leading up to the event. She acknowledges that women often put everyone else before themselves when it comes to their health.

“I hope all the women who attend will take a pause from their busy schedules and remember to take care ofParticipating Red Dress Fashion Show student themselves. We can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves. We can’t fill others’ glasses if we haven’t filled our own,” expressed Adams.

In addition to awarding scholarships and raising awareness about women’s heart health, this year’s fashion show organizers are partnering with DaisyCares, a national nonprofit organization created to provide pet food and urgent or emergent funding aid toward veterinary care. The organization also aims to reduce animal abuse through animal welfare education and awareness. To contribute toward this mission, attendees are asked to bring a pet toy or pet treats as their “ticket” into the Red Dress event. A DaisyCares representative will be on hand to collect the items and raise awareness of their services.

“This partnership makes sense because our pets improve our health so gathering items for pets in need improves the pet’s life and the owner’s life,” noted Adams.

Participating Fashion Management junior Kara Deleon views this event as both a rite of passage for those in the fashion program and an opportunity to show loved ones why they chose to pursue fashion.

“I have entered the fashion show ever since I was a freshman and every year it is always exciting,” reflected Deleon. “Looking back at the first design that I entered into Red Dress always brings a smile to my face because I have grown so much since then. It's the type of change that you will keep close to your heart and cherish.”