As I am now in the fashion game, what better way to celebrate the opening of my business with a trip to Charleston Fashion Week with my favorite girl, my daughter Maya. I opted for the full mother-daughter experience. (There is an opportunity to purchase a package where you go behind the scenes and meet the directors of makeup and runway.) It was an evening to remember. Maya got her nails and makeup done, not to mention the fluffy mounds of cotton candy available to consume, so she was pretty much in heaven.
What I loved most was seeing all the daughters (mostly tweens and teenagers) with their moms taking in their surroundings. In a sea of models and makeup artists, there we were feeling a bit nervous and more than a bit self-conscious. Yet, it wasn’t really the atmosphere that impressed me the most. It was the way we were treated. There were a couple of women that guided us backstage and gave their perspective on the industry. A former model, now a Charleston Fashion Week modeling and runway director, told us she was teased as a child because of her height. I assure you no one is laughing now. The women told us that models come in all shapes and sizes and being unique and confident is the most important aspect of modeling. The whole experience was so genuine and inclusive. Their main objective was to make these girls feel comfortable, which was no small feat in a room full of runway models! I looked around at the other moms, and I knew they were touched as well. After getting dolled up, the models and crew cheered us on with “Have fun!” “Don’t be nervous!” “Don’t trip!” before a special walk down the runway.
My daughter and I definitely got much more out of the experience than I imagined. They could have made it just about the show. They could have done a quick tour and overview. But they did so much more than that. They engaged the girls with questions. They shared personal trials and triumphs. They wanted us to really feel a part of the experience. I walked away thinking these women are not only models of clothing and physical beauty. They are models of kindness and compassion. They truly wanted my daughter to feel confident. And isn’t that what we all should want for our girls, for them to feel beautiful and self-assured in any room anywhere. Bravo Charleston Fashion Week.