Fashion with Heart

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New York Fashion Week came to Orlando this week, as Oscar de la Renta presented the first-ever fashion show at the IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas on Monday. Women in Travel (WiT) members were out in force at the event, which celebrated the partnership between the fashion house and Essence Corporation in the Americas, as well as raised funds for Hand in Hand for Haiti.

As members of the trade press, The Moodie Report was offered coveted front-row seats, allowing this writer to live out her fantasy of being American Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour – at least for a fleeting 15 minutes. Bright jewel tones, colourful floral prints, playful lace designs and vibrant tailored suits – the Spring 2012 collection was one that rivalled the lovely Florida sunshine, which made its welcome reappearance after the rain on Sunday.

Oscar de la Renta CEO Alex Bolen welcomes guests to the fashion show

The fund-raising effort for Hand in Hand for Haiti continued the next day at the WiT annual breakfast meeting, where members old and new gathered to network and bond over a good cause. As usual, the raffle included prizes generously donated by brands/companies in the industry, while the live auction featured high-value items from The Balvenie, Bvlgari, Tod’s, Furla and Mont Blanc.

Lois Pasternak of Travel Markets Insider kicks off the live auction

Two years have passed since the Haiti earthquake disaster but evidently, the fund-raising hasn’t stopped. Come June, the travel retail industry will once again take part in the Moodie Multi-National Marathon, this time to raise funds for Lycée Jean-Baptiste Point du Sable – a new school in Saint Marc, north of the capital Port-au-Prince that opened in October 2011 to provide education for Haitian children.

Teams can be registered and donations made via the dedicated website

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