Project Pink combines fashion and philanthropy


by Terri Gruca with photojournalist J.P. Harrington

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE

Posted on September 19, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 19 at 7:30 PM

AUSTIN -- From outlandish -- to practical, you can see it all at London's Fashion Week. However, you don't have to travel the globe to be inspired.

High fashion meets philanthropy this weekend in Austin with Project Pink – a fashion show that puts a purpose behind design by raising money for breast cancer research.

"They've blown us all away with what they've done," said organizer Allison Schickel.

Schickel helped pinpoint 17 of Austin's up-and-coming fashion designers to showcase their wares. They range in age from 13 to 65 and hail from UT Austin, Austin School of Fashion Design, the Art Institute and McCallum High School.

Breast cancer will affect one in eight women at some point in their life.

UT Austin Sophomore Hannah Leonard knows that all too well.

"The main driving factor was my grandma. She's now a 35 year survivor," said Leonard.

From flirty to functional each creation will be worn by a breast cancer survivor.

"All these women who are doing it, it's just empowering for me,” said Leonard.

Every detail in Leonard’s creation is carefully crafted with her survivor model and her grandma in mind.

"I guess it's almost -- wanting to give back to her, because I admire her so much and how brave she was,” she said. “Just a way for me to do something for her."

Perhaps the greatest challenge in this competition is that 50 percent of the material had to be from vintage Austin Race for the Cure t-shirts.

"One small touch I wanted to add in was take the survivor part out of the t-shirt and put it on either sides of the dress to really exemplify who these women are,” said Leonard.         

At stake: a $500 dollar prize, jewelry from Kendra Scott and one-on-one training with each of the judges.

Unlike any fashion show you'll likely ever see -- project pink is sure to inspire.

"They've cut them, they've dyed them, They've put them in pieces,” said Schickel. “They've made gowns. It's just amazing."

The Project Pink fundraiser is this Saturday at 10:30am at the W Hotel downtown. Tickets cost $60 dollars for the brunch and fashion show with proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Austin chapter. And each ticket holder will get free jewelry from Kendra Scott. For more information go here.

For more KVUE Working for a Cure coverage, click here.

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