March 29, 2012

Mama Struts Her Stuff

With Gorgeous Clothes, Glamorous Styling And Even A Stroller Or Two, More Than 20 Hot Moms Walked The Runway For NYC Fashion Week’s First Ever Show For Mothers

By Whitney Casser

Photo credit: Getty Images for Fashionable Mom


Style maven, world-famous model and mother of two gorgeous
girls, the iconic Iman attended New York’s
most recent Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week greeted by a flock of eager photographers
and fashion enthusiasts. —

And while she stunned onlookers in a purple lace top,
matching skirt and black stilettos—Iman wasn’t navigating the catwalk with her
signature swagger. This time, she was cheering on more than 20 other moms who
were rocking the runway for Fashion Week’s first ever Strut: The Fashionable Mom Show.

“This is the perfect example of moms following their dreams
and making them happen,” says Denise Albert of multi-platform lifestyle company

The idea for a fashion show dedicated to mothers was hatched
when Albert and her business partner, Melissa Gerstein, decided that they could
combine the habitually separate worlds of fashion and motherhood in an amazing
production featuring real women.

“We hit the ground running hard and brainstormed daily
ideas,” remembers Gerstein. “Our golden ticket came when we decided to
approach Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, the Director of Fashion for Lincoln Center. She loved us and the
idea, and blessed it from day one. She opened so many doors for us and the
rest is history!”

With moms in mind, Wolkoff—an IMG Consultant—reached out to
her contacts in the fashion world and started networking on behalf of the
budding show.

Strut was first proposed to me by the
team behind The Moms, I recognized its concept as engaging and nuanced,” says Wolkoff.
“I ‘green light’ initiatives that are presenting something unprecedented with a
thoughtful spin.”

As plans started to come together, the widespread family and
home life communities became enthusiastic about the parent-focused fashion project,
as well. Clorox sponsored a Twitter-azzi pit right off the runway and major
brands like T.J.Maxx, Marshalls, Matrix,
Coldwater Creek, Clorox and Quinny, among others, got on board.

And to give the show an extra bit of flair, Frederick
Anderson and Douglas Hannant of Douglas Hannant donated a beautiful set design,
complete with brilliant autumnal colors, a tree-lined double-runway and fake
leaves that crunched underfoot.


Showcasing versatile fashions that can be worn to the office
or the playground (or even to that ever-elusive date night with the hubby), Strut presented looks that appeal to the
modern mom regardless of her lifestyle, career or daily grind. The featured
looks, which are all available in stores now, ranged from affordable to special
splurges, from casual and comfy to elegant and chic.

Meanwhile, Gerstein echoed a common sentiment among busy
mothers of today: “We are always racing around for our children and the
household chores so we take less time for ourselves or we cannot afford to focus
as much on ourselves anymore.”

Motivated by this nearly universal truth, Strut created a moment for mothers to turn
the focus on themselves, how they look and—most importantly—how they feel. From
the physical transformations accompanying pregnancy to the changes in taste and
lifestyle that go with maturing as a mom, Strut
found a way to speak to women in all phases of motherhood.

“When we were younger, it was all about keeping up with the
trends and the styles,” notes Audrey McClelland of Mom Generations and
Co-Founder of Getting Gorgeous. “As we get older, it’s about bringing in the
timeless pieces that are classic and fabulous.”

So what was walking the runway like for this group of

“The energy was palpable,” remarks Holly Pavlika, one of the
show’s main contributors and President of MOM-entum.

And with hits from Rihanna, Cyndi Lauper and Beyoncé
bursting from the DJ booth—manned by an eight-year-old disc jockey—inside a
packed house of about 250 attendees, the moms had a ball strutting their stuff and
energizing the crowd with fresh ready-to-wear clothes and a clear message. “[It’s]
simple,” says Vera Sweeney of Lady and the Blog. “There isn’t a single thing that
moms can’t accomplish.”

hope that Strut, along with a list of
future initiatives, inspires women and mothers to fully accept fashion as a
part of their lifestyle,” says Wolkoff. “Fashion should empower women to embrace
their beauty at every stage of their life, and provide us with confidence to
look and feel as wonderful as the families and careers we have strived to

To say that the days of mom jeans are gone forever would be
a pipe dream, but Strut takes a sleek
step in the right direction.

“Our hope for the show was that moms would finally have a
voice in the fashion space,” adds McClelland. “It’s essential for every
woman—regardless of shape, size or age—to feel beautiful and confident.” 


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