Jeanne Beker averages one fashion fundraiser a week (that’s a lot), and tomorrow, she will take her place as the host of Zareinu’s ninth annual fashion show for “one of the most inspiring things that I get to do every year”.
The fundraiser benefits the Zareinu Educational Centre—a treatment centre for children with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy to down syndrome and other developmental challenges—and don’t expect a dry eye to be in the room. According to Canadian fashion icon, Jeanne Beker, “When you see the kids from the school walk out on that runway—I can’t tell you what it does to you. Your heart swells with so much joy and inspiration and these kids are real fighters.”
This year’s event features the resort collection from international luxury brand, Escada. It’s the first time the collection will be shown in Canada, and alongside the high fashion designs will as many as 30 children from the Zareinu Educational Centre walking the runway in Gap Kids with therapists and teachers from the centre.
All the glitz and glamour that is associated with international and even Toronto Fashion Week, is a major lure for, as Beker put it, “a very well-heeled audience”. Major fashion weeks are often considered inaccessible for the masses, but Zareinu’s fashion show comes with a reasonable price tag (remember it’s for a good cause, folks!).
“When you see what we complain about every day–we don’t have the right shoes to go with the right outfit or something isn’t happening on the job front or the romance front or whatever the heck it is, you go there and you see what these kids are up against on a daily basis,” says Beker, “Some of them are pretty wide-eyed about the experience, because they’ve certainly never been to a fashion show before, let alone, strut down a runway but it’s quite moving.”
And that, dear friends, is what they call a reality check.
For more information about the annual event, check out Zareinu Educational Centre.
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