Salute the Runway 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center

“Salute the Runway” is an initiative geared toward the acknowledgment and support of our nation’s thousands of military servicewomen. “Salute the Runway” gives military servicewomen advice on being appropriately dressed for any occasion, including the workplace, by focusing on versatile and classic wardrobe pieces such as the little black dress. In addition, this initiative focuses on giving female soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines recognition for their service. 

In June 2014, “Salute the Runway” was launched by women veteran organization Fatigues to Fabulous and sponsored by Little Black Dress Wines. The iniative produced fashion show events on Fort Hood, Fort Bliss and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Each of these shows highlighted local servicewomen and celebrated their achievements. “Salute the Runway” campaign spokesperson, Leslie Nicole Smith, who was featured on Project Runway All Stars in 2013, spoke to the military crowds about her experiences and positive “I can do anything” outlook on life. 

Similar to the military base shows, the “Salute the Runway” New York event at Lincoln Center paid tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of these brave women. Active, reserve, veteran and retired military servicewomen from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard walked one of the famed New York Runways. The event is sponsored by Little Black Dress Wines, Shout and Gloria Duchin for Chainge.

The fashion industry has come together in a strong showing of support. IMG model, Hilary Rhoda, coached each woman and gave advice on how to step out onto the runway with heads held high. American design houses, such as Calvin Klein, Mara Hoffman, Carmen Marc Valvo, and Micael Kors, selected different versions of the iconic and wardrobe must-have little black dress. Professional makeup artist Bobbi Brown not only enhanced their the veterans look naturally but spoke to them about feel confident. 

September 3rd was a very heavily media covered event which contributed to raising awareness of the challenges of transition but also acknowledged the amazing contribution of women in military service. This initiative looks to remind everyone that women are veterans too! 

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