A Fashion Week message for the masses

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute was second in line to kick off Mercedes-Benz fashion week at the tents.

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute was second in line to kick off Mercedes-Benz fashion week at the Bryant Park tents. Laura Bush, the organization's Heart Truth campaign ambassador, opened the Red Dress fashion show, providing a background for the symbol of the red dress and importance of the campaign in raising awareness among women about Heart Disease (see past PRWeek coverage). “Nothing draws attention like a little red dress," said the First Lady.

Strangely - and WWD picked up on this too, obviously - she was not wearing a red dress, but a white suit. That aside, it was a good show. The show ran so smoothly that I'm guessing my failed attempt to find someone from the Ogilvy PR team must have been caused by their hard work backstage.

Celebrities, including Joss Stone, Allison Janney, Ashanti, Sara Ramirez, and Liza Minnelli, walked, stormed, and smiled down the runway in one-of-a-kind, red dresses by top designers.

Fashion Week is an important asset for New York City, one that highlights the essence and evolution of style and, in the case of Heart Truth, important causes. True luxury will always exist. However, fashion is no longer exclusively a luxury for the runway shows' viewers and buyers. Affordable outlets, along with the booming impact of the celebrity image, place style at the fingertips of the masses. New technologies streamline visuals and ideas from head designers, or in this case, industry thought leaders.

This week, American Express (Amex) launched an online fashion network at www.americanexpress.com/style. The network will stream live throughout the duration of Mercedes-Benz fashion week to promote the shows and network. Amex is also launching Fashion 360, the first dedicated fashion channel on YouTube, hosted by Robert Verdi. The channel will feature live runway shows, interviews, and content from fashion partners and publishers that will include daily party and trend fashion reports.

“The launch of the American Express Fashion Network gives designers and industry insiders the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the shows and share their personal views and insights with a broad, highly engaged consumer audience," said Claire Bennett, SVP of advertising, marketing, and media for Amex, in a statement.

A Michael Kors dress may cost a small fortune, but Lisa Rinna dancing down the Heart Truth runway in the designer's one-of-a-kind is priceless.

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