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Tampa Bay Fashion Week celebrates its 10th anniversary

Last week, Tampa Bay Fashion Week supported the nonprofit My Fairy Godfathers, which inspires women who’ve faced adversity.

Tampa Bay Fashion Week held its 10th anniversary from Oct. 4-7 in downtown Tampa’s International Plaza. 

“This year was the 10th year anniversary,” Courtney Duke, a junior marketing major, said. “Our theme was fashion as a story and talking about how fashion is more than just clothes. It’s about the people behind them, the artists behind them, their story and how they got to where they are now.”

Duke was able to gain a first-hand experience as a volunteer for the Tampa Bay Fashion Week team during their runway show on Oct. 6. 

“When I got there the runway was still covered up and the equipment people were still setting up the stage,” Duke said. “As we were doing all this, there were hairstylists and makeup artists backstage and the models were getting fitted by the designers.”

This annual Bay Area event continues to bring fashion designers, aspiring models, trendsetters and community members together. 

“It was cool to see all the designers running back and forth, trying to pin their outfits perfectly, models having to change super quickly. Everybody was kind of frantic and there was just a lot of high energy,” Duke said. “It definitely was like a spectacle.”

The fashion show’s beauty drive proceeds went toward the My Fairy Godfathers Foundation, a nonprofit inspiring confidence in girls and women who’ve faced adversity. In exchange for beauty supplies and toiletries, benefactors received a gift bag from Tampa Bay Fashion Week sponsors and designers. The foundation has also partnered with philanthropic organizations including the PACE Center for Girls and Dress for Success.

“This was my first fashion show, so that was really cool,” Duke said. “During the actual show I got to work frontstage and backstage. It was all around a good opportunity to give back, volunteer and have fun too.