Women helping women: Vintage NOW continues to grow, aiming to raise $50,000 for Safe House for Women

Friday, August 3, 2012
Terra Bennett walks the runway during the second annual Vintage NOW Fashion Show. (File photo)

In some ways, walking into Deb Maevers' antique store, Pastimes Antiques, is like stepping into your mom or grandmother's closet. There is an abundance of fabulous vintage clothing just waiting to help you make a fashion statement.

And that's what inspired the Vintage NOW fashion show, which takes vintage pieces and mixes them with modern clothing for a fresh look.

"I had an idea," Maevers says. "We have so much vintage clothing, I thought wouldn't it be great to have a fashion show?"

She credits her husband with finding the perfect name for the show. "I spent weeks coming up with some ideas," Maevers says. "It was a simple man thing. He asked me 'What are you trying to say with this show?' I said I wanted to show women how to wear vintage now, and he looked at me and said 'You just found your name.'"

She also credits her husband with having the show benefit an organization. "I immediately thought of Safe House (for Women)," Maevers says. "It's women helping women."

Now in its third year, Vintage NOW continues to grow.

"We had a really successful first year," Maevers says. "The same night we were cleaning up (after the first show), we were planning and starting on the next year."

This year's show, on Oct. 30, will be held at the old Steve & Barry's store in West Park Mall. "We grew out of Buckners (the River View Room) and went to The Venue," Maevers says. "Last year, we had a packed house at The Venue."

That packed house was close to 900 people, prompting the move to the mall; this year's space is more than 50,000 square feet.

"We kind of have a Motown theme this year," Maevers says. "The decor is limitless with such a big space. We're going for a little bit more modern, clean look."

And with the move to a bigger space comes a bigger fundraising goal. "Last year we raised over $30,000," Maevers says. "I've got a number in my head of $50,000."

Vintage NOW is the largest local fundraiser for the Safe House for Women. "It's critical to have funding without, I would say, strings attached," says Safe House director Michelle Scherer. "We have a lot of services; some we can provide through grants, some we can't. It frees us up to provide services we wouldn't otherwise be able to."

Scherer says the non-dedicated funding pays for certain transportation costs or medical costs the Safe House provides for clients.

In addition to the fashion show, sales of a Vintage NOW calendar also benefit the Safe House. The calendars feature photos of local women channeling fashion icons from the past. The 2012 calendar featured stars like Elizabeth Taylor (former Flourish cover model Claire Bruce), Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn. Models for 2013 have portrayed Lucille Ball, Princess Diana and Barbra Streisand.

"During the show we'd have a 'Marilyn' moment when we realized someone looked like Marilyn Monroe," Maevers says. "It kind of started with seeing similarities when we were playing with vintage clothing."

Last year was the first year calendars were sold, and like the fashion show, Maevers expects it to become bigger each year. "This year we're going to get them in circulation sooner," she says.

With the 2013 calendar photos wrapped, Maevers and her team will turn their focus to the fashion show.

"By the end of August we'll have a modeling call out," Maevers says. "We're going to use a lot of the same models. Last year we had 35 models. That was a good time frame."

Once the models are chosen, Maevers and her stylists will have two fittings with the models, photographing every outfit and every girl so the hair and makeup people can make plans for how to complete the look.

It sounds simple, but it isn't.

"We're still getting the looks together the day of the show," Maevers says.

In addition to the fashion show, there will be a speaker -- "We're still working out the details on that," Maevers says -- and a performance by students from the Academy of Dance Arts.

"It's a lot of work, but it's fun," Maevers says. "Bottom line is we're helping women in our area who really need the help."

For more information, visit www.vintagenowfashionshow.com or look for Vintage NOW on Facebook.

Want to go?

The third annual Vintage NOW will be Tuesday, Oct. 30, at West Park Mall in the old Steve & Barry's location.