4th Annual Splendor in the Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Celebrates Fashion and Philanthropy

Co-Chairs Swanee DiMare & Frances Sevilla-Sacasa

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Neiman Marcus Coral Gables partnered to host the fourth annual Splendor in the Garden fashion show fundraiser. The new spring clothing collections and the colors of the tropical garden complemented each other exquisitely for a day of fashion and philanthropy attended by more than 350 guests.

After a lovely cocktail reception and lunch by Le Basque, Nannette Zapata, Chief Operating Officer of Fairchild, welcomed visitors to the event. She spoke about how fundraising events like Splendor in the Garden are able to further Fairchild’s scientific and cultural advancements and extended gratitude to the supporters in the audience. Co-Chairs Swanee DiMare and Frances Sevilla-Sacasa took the stage to talk about the importance of the tireless work and community enrichment made by the 2015 Fairchild Philanthropy Honorees, who would be named and recognized after the fashion show.

Stephen Brunelle, VP and General Manager of Neiman Marcus Coral Gables, thanked the audience for attending and said they were in for a treat with the fashion show. He introduced Ken Downing, Senior VP and Fashion Director of Neiman Marcus, and without further ado, Ken walked down the runway to present his favorite Spring 2015 looks for men and women.

The first collection featured a 70s comeback with bold, flowing prints as models took to the runway with fun feathers arrangements in their hair. The second collection celebrated the architectural moment fashion is having with tailored and fitted black and white garments. Varied shades of white paired with statement jewelry were the focal points of the third collection.

Model in orange dress

    After the runway show, emcee Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, Miami Herald columnist and philanthropist, invited the 2015 Fairchild Philanthropy Honorees to the stage. Ken walked each woman down the runway as their long lists of accomplishments were read. This year’s Honorees were:

  • Raphael Bastian, Board Member of the Lowe Art Museum and Fairchild Gala in the Garden Committee Member
  • Yolanda Berkowitz, Voices for Children Foundation and United Way of Miami-Dade
  • Donna E. Shalala, President of the University of Miami and Professor of Political Science
  • Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney
  • Jennifer Valoppi, Founder and President of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program

After the recognition of the incredible work of the Honorees, guests were invited to the Backstage Boutique to browse garments available for purchase. Comfortable flip flops were handed out so everyone could enjoy a walk through the lush garden.

Splendor in the Garden was sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables & Cutler Bay, Marquis Bank, the Batchelor Foundation, Peony, and Selecta magazine.

To learn more about Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, call 305-667-1651 or visit www.fairchildgarden.org.