ELYSIAN’s Inspiring Women are icons across a wide spectrum of industries that complement our mission. We honor women who embody graceful and purposeful living with a deep desire to make a positive impact in the lives of others. It is from this group of women we were able to select judges for the inaugural CatWalk FurBaby fashion showcase and contest, which will take place this Friday at Sony Hall in New York City.
Fern Mallis, without whom New York Fashion Week would have never come together; Karen Abercrombie, an award-winning actress and nonprofit leader; and Carol Alt, the fashion model whose face has graced hundreds of covers, comprise the panel of women to whom we are so grateful for taking on this treasured task.
In all, the 10 teams participating in CatWalk FurBaby have raised $500,000 in philanthropic support for animal welfare charities and the four-legged companions we love the most. Our panel of celebrity judges will award the top three teams with prize packages between $20,000 and $50,000. The People’s Choice Award, which will be tallied from online voting, is $100,000, which benefits the winning team’s charity, designer, and model.
Choosing our judges was not an easy endeavor, and we are thrilled to have found three women of impeccable caliber who are up to the task.
In 1993, with fashion shows across New York scheduled at competing times, and the quality of production and venues doing a poor job of highlighting the best of American fashion for the world to see, Fern Mallis, then the executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, pulled together her contacts and created a better showcase for the country’s best designers. Beyond her many impressive roles as the Godmother of Fashion, Ms. Mallis is also known as a good person. An engaging woman in interviews, close to her sister and nieces, and a congenial philanthropist, chairing animal shelter initiatives, and being honored at a variety charity events across the city. Ms. Mallis is a creative force and shrewd fashion mind, and she will anchor our event.
Karen Abercrombie has a long list of professional credits to her name, but it is her connection with gratitude that most inspires us. Best known for her award-winning role in the Kendrick Brothers film, War Room, Ms. Abercrombie has an impressive body of work under her belt. Beyond acting, Ms. Abercrombie formed Earth Mother Entertainment LLC, an independent film production company, and she has dedicated her life to living naturally well. In her Inspiring Woman interview, she spoke with ELYSIAN of her challenging childhood and everything she has overcome. Ms. Abercrombie is an engaging presence, and her kind soul will guide our judging proceedings.
Carol Alt is a renowned supermodel, actress, entrepreneur, best-selling author and television host. This multi-hyphenate woman is renowned for her modeling excellence, dominance of magazine covers throughout the 1980s, and a beauty that has lasted through the decades that have followed. Beyond her covers and list of film credits, she early on bloomed past her entertainment roles and developed an entrepreneurial spirit. It is this spirit that we hope she will bring to our program.
CatWalk FurBaby will showcase beauty, talent, and hard work across the country. While everyone in attendance will be winners just for having shared in this memorable experience, the monetary prizes for the top teams will be well spent on shelters and animal wellness initiatives that impact countless lives, whether they be on two legs or four.