Doors to the high-impact fashion event open at 5 p.m. Ticket prices range from $25 for general admission to $45 for VIP table seating.
Attendees of the Ultimate Fashion Experience won’t witness a blasé runway show. This Lakeland tradition delivers a celebration of the arts; an evening filled with exciting theme-based runway productions that include choreography, entertainment and fashions from aspiring local designers.
Walk This Way Productions Founder and CEO Angela Bailey knows a thing or two about how to create a runway show. She and her sister, LaWanda Bailey, have produced shows across the southeast since the company’s launch in 1998.
Although Angela resides in Miami where she heads the company’s South Florida division, she says she loves coming home to work.
“We built our foundation in Lakeland,” Angela Bailey says. “The Polk County area gave us our wings to fly, and the people here have supported us from Day One. We’ve worked in this community for 15 years and we’re happy to provide a platform for local, aspiring models and designers to shine.”
A blend of professional and aspiring models will participate in the show. Angela Bailey, a former professional runway model, made it a point to recruit models in central Florida.
“I want the show to be an accurate reflection of this area, with all shapes, sizes and ethnicities,” she says. “That’s why we held casting calls in Lakeland, Tampa, Winter Haven and Orlando.”
Models will grace the runway wearing creations of Kay Chic by Kaylin Patrice from Tampa, Jasmine Hunter of Jay Hunt Designs in Lakeland, and Allusions by A. Lekay, among others. Allusions by A.Lekay is the brainchild of Lakeland designer/probation officer Altrichia Cook, whose fashion forward high-rise bikinis made an appearance at New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week last fall.
The show’s purpose isn’t just to showcase the latest fashion to its attendees. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lupus Foundation of America and the community mentoring program Urban Reflections Inc.
Recognizing a need for positivity among Lakeland’s at-risk teenage girls, the Bailey sisters founded Urban Reflections in 2000. It became a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization in 2013. The full-service mentoring program uses the art of modeling to teach young women poise, grace and leadership skills. The Bailey sisters also aim to break the poverty cycle through academic tutoring, and fostering positive self-images among the program’s participants.
Angela and LaWanda Bailey find great fulfillment in their work at Urban Reflections, because they empathize with many of their mentees’ experiences. The sisters were raised by their single mother in public housing. Feelings of hopelessness and “dismal images of what appeared to be a future full of the same” nearly crippled their aspirations. Things changed when Angela’s fifth grade teacher made a positive impact in her life and inspired her to use her situation as fuel to achieve a brighter future.
“Through these fashion shows and Urban Reflections, we want young women of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds to discover the power in being confident,” Angela Bailey says. “It important to embrace your uniqueness, because we are all fabulous.”
Visit the Urban Reflections website for more information.