Bacot McCarty Foundation supporters next week will flock to the IP Casino, Resort and Spa for the third-annual Renaissance the Runway, a fashion show featuring local boutiques and “model citizens” from the Gulf Coast. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 at the IP’s Studio A. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door.
The growing event was conceived “as a way to expand our reach across the Gulf Coast region having been so successful with the Jolly McCarty Memorial (Golf Tournament),” Executive Director Todd Trenchard said. “So we came up with the idea of a fashion show that would feature local businesses in our region and the models would be local ‘model citizens,’ people that were well known in the community,” he said.
What started off as a small idea was an instant hit.
“Each year, it continues to grow,” Trenchard said. “This year we will be featuring 25 local boutiques and over 60 local models. A 12-year-old designer will also showcase her fashion line with eight younger model citizens, including a few from our local Pascagoula community.” Whereas Bacot McCarty’s annual golf tournament, called “The Jolly,” appeals to a largely male base, “this event has enabled us to reach into a geographically new area and a different segment of society, as we reach out to our female population.”
In its first year, the fashion show raised $25,000, and it grew to $35,000 in its second year. Trenchard expects $40,000 to $45,000 this year. “It’s becoming another way that we can help our local community, and it has become just another signature event for the Bacot McCarty Foundation,” he said of the fashion show. “We expect 600-700 people at Studio A.”
Boutiques, from Ocean Springs, Biloxi and across the coast, will be highlighted, and gift certificate drawings during the event are meant to spur new customers for the small businesses. Most of the models are from the Ocean Springs, Biloxi and Gulfport area, an intentional move meant to expand the Bacot McCarty Foundation’s support base and name recognition.
Trenchard said about 25 percent of the models are from the local area. While Trenchard said he “obviously knows nothing about fashion,” he and board members teamed up with Jerika Vincent of Jerika’s Fashion Showcase to execute the event. “She’s very versed in the fashion world,” he said. “We’ll have an over-the-top response,” Trenchard predicted. “We have a great team that’s working diligently with a lot of volunteers.”