Clothing designer Karen Kane will be the special guest for StyleWorks, the fundraising fashion show for Siskin Children's Institute. The 36th annual event is scheduled Thursday, May 3, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Fashions by Kane will be shown exclusively on the runway. They'll be provided by Belk, one of dozens of major department stores and more than 550 specialty boutiques to carry the Karen Kane brand.
"This is the first time to have a featured designer," said Laurie Stevens, communications manager for Siskin Children's Institute. "In previous years, Belk, our fashion sponsor, has showcased a few lines and the latest fashions available in their stores."
Stevens said the fashion show is similar to what would be seen in a big city such as New York or Paris. But because of the institute's mission, the fashion show offers more than the season's trendiest styles.
"StyleWorks combines a unique retail experience that also benefits children with special needs and their families," Stevens said. "People appreciate that."
Because the designer will be a special guest at the event, tickets are expected to sell quickly.
Q & A WITH KAREN KANE
IF YOU GO
• What: Siskin Children's Institute's StyleWorks luncheon and fashion show, featuring designer Karen Kane.
• When: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, May 3.
• Where: Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza.
• Admission: $50. Advance ticket sales only.
• Phone: 648-1707.
• Website: www.siskin.org/styleworks
• Note: A preview party is scheduled 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, at the Chattanooga Convention Center. This evening out includes cocktails, giveaways from more than 30 Marketplace vendors, mini makeovers from Belk and a preview of Karen Kane's pop-up shop. Admission is $25.
Lynda Hood and her teenage daughter, Lauren, are fans of Karen Kane designs.
"Girls my age can wear her clothes and our moms can too," said Lauren, 16, a sophomore at Girls Preparatory School. "I think it's great when a designer can be successful in making their clothes appealing to people of all ages."
Hood, executive director of the Chattanooga Bar Association, said she likes the designs because they are casual but still stylish.
"I'm really not a jean person, so on weekends I like comfort with style, and Karen Kane can give you that. She always has great colors for a bright, fun look or the sophisticated look of black and white," Hood said.
All funds raised at StyleWorks go directly to the programs and services at the Institute, which has been helping children in the Chattanooga area for more than six decades, Stevens said.
"The mission is to improve the quality of life for children of all abilities through excellence in education, research, health care, advocacy and support," she said. "That mission is at the core of every Institute program and service, including community events such as StyleWorks."