Racks and shelves of clothing and accessories were scattered around a retail space in Coconut Grove last weekend, for an event that combined high-end fashion and affordability, all in the name of charity.
Fashionably Conscious is a yearly fundraising event for Coconut Grove Cares, The Barnyard Community Center. The three-day thrifter’s bazaar gives shoppers the opportunity to score a pair of slightly used Manolo Blahnik heels or an Elie Tahari set of blazer-and-pants for consignment store prices.
“Anything you can do to raise money for a charity is good, and I think it’s a novel idea to do this,” said Marci Trautenberg, who had seen an advertisement of the event in a magazine a month before. “[I’m] into fashion, just not the high-end prices.”
Fashionably Conscious, started with a group of friends who got together and cultivated social initiatives that would raise money for The Barnyard. The idea sparked with creating an event that wouldn’t cost money out-of-pocket, but that would still give back and generate funds for charity. Inviting people to donate out of their closets what they didn’t wear seemed like the answer.
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The yearly event first started in Wynwood in 2007, when the team raised $7,000 in one day. Other years it was held in Brickell and Merrick Park.
This year they moved to CocoWalk, 3015 Grand Ave., in a space on the second floor next to The Cheesecake Factory, which they filled with loaded racks, boxes, and tables with piles and rows of shoes, handbags, belts, sunglasses, hats and scarves within others.
Marc Jacobs, Stuart Weitzman, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Alberta Ferretti and Ann Taylor were among the brands purchased by customers. All the proceeds collected from the event go to the children of The Barnyard.
Gabriela Lopez first attended a Fashionably Conscious event two years ago.
When she learned that the event was done for charity, she kept going back.
“I think it’s amazing [that] they do that and since then, I’m coming every year,” Lopez said. “You take advantage of these great deals, amazing designer stuff and you are actually helping others, so that’s an amazing initiative.”
Ali Codina, who is part of the organizing committee for the event, said that no item goes to waste, and if it isn’t sold, then it is given away or offered to other consignment stores in Miami.
“Whatever we don’t sell gets then donated to other organizations who give free clothing to people,” Codina said. “You have people in the community who are donating from their closets, then in turn whomever is shopping is getting access to stuff that they may not be able to normally access at retail price in the store, but they get to find and have access to all these fun designers, and then of course all the money goes to an incredible organization.”
Friday, Sept. 25 was the VIP preview sale, which included cocktails and an entry donation cost of $25. Saturday’s entrance was a $10 donation, and Sunday’s clearance sale had a $5 donation cost.
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For more information visit: http://fashionablyconscious.org/