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The Advocate: Raysa Fanjul

Now here’s one way to start the fall looking good: the best-dressed ladies of Miami, lead by the very well-heeled Raysa Fanjul, wife of sugar scion Alfonso Fanjul, are teaming up with the local non-profit Fashionably Conscious to host one seriously fabulous sale—we’re talking barely worn Louboutin, Dior, Gucci at rock bottom prices!—the proceeds of which go entirely to Coconut Grove’s The Barnyard Community Center. “I visited The Barnyard a couple of years ago,” Fanjul recalls. “It’s such a powerful place for kids. I was moved and knew immediately I wanted to do everything I could economically, passionately to help them.”

At least for the last few months, that’s kept Fanjul busy, dialing fellow fabulously dressed friends to ask them to donate their lightly used couture gowns, shoes, accessories and more. “I am expecting all—and I do mean all— of my friends to help me,” Fanjul says, only half joking. “I know it’s not easy in these times to ask for help, but I know everyone has something in their closet they can give.”

If Fanjul’s persistence is any indication, the designer duds she will have collected by the September 20 sale date will be nothing short of spectacular—like the only-once-worn red Angel Sanchez dress she donated a couple of years ago, which fetched the second highest price ever. The sale, which takes place in partnership with The Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, last year raised more than $80,000 for the center, an impressive increase over the $6,000 it raised in its first year in 2008. INDULGE asked Fanjul to share more about what inspired her become involved.

How did you learn about Fashionably Conscious and The Barnyard?

A friend approached me and mentioned The Barnyard, so I did a little research on it and immediately thought it was an amazing institution for all these children. I had been hearing about the fashion event through friends, and once I read about it on my own I really wanted to do anything I could to help.

You are this year’s event co-chair. What exactly does that entail?

It means calling all of my friends and bringing everyone I know to the table! I’m just trying to bring as much as I can to the institution, helping them move forward and raise as much money as possible.

So what’s this year’s goal?

“The number this year is $100,000. But I would like to see us double that! We need to go higher. We have to work harder. It’s a fun event that brings an amazing group of Miami women together, and I know we can pull this off.”