ICYMI - GFW Kickoff Cocktail Party at Simon’s

The manicures are fresh, the camera batteries are fully charged and the red carpet has been rolled out.

By Michaela Bisienere

The manicures are fresh, the camera batteries are fully charged and the red carpet has been rolled out. After months of preparation, Gainesville Fashion Week 2014 has officially arrived. Since the only way we know how to start things off is with a party, the whole GFW family gathered last night at Simon's to celebrate. The team, models, sponsors and guests chatted eagerly about the weekend to come in between dancing and eating our way through our favorite venue in Gainesville.
There was a tangible cool glamour in the room as everyone donned their highest heels and best-tailored jackets to strike a pose on the step-and-repeat. Bre Auberry, co-founder of our sponsor Swamp Records, said she felt like she was transported to a more cosmopolitan atmosphere. DJ Denise Driscoll played a set that kept everyone vibing.
"I feel just a little bit like I'm in New York," Auberry said.
Model Stephanie Howery agreed.
"They completely transformed Simon's tonight," Howery said. "It doesn't even feel like we're here."
Guests were able to snack on sushi from Bento and too-tempting cupcakes provided by Patticakes - we didn't think twice about being able to fit into our outfits for this weekend before heading straight to the food table. Model Rachel Kellerman said the event was a great way to catch up with other models that she's bonded with since the start of the season.
"We go out to eat all the time, we've become good friends, we text each other," Kellerman said. "It's been a lot of fun. And Simon's has basically become my second home this semester."
The event was the perfect chance to take a breath, smile and feel excited after all of the hard work that everyone has put into the past weeks.
"I love getting to catch up with the other models and getting a chance to interact with everyone else that works on Gainesville Fashion Week," Kellerman said. “It's great to be able to relax and enjoy it in a fun party atmosphere.”
Fresh from the buzz of last night’s successful event, we’re on to the next one – our annual art show kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. at the University Air Center Mustang Hangar. We can’t wait to see everyone there!

Rachel Smith