For two short but glitzy hours on June 8, a lot of good will be done. That’s when the Veiled Prophet Foundation hosts its fourth annual ‘Work Gloves to White Gloves’ Fashion Show to raise funds for its Community Service Initiative (CSI). The mission of the CSI is “to coordinate and focus the resources of the Veiled Prophet Organization and Foundation in an ongoing, sustainable effort to make St. Louis a better place to live for all.” Since its beginnings, the fashion show—held in the atrium at Saks Fifth Avenue at Plaza Frontenac—has raised around $180,000 for 19 different charity partners. This year, the goal is to bring in $100,000, according to the event’s co-chair, Jeana Reisinger.
Reisinger is no stranger to the VP Foundation and its philanthropic efforts, since she and her family often have donned their own work gloves in its name. They have packed food for Food Outreach and assembled Operation Sunscreen care packages for American troops abroad. “The beauty of the Community Service Initiative is that it looks for an organization in need and then does what it can to help,” Reisinger says. She notes that CSI has helped renovate 40 houses in the Normandy Schools Collaborative for Beyond Housing, and last year bought a 15-passenger van for Girls Inc. It also facilitated construction of a playground for the Zion Child Development Center in Ferguson last year. Other CSI nonprofit partners include American Red Cross, Rainbow Village, Forest Park Forever, St. Patrick Center, Great Circle and YWCA.
Reisinger, who co-chairs the fashion show with Susan Werner, says she hopes for between 350 and 400 guests at this year’s event and describes it as ‘exciting.’ “It’s less a ‘show’ and more a ‘mingling amid the gowns,’” she says, noting that models stand on pedestals among guests rather than parade along a catwalk. Organizers also are excited that the work of so many designers will be on view and available for purchase at one time. “Saks has done a fantastic job of bringing them all together at once. This kind of trunk show is almost unheard of,” Reisinger says. So far, the featured designers are Zac Posen, Lela Rose, Monique Lhuillier, Zang Toi, Talbot Runhof, Rubin Singer and Helen Morley, although Reisinger says there may be three or four others. All the gowns will stay at Saks throughout the weekend.
She stresses that the fashions will appeal to a wide range of ages, taking into account the number of young women who will likely be shopping for VP Ball attire. “There will be something for everyone—girls, their mothers and their grandmothers,” she says, adding that Saks will not sell the same dress twice if it’s a ball purchase. “They do a very good job of keeping track of who’s buying what,” she says.
While most of the money raised comes from ticket sales and sponsorship—to-ptier sponsors include Soft Surroundings, Whimsy Rose, Truffles & Butchery, and Hill Investment Group—10 percent of gown sales also goes to the great work CSI does for St. Louis, Reisinger says.
Pictured: The VP Foundation purchased a van for Girls Inc.
Photo courtesy of VP Photographers
The Veiled Prophet Foundation’s Fashion Show, Work Gloves to White Gloves, is 6 to 8 p.m. June 8 at Saks Fifth Avenue at Plaza Frontenac. Pictured on the cover: Saks Fifth Avenue talent development director Marie Plufka, co-chairs Jeana Reisinger and Susan Werner, and emcee Jasmine Huda. For more information and tickets, visit csifashionshow.eventbrite.com.
Cover design by Allie Bronsky | Cover photo by Bill Barrett