ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Local women took to the runway to show maternity wear can be fashionable as well as practical, all to raise money for children with autism.
Izzy Maternity at North Point Village has an annual holiday fashion show – this is their seventh – that not only previews the new holiday look, but also raises money for charity. This year, the recipient was the Marcus Center for Autism, a part of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Hannah Vahaba, the daughter of the founder of the company, said what makes their fashion show special is they use their customers as models.
“We want to show the holiday look, but we want to put it on a real woman’s body. So we try to get women of all shapes and sizes and let women see what it really is going to look like,” Vahaba said. “We’ve found women really like to shop this way. They say, ‘Oh I love that on her, I want that.’”
Nineteen model/customers participated in the event, wearing everything from casual party attire to ball gowns.
“We do everything from business casual to all the dressy stuff,” Vahaba said.
The women get a kick out of getting dressed up to walk down the runway. Often it is a family event with husbands and children in the audience watching mom be a model.
The company chose Marcus Center for Autism this year in part because Vahaba once worked for Children’s Healthcare. It is also the principal charity for her husband’s company, Lanier Parking.
Marcus Autism Center is an Autism Center of Excellence, and one of the nation’s leading centers for clinical care and research centers for autism and related disorders, treating more than 5,000 children a year.
It has one of the largest teams of healthcare professionals dedicated to child development in Georgia. Its affiliation with Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta affords it access to a wealth of academic and medical resources.
Marcus Center is dedicated to finding effective services for children with disabilities and learning problems. Staff members reduce caregivers’ stress by offering comprehensive diagnosis, therapy and care management programs available for autism disorder