Strut for a cause

Up-and-coming designers, local vendors, and fashion-lovers came together under one roof on Friday for the third annual Capital Catwalk, put on by Her Campus Ottawa.

Five designers showed off their creative lines to 400 attendees.  Among these designers were two student designers from the University of Ottawa, Julien Boissonnault and Joanie Benoit.

Communications student and New Brunswick native, Boissonnault, 20, had his designs on the runway for the first time, revealing his second line, Julien George. Boissonnault was also part of the Her Campus organizing team.

“My style is a bit like my life philosophy. So basically, always dress up no matter what, no matter what situation in life because to be your best self you need to look your best self, so that’s what I put in my clothes,” says Boissannault.

Benoit, a third year business marketing student graced the runway with her bohemian style beach designs.

“I was nervous the first time I did it, like I couldn’t eat anything at all, but today it feels like it’s normal.  I did this once, I can do it twice,” says Benoit.

Her Campus partnered with the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, where all proceeds were donated.

“This year we decided to partner with the Ottawa Regional Cancer foundation because it’s a grassroots community organization that puts its proceeds back to individuals in the community,” says Her Campus president of events and marketing, Jessica Mastronardi.

“Cancer affects everyone, we all know someone whose been affected by cancer and the fact that anyone is able to relate to it and the fact that it’s Ottawa based was really important to us,” she says.

The evening took guests through an array of emotions with a mixture of loud music with thumping bass, exciting performances, and the warming touch of the sponsored cause.

The night was filled with many first and lasts. The Capital Catwalk was the last event for Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation’s corporate and community development manager, Jennifer Graves.

“This group’s been amazing, lots of energy,” says Graves.

“And even being here tonight, everyone is so calm, and that’s extremely impressing upon me right now.”

A number of local businesses contributed though donations to the silent auction and VIP gift bags.

“Without those people, we wouldn’t be here tonight. So it’s really community helping community,” says Mastonardi.

Her Campus is a women’s college community. It is in their constitution to throw a big event annually.    

“Who would have thought a bunch of 21-22 year olds would be able to throw this event? So that’s something I’m very proud of,” says Mastronardi.

The show was open to the public with the purchase of a $25 advanced ticket.


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