Kayla Williams’ eyes lit up when she spotted a sleek, slate shift dress with a dark lace overlay tucked between a long red gown and a black silk blouse.
“It’s perfect,” she says pulling it off the rack.
Williams held it up to her trim form and got an immediate nod from her stylist.
This was no ordinary personal styling experience. The former service member and military spouse caregiver is attending Stand Up For Heroes on Wednesday and was chosen to participate in the event’s 3rd annual Style4Heroes experience.
“It’s inspiring to see how empowering fashion can be,” says Mary Alice Stephenson, a world-renowned style and beauty expert and the founder of Glam4Good, a non-profit organization that gives life changing makeovers to everyday heroes.
Stand Up for Heroes is the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The BWF has raised more than $20 million for programs that benefit injured service members and their families.
Stephenson and Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff’s wife and the co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation, have been friends for years and together developed Style4Heroes to give caregivers a much-deserved red carpet experience.
“This is a wonderful marriage between two completely different worlds,” says Woodruff. “It started out small and has become this incredibly classy memorable event.”
“We really believe that the caregivers and service members here today deserve to be celebrated,” says Stephenson.
Top tier designers including Zac Posen, Coach, BCBG, Calvin Klein and Rachel Roy donate chic red-carpet ready dresses, tops, skirts and dresses for Style4Heroes. Besides the new duds, the caregivers also have appointments with hair and makeup experts on Wednesday.
“Kayla’s really embracing her look,” says Stephenson of Williams as she and her stylist chose a stunning, black coat top top off the outfit – perfect for a chilly New York fall evening.
“It’s so exciting to be in that room,” says Woodruff as caregiving moms and spouses browsed a row of tables topped with a rainbow of mile-high spike heels.
Williams says she spent half of her 20’s in uniform – garb that left her feeling unglamorous and insecure.
“Being styled by the amazing professionals from Style4Heroes made me feel pampered and confident,” says Williams.
Besides shoes, runway worthy frocks, jewelry and handbags, no red carpet moment would be complete without Maidenform shapewear.
“When you look good and feel good, you can handle anything,” says Stephenson.
Don’t miss out on Stand Up For Heroes. The event will streamed live on Google Plus starting Wednesday at 8:30 PM EST. And be sure and check the Bob Woodruff Foundation website for the latest news from Veteran’s Week.
Story by Molly Blake