Simon Fashion Now Spring 2011
Bill Olive

This article is sponsored by Fashion Valley, San Diego's finest collection of stores in a beautiful outdoor shopping center that also features an 18-screen movie theater. Learn more about Fashion Valley here.

For those of us not in Anna Wintour's coterie, there are typically two fundamental problems with fashion shows: A) Only industry insiders are invited and B) it takes months before collections hit the racks.

Thankfully, Fashion Valley--home to upscale womenswear brands like Anthropologie, Michael Kors and Max Mara--solves both those problems with Simon Fashion Now, a weekend of public runway shows taking place on April 27 and 28 that will feature looks you can purchase right then and there.
"Simon Fashion Now…allows our mall to become the source for the season’s most accessible trends,” said Francine Miley, director of marketing and business development at Fashion Valley. “At each event, we extend the fashion beyond the runway [as] guests can connect with our retailers through interactive stations while enjoying an evening of fashion, cocktails, bites and exclusive deals.”

So just what brands have the fashion-forward folks at Simon Valley selected for the runway? Expect looks from Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture and Betsey Johnson at Trends & Friends, a Friday night party that kicks off at 6 p.m. Arrive early to claim your seat in the front row, then enjoy complimentary vodka cocktails and snacks from Boudin, Starbucks and Pinkberry. The evening continues with an exclusive Neiman Marcus runway show at 7:30 p.m.
The following afternoon will see even more fashion shows--from GAP to Lilly Pulitzer--in the freshly renovated outdoor mall's center (all open to the public, natch), including select designs on display by students from San Diego's Fashion Careers College, as well as in-store promotions and discounts in several of its 200 boutiques. Additionally, Aveda mini-facials will be available to visitors throughout the afternoon along with many exciting runway giveaways, making this one fashion event you cannot afford to miss out on.
But the weekend isn't only about refreshing your spring wardrobe. Fashion Valley is encouraging visitors to give back by supporting San Diego's Ronald McDonald House, which will be on hand Friday night collecting donations to support their mission of providing accommodations to visiting families of sick children.
All events will feature fashion and beauty advice from experts, while collections will range from luxurious to affordable without ever sacrificing style. Though open to the public, shows operate under a first come, first serve policy. For more information, as well as for a chance to win a $500 Simon American Express® Giftcard, visit Fashion Valley's Facebook page.

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