Longhorns Win Big at 2012 Austin Fashion Awards

New York. Paris. Milan. When the lights dimmed and the models hit the catwalk on Saturday night, the audience that flanked the runway could’ve been in any of these fashion capitals. But it wasn’t.

The fourth-annual Austin Fashion Week came to a close Saturday night with the Austin Fashion Awards, hosted at Austin City Music Hall by CW Austin. Thank to Austin’s status as an up-and-coming fashion center, the event drew a host of designers, celebrities, and of course, Longhorns—many of whom were competing for that coveted golden boot.

Sue Webber, BA ’70, of Sue Webber Productions, and Alissa Bayer, MBA ’04, of Milk + Honey Spa both took home Trailblazer Awards in tribute to their success in Austin’s style industry.

Lauren Polt, BS ’05, won a Rising Star Award for her chic gameday brand, Chicka-d.

“This is unbelievable,” Polt said during her acceptance speech. “It’s so crazy that a few years ago, I had an idea. It was my dream. And now I’m here; I’m living it.”

Ross Bennett, ’06—of Fashion Star fame—also received a Rising Star Award, which was presented to him by the director of UT’s fashion design program, Eve Nicols.

“He stays true to his artistic vision,” said Nicols, who was a member of the advisory board and host committee for this year’s fashion week.

Bennett was also just one of four designers to send a collection down the runway during Saturday’s show. He displayed looks he designed for the Circuit of the Americas Girls, or the Circuit’s signature ambassadors. From top hats to riding gloves, business separates to cocktail dresses, the collection showed off his wide range of design talents, all with one similar tie-in: a pop of red.

The event, which was emceed by Mix 94.7 radio host Sandy McIlree, featured appearances by actor Scott Porter, best known for his roles in Friday Night Lights and Hart of Dixie, and CW Austin Star Mic Trotty. The audience was also treated to sneak peeks of the CW’s new series The Carrie Diaries and the final season of Gossip Girl.

Top, Ross Bennett for Circuit of the Americas at the 2012 Austin Fashion Awards. Bottom, Ross Bennett and his wife, Erin, on the AFW red carpet. Photos by John Pesina.


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