The Country Friends announces the Art of Fashion range


Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Marant, Monique Lhuillier and Lanvin are among the leading international designers and luxury retailers featured on September 16 when The Country Friends (TCF) presents Art of Fashion 2021 (AOF) in partnership with South Coast Plaza. The runway also features the latest looks from the fall / winter collections of Camilla, Max Mara, Saks Fifth Avenue and Versace.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe once again serves as a historic venue for this annual fall party, dedicated to fashion and fundraising. The Honorary Presidents are Les and Deborah Cross, recognized for their extraordinary 14-year commitment to the organization. Deborah is also co-chair of the event with The Country Friends President Suzanne Newman and COO Yvette Letourneau. ABC 10News award-winning host Kimberly Hunt is the host.

Models on the catwalk at a previous Country Friends Art of Fashion show.

(John Eckmier / South Coast Square)

“We are delighted to partner with South Coast Plaza again for San Diego County’s premier fashion event,” said Newman. “The profits go to dozens of local charities whose needs have increased further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The TCF Board of Directors selects charities each fall after careful consideration. Since its founding in 1954, The Country Friends has donated nearly $ 14 million to those in need, with a particular focus on women, children, the elderly, the military and the disabled.

Funds are raised via sponsors, patrons, a live auction and an opportunity drawing featuring designer handbags, clothing and jewelry, including a pair of gold earrings 18 karat white, iolite and diamond from John Matty Co. valued at $ 4000. The top prize is a $ 15,000 five-day Amazon River cruise, including a four-night stay at luxury hotels in Lima and Cuzco, Peru, courtesy of Scott Dunn Exceptional Travel, Belmond Hotels and Aqua Expeditions . Alaska Airlines is once again offering first-class round-trip tickets for two to any location the airline serves. Shop and dine at the South Coast Plaza with a $ 2,000 and $ 300 gift card for lunch or dinner at the famous Knife Pleat restaurant.

The art of fashion begins with a champagne reception including light snacks from the French gourmet and the ever popular photo lounge on the inn’s lawn. Customers are welcome to shop from South Coast Plaza mini-shops featuring clothing, perfumes and accessories from Camilla, Diptyque, Max Mara, Mulberry, and Oscar de la Renta. Ten percent of sales go to charities selected by The Country Friends.

The centerpiece of the event is a professionally produced runway show that showcases the latest collections from South Coast Plaza’s top international designers. After the show, guests gather on the inn’s croquet lawn for a festive lunch, live auction, and raffle. The art of fashion ends with “Sip, Shop and Support”, the opportunity to continue shopping in stores.

The title sponsors are Les and Deborah Cross and the “Runway” sponsor is Scott Dunn Exceptional Travel. “Couture” sponsors include Hoehn Jaguar Land Rover, John Matty Co., Dr. Sirius and Amber Yoo of SKY Facial Plastic Surgery and the Warren Family Foundation. The “Fashionista” sponsors are Bobileff Restauration et Service: Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati; Dr Melanie Palm of Art of Skin MD, The Mirandon Foundation for Hope and Torrey Pines Bank. The “Designer” sponsors are Andrea Naversen Wait and Tamara Lafarga-Joseph.

Longtime supporters include The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, as well as Denise and Bertrand Hug, who once again host the Art of Fashion Patron Party at Rancho Santa Fe’s famed Mille Fleurs. Ranch & Coast Magazine returns as main media sponsor. The other sponsors are Giving Back Magazine and Fairbanks Living Magazine.

Patrons of the AOF, created as a tribute to The Country Friends and the Les and Deborah Cross laureates, include Brian Connelly and Lauren Reynolds, Charlie and Terri Chivetta, Elaine Becerra of Northern Trust Wealth Management, Fariba Vafaee, Jeannie Ranglas, John and Marci Cavanaugh, Kim Quinn, Leesa Davis, Lisa Alvarez, Performance K9 Training, Inc., Sarah Sleeper and Withers Bergman.

The Art of Fashion Committee includes: Anahi Arata, Andrea Naversen Wait, Belinda Foley, Christina Macone-Greene, Esther Rodriguez, Fariba Vafaee, Laura MacKinnon-Chapman, Laura White, Lezlie Reynales, Linda Royster Cook, Lynda Kerr, Marla Zanelli, Mia Park, Tamara Lafarga-Joseph and Valérie Parker.

For more information or to become an Art of Fashion Sponsor, contact: The Country Friends at (858) 756-1192, ext. 4, or [email protected] Also visit and

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