The Country Friends and South Coast Plaza partner for the annual Art of Fashion Runway Show


Designs from top international luxury brands will dazzle on the runway in Rancho Santa Fe when The Country Friends presents the Art of Fashion Runway Show on Sept. 15 in partnership with South Coast Plaza for the 12th straight year. Considered the premier style event in Southern California, the show will include the latest trends from the fall/winter collections of Bally, Brunello Cucinelli, Canali, Loro Piana, M. Missoni, MaxMara, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versace, and select designer names at Saks Fifth Avenue.

“We’re pleased to continue bringing the best of the ready-to-wear collections from our renowned retailers for the Art of Fashion to support the philanthropic efforts of The Country Friends,” said Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing at South Coast Plaza. “It’s one of the many ways we show how much we appreciate our customers from all over San Diego County who come to South Coast Plaza regularly because they know that there’s truly no other luxe setting in Southern California where one can experience in person all that the major designer brands offer.”

The Country Friends celebrates 62 years of philanthropy and fashion with its annual fashion show and luncheon, set to benefit more than 30 San Diego County charities, including Angels Foster Family Network, Burn Institute, Center for Community Solutions, Friends of Vista Hill, Girls Rising, Miracle Babies, Musicians for Education, Inc., Outdoor Outreach, Promises2Kids, San Diego Blood Bank, San Diego Center for the Blind, Support The Enlisted Project, Voices for Children, and many more.

The Country Friends President Deborah Cross is pleased to announce that Terri Salyers-Chivetta and Cheri Salyers will serve as this year’s Art of Fashion Co-Chairs. Affectionately known as “The Twins of AOF,” Terri and Cheri have been devoted to fashion for their entire lives. Raised in Orange County, they lived within walking distance of South Coast Plaza, where they spent much of their youth developing their sense of style. They have been involved in the Art of Fashion for seven years, and Terri is currently serving her second year on the Board of Directors of The Country Friends. The twins feel it is an honor and privilege to be a part of The Country Friends, and say, “We have such a love for this charity. We are working with talented, dedicated, and genuine people.”

This year’s Art of Fashion will be emceed by award-winning journalist Kathleen Bade, who has been the primetime anchor for Fox 5 News at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. since the station’s launch in 2008. In keeping with tradition, the event will recognize those who have given their time and talents to help further the organization’s mission of supporting San Diego-based human care agencies. This year’s honorees will include the 16 women who have served as chair of Art of Fashion since 2005, the year its partnership with South Coast Plaza began. They include: Jeanne Lucia (2005 and 2008), Shandra Wilson (2006), Marci Cavanaugh and Kimberly Kellog (2007), Jean Newman (2008), Lisa Alvarez (2009), Andrea Naversen (2010 and 2014), Mia Park and Melanie Cruz (2011), Karen Hoehn and Suzanne Newman (2012), Anna Waite and Patricia Mogul (2013), and Pat O’Connor (2015).

The historic Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, which completed a $12 million renovation in 2012, including a new restaurant and spa, once again serves as the charming venue for this annual fall homage to fundraising and fashion. Art of Fashion will begin with a Champagne Reception complete with a photo lounge prior to the runway show highlighting the 2016 Fall/Winter collections of South Coast Plaza’s renowned international designers and retailers, followed by a luncheon and the opportunity to shop South Coast Plaza mini-boutiques offering the latest in clothing, handbags, jewelry, eyewear, and accessories. The event concludes with the South Coast Plaza Social, featuring a signature cocktail and sweet treats.

Major sponsors include: Hoehn Jaguar Landrover; Deb and Les Cross; Warren Family Foundation; Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Grand Pacific Palisades; SKY Facial Plastic Surgery.

For more information, or to become an Art of Fashion sponsor, please contact: The Country Friends at 858-756-1192 Extension 4, or