The Country Friends announces lineup for annual Art of Fashion Runway Show

A model on the runway at a previous Art of Fashion event.

Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Saks Fifth Avenue, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara and Versace are among the leading luxury retailers and designers to be showcased on Sept. 20 when The Country Friends presents the 2018 Art of Fashion in partnership with South Coast Plaza. The runway show also will include the latest looks from the fall/winter collections of Bally, Escada, M Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, The Webster and Weekend Max Mara.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe again serves as the historic venue for this elegant annual homage to fall, fashion and fundraising benefiting San Diego County-based charities. The event, chaired by Tamara Lafarga-Joseph and Sarah Sleeper, honors businesswoman, philanthropist and fashionista Maggie Bobileff, a longtime member of The Country Friends Board of Directors. NBC-7 newscasters Catherine Garcia and Mark Mullen will serve as emcees.

"We are excited to partner with South Coast Plaza for the 14th straight year on San Diego County's premier fashion event which benefits dozens of local charities," says Deb Cross, president of The Country Friends.

The event begins with a Moet & Chandon Champagne reception, light bites from the French Gourmet, and the ever popular photo lounge on The Inn's lawn. Guests are invited to shop South Coast Plaza mini-boutiques featuring fashions, fragrance and accessories from Bally, Jo Malone, Max Mara, Roberto Cavalli, TOD'S, Vitra Eyewear and Weekend Max Mara, with 10 percent of sale proceeds benefiting The Country Friends' selected charities.

Centerpiece of the event is the Art of Fashion (AOF) runway show, a professionally-produced event presented beneath a vast open-air tent, showcasing the latest collections from the plaza's premier international designers. Opera singer Amy Mein will open the show with the National Anthem, followed by a program honoring Maggie Bobileff and AOF sponsors. After the show, guests will gather on The Inn's Croquet Lawn for a luncheon highlighting locally sourced California cuisine created by Executive Chef Chris House, centerpieces created for the event by designer Aimee Meals, and an opportunity drawing featuring a coveted collection of designer clothing, handbags, accessories and travel experiences. The Art of Fashion concludes with the South Coast Plaza Social, "Sip, Shop and Support," the chance to continue boutique shopping. All-natural martinis will be provided by Spa Girl Cocktails in the afternoon.

Funds are raised through sponsorships, as well as an opportunity drawing of designer clothing, accessories, jewelry and travel experiences. Major Art of Fashion sponsors include Cross and husband Les; 2017 honoree Jenny Craig, Bob and Karen Hoehn of Hoehn Jaguar Land Rover, the Warren Family Foundation, Miriam Smotrich, Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa and Grand Pacific Palisades.

Also providing substantial support is John Matty, whose eponymous Rancho Santa Fe company has donated a dazzling pair of earrings studded with diamonds, sapphires and pearls valued at nearly $8,000. Longtime supporters include The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, as well as Denise and Bertrand Hug, who once again are hosting the Art of Fashion patron party at the acclaimed Mille Fleurs.

Additional sponsors include Art of Skin MD, Tamara Lafarga-Joseph and husband, Roger; Sarah and Jim Sleeper; Torrey Pines Bank and Wells Fargo. Dr. Aurae Emami, Charles Brandes, Regents Bank and SKY Facial Plastic Surgery also have generously contributed to the Art of Fashion.

AOF Patrons, established in tribute to honoree Maggie Bobileff, offer additional financial support. Patrons include Connie McNally, Dana Falk, Sandra and Jeffry Schafer, Charlie and Terri Chivetta, Lorraine Hennessy, Diane Martin, Andrea Naversen, Kim Quinn, Bobbi Warren and Suzy Westphal. Underwriters include Christina Macone-Greene, Harvest Ranch Market, The Grand Colonial Hotel, and The Parcel Place.

The 2018 Art of Fashion Committee includes: Donna Ahlstrom, Anahi Arata, Roberta Arzola, Sage Billick, Chris Carlisle, Marci Cavanaugh, Deborah Cross, Nicole D'Andrea, Myrna Everett, Erika Fetter, Samantha Fleming, Rebecca Franks, Lisa Greer, Lorraine Hennessy, Erika Horn, Erin Kaminski, Yvette Letourneau, Christina Macone-Greene, Ellen Nakamura, Andrea Naversen, Suzanne Newman, Ginny Orchard, Mia Park, Valerie Parker, Amber Persia-Hodges, Kim Quinn, Linda Royster-Cook, Melissa Russell, Cheri Salyers, Terri Salyers-Chivetta, Sharon Sandorf, Helga Schulman, JoLynn Shapiro, Jaime Smart, Fariba Vafaee, Jean Waters, Suzy Westphal, Laura White, Melissa Wilkins, Bonnie Wright and Amber Yoo.

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

The Country Friends is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization, formed 64 years ago to provide needed funding for San Diego County-based charities.