Wow, I am amazed how quickly 2014 went by, but sometimes the best times always seem to move at a faster clip! It was such a great year for Leigh’s and I want to thank you for making it so wonderful. As you know, we are passionate about what we do; bringing the very best fashion the market has to offer right here to West Michigan for you…..our amazing customers. You get it all from us….clothing, shoes, accessories and cosmetics and we love enhancing your own personal style all while delivering you an exceptional Leigh’s experience. As I reflect on some of the new labels that we had in store for you in 2014, it makes me smile….Stella McCartney, Band of Outsiders, 10 Crosby Derek Lam, Derek Lam main collection, vintage Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Barbara Bui, Monique Lhuillier, Ella McHugh, Wes Gordon,Veil Cosmetics, Damone Roberts, Aerin and so many more. With all this and all of your perennial favorites, it might not surprise you when I share that we had another record year at Leigh’s and were once again voted one of the best women’s stores in Grand Rapids. We are flattered and humbled by this. We know there are a lot of choices out there and that you choose to support our local business not only allows us to be successful but means the world to us. So, thank you.
We are also excited about what 2015 has in store….this is our 40th anniversary! Yes, Larry Leigh founded the business in 1975. My partners and I are also celebrating 10 years of owning the business and building the new store. And…this will be our 10th anniversary of our signature runway presentation Couture for a Cure benefiting the Van Andel Institute (October 8…save the date). We’re looking forward to celebrating these milestones with you through out the year. Cheers to 2015!
Pic 1: Behind the scences with our amazing Leigh’s team and our beautiful models. Pic 2: What a runway! Pic 3: Leigh’s team and runway event specialists: Katie Oostema, Lesley Goebel, Patrick Plank Pic 4: Daniel Vosovic with Katie Oostema Pic 5: Carol VanAndel with Brooke Hester, 5, of Chapman Ranch Texas. Brooke Hester has stage four neuroblastoma, a form of cancer, and has made improvements working with the Van Andel Institute. Pic 6: Anna DeBoer Pic 7: Aziza Hines Pic 8: Ashley Cole Pic 9: Just like NYC! Pic 10: What a fabulous picture of our models in Daniel Vosovic’s spring ’13 collection. Pic 11: Love the rich color that is on its way for spring from Daniel!
What an amazing evening! The seventh annual Couture for a Cure in which Leigh’s partners with the Van Andel Institute to raise funds for important cancer research and science education was another success! Our New York style runway presentation at VAI made our 400 guests (Yes, the largest attendance ever!) feel like they were at Fashion Week in Lincoln Center! Due to such a high demand for tickets last year, the runway was lengthened another 55 feet this year to accommodate more guests….and the event still sold out! We opened with showing the best of fall fashion that is currently in store at Leigh’s. The four different segments included: Bond Bombshells, Colorful Characters, Rock-Her and After Dark Divas. Then it was time to take a sneak peek at spring 2013. Leigh’s invited New York designer Daniel Vosovic (Project Runway All-Star Challenge winner) to showcase his spring collection on the runway; stunning color and silhouettes! Thank you to everyone who attended! And kudos to my team at Leigh’s; you are all so very talented and I appreciate each of your efforts in making this a fabulous event!
Leigh’s has been a supporter of the Van Andel Institute for the past five years through an event called Couture for a Cure. Every October, Leigh’s presents a New York style runway show of fall fashions that are in our store and, in addition, we host a guest designer from New York to present their spring collection on our runway. Couture for a Cure is such a successful event and continues to grow in attendance and in funds raised every year.
This past Wednesday, I was invited to a special donor reception at the Van Andel Institute. As true with all events at VAI, it was a wonderful gathering. However, I didn’t realize that everyone there was in for a special surprise. David Van Andel, chairman and CEO of VAI, spoke at the event and discussed all the break-through research and educational opportunities that are occurring at the Institute – so impressive! At the end of his remarks, the pipe and draping was removed from the sides and there were two beautiful wood walls with donor names revealed. Yes, Leigh’s was honored on this list. As well as having our store name on the wall, we received this beautiful recognition award. I was so proud of our store and team that I wanted to share this with you and thank you for supporting Couture for a Cure.
We are proud, not only to partner with the Van Andel Institute, but many other worthwhile non-profit groups, community or corporate foundations, schools and other organizations to assist in making our West Michigan communities strong and vibrant. It’s important to us to give back to our community!
What an amazing night we had last Thursday at Couture for a Cure! This is Leigh’s 6th year partnering with the VanAndel Institute to raise funds for important research and educational opportunities at VAI. The doors opened at 6pm and guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Suggested attire was cocktail….and there was some fabulous fashion going on with the guests….Grand Rapids stepped it up for this fashion event! Everyone looked amazing! The VanAndel Institute was transformed into a New York style runway – just as you would see during Fashion Week. We even had to extend the runway because of how many tickets were sold! This was our most successful Couture for a Cure….most tickets sold and most money raised! The show started off with great fall fashion from Leigh’s. Our models looked fantastic!! Then everyone was treated to a sneak peek of spring. We flew in New York Designer Douglas Hannant to show his spring 2012 collection….love it!! Thank you to the entire Leigh’s team, our fabulous models (yes, they are all from the area…Grand Rapids has incredible modeling talent), Blue Water Technology, Douglas Hannant, the VanAndel Institute and their team and all of our guests! Pic 1: Behind the scenes – Ashley Cole, Kelly Millikin, Jacalyn Wood, Patrick Plank. Pic 2: Jacalyn Wood and Emma Hall get the nod to pose with Douglas Hannant for the many photographers present. They looked beautiful in his spring pieces. Pic 3: Rebecca Wierda, Douglas Hannant and Carol VanAndel…strike a pose! Pic 4: Sam Clark – yes she is a “Ye Ye Girl” (one of the segments for the best of fall at Leigh’s) Pic 5: Jordan Carson owns the runway. Pic 6: We love Anna DeBoer modeling all of this rich color! Pic 7: Gloria Goya…elegant and gorgeous! Pic 8: Ashely Cole shows some great Yigal Azrouel! Pic 9: Jessica Hilzey…breath-taking in Douglas Hannant. Pic 10: Alex Rush…love this look from Douglas! Pic 11: Kelly Millikin looked right on trend with this great red tuxedo!
Thanks to WZZM 13 for having Leigh’s on Take 5 today! We are looking forward to this Thursday – Leigh’s will be on location at Van Andel Institute for Couture for a Cure! Tickets are still available at www.vai.org. This is a New York style fashion show featuring the best of fall fashion from Leigh’s and a very special treat….New York Designer Douglas Hannant will be showing his spring ’12 collection on the runway. This is my favorite event! Take 5 helped us promote the event today and we brought our beautiful models, Anna, Sam and Kelly to give a sneak peek of what you might see Thursday night. Here is the link if you would like to check it out! http://www.wzzm13.com/life/local/programming/take_five/182773/42/VAIs-Couture-for-a-Cure
Pic 1: Live runway shot. Pic2: Deb Clark, Leigh’s Lead Buyer, our models for the event and Patrick Plank. Pic 3: Designer Brian Wolk, Carol Van Andel, Designer Claude Morais, Rebecca Wierda, Patrick Plant Pic 4: Guests enjoying lunch. Pic 5: Behind the scenes, Mandi, Laura Mercier make-up artist and Leigh’s Carol Slomp get the models looking their best
What an amazing event Couture For A Cure was today! Some 175 guest attended the fashion show hosted by Dave and Carol Van Andel and Leigh’s. It featured the best of fall from Leigh’s and a sneak peek at Ruffian’s 2009 spring collection. Today’s event was to raise funds for important research and science education at the Van Andel Institute. It was held in the grand gallery of their facility. Huntington Bank was the lead sponsor. Guests enjoyed Naya’s bag lunches around bistro tables, were able to get their make-up touched up at the Laura Mercier table and purchased raffle tickets for a beautiful brooch from Hoffman Jewelers. Then everyone took their seats and were treated to a New York style runway show! Great fashion! Great Food! Great Fundraiser!