High Heels, Hard Hats and Good Times 

High Heels, Hard Hats and Good Times 


Vivian Gustafson

Photography by Ted Richardson

I know it doesn’t help, letting you know this after the fact. But Habitat for Humanity of Orange County’s High Heels and Hard Hats Fashion Show is one of the top five events of the year. Save the date. Mark it down. Do NOT miss it next year.

This was the event’s second year, and my second year having the pleasure of emceeing it.

Orange County’s best-known residents agreed to be models – last year it was Mark Kleinschmidt, Sara Stephens, Aaron Nelson and Tina Cunningham. This year, Howard Lee, Susan Gravely, Missy Julian Fox, Scott Maitland, Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens and Police Chief Chris Blue answered the call.

The clothes are exquisite – the handiwork of Fine Feathers, Glee Kids and O’Neill’s. Hair and makeup by Aveda Institute Chapel Hill ensures everyone looks their most glamorous. The models work the runway like they’re in front of Tyra Banks. The middle of University Place is transformed into Fashion Week. And the atmosphere before and after the show – with a cocktail hour, a photo booth and a wine auction – is electric. Outside of the famed models, attendees included Coach Larry Fedora and Betty Kenan.

Between tickets and a live give portion of the show, more than $40,000 was raised, which will go toward the Habitat home of Suyapa Mejia. It costs about $75,000 to construct a Habitat home in Orange County.

Building on the success of the inaugural show, the event sold out this year. So be on top of things next year! It’s the place to be!

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Money from the evening went toward the Habitat home of Suyapa Mejia and her family.

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Habitat’s Director of Development Jennifer Player.

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Desiree Goldman (left) and Geneva Luders (right) with Chapel Hill Magazine’s Stacie Luders and Andrea Griffith Cash.

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Vivian Gustafson.

Vivian Gustafson.

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Sophie Shah and Andy Williamson.

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Habitat’s Executive Director Susan Levy.

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Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens and Chapel Hill Magazine’s Andrea Griffith Cash.

Andrea Cash is the former Senior VP of Content for Chapel Hill Magazine.