Concrete Catwalk sat down with Don’t Walk’s Maria Cecilia Coelho (Executive Director) and Carlotta Hall (PR & Marketing Director) to find out more about this Saturday’s show.
So firstly, what would you say were the key reasons why ‘DONT WALK’ came to be what it is today?
- The amazing committee members who make up the DONT WALK family throughout all these years.
- Individual interest for all parts of DONT WALK (music, performance, creative, fashion, art, PR, sponsorship, finance, logistics, events and so on) all of these being put to use for the ultimate purpose of charitable work.
- We embrace change and in this way we create a directional and eclectic experience every year.
- We have been so lucky to have been supported by great sponsors and designers both in town and international.
Tell us more about your chosen charities for this year.
As we are going back to our roots, our main charity this year is Families First St Andrews which supports children who face challenges such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, learning difficulties, and challenges in school or through poverty.
Given that DONT WALK originated as a response to the 9/11 attacks we continue to support our charity in New York – The Robin Hood Foundation. We believe these two charities embody DONT WALK’s mission statement.
Additionally, given that Families First is in the centre of town, the proximity allows a closer and more direct relation with the St Andrews community, not only by raising funds but also with our presence.
You say in your mission statement that you ‘promise to ignite controversy to facilitate progress’ – why do you think a fashion show is a good medium through which to do this?
Well, for a couple of different reasons:
- With a ticket, guests not only experience art and entertainment but they also give to charity.
- Through our platform we not only raise awareness of our charitable causes and the issues they face, but also ask questions through our creative narrative.
- In terms of igniting controversy specifically, we allow guests to interpret the show and the whole year through their own eyes instead of imposing a set perspective.
How did you go about deciding on designers and curating the looks that will go down this year’s runway?
Our fashion team used the creative mood board as an inspiration. They have been very successful and we are excited for everyone to see it.
Are there any challenges you face trying to put on such a big show when you are based in a town as small and remote as St Andrews?
Certainly with an event of this capacity we face challenges regularly with all aspects of the show coming together, however due to our strong committee we manage to work it out.
‘DONT WALK’ is now one ofthe events of the St Andrews social calendar. What do you think it is that makes ‘DONT WALK’ so popular?
We believe that the success of DONT WALK is largely attributed to the fact that every year is completely different.
We also try to make sure that it isn’t solely about one night or one aspect but rather a year-long experience through our presence (events, content, media and so on).
What’s your favourite thing about being involved in ‘DONT WALK’?
Carlota Hall: Definitely the people and how the committee becomes almost like a family. I feel like I can rely on any member to help me with whatever is asked.
Maria Cecilia Coelho: I would agree with Carlotta, the people definitely make this experience. I also think that it is really interesting to see that many dedicated and talented students working together on such a rewarding project. On top of it all being for a great cause.
There are still tickets available for the afterparty, so get yours while you can!