Location: Home of Vivian Wise
Last night, Vivian Wise, founder of Heart of Fashion, held a Press Conference dinner to share with the Houston fashion community her personal journey with illness over the last year and her exciting new plans for Heart of Fashion. Approximately 75 guests from the media, retail community and philanthropic community showed up at her home to hear the details from Vivian herself. She opened up to everyone about what has transpired over the last year, sharing photos and stories. She also played a short film titled Butterfly Girl, released in 2014. This highly lauded documentary premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and is the story of Abbie Evans, who was like a daughter to Vivian. Abbie lost her battle at the age of 20 of a rare skin disease, and in an ironic twist, Vivian ended up having to use some of Abbie’s storage of bandages later on herself. This is a sign of the angels and universe looking out for us.
There has been a change of heart at Heart of Fashion ~ but not a change that means founder Vivian Wise is any less committed to art, fashion and philanthropy. Heart of Fashion is, and always will be, For Art, For Good . Only now, perhaps, it is destined to be a little more so. The 3-night runway extravaganza scheduled for November 16,17, 18 at Million Air FBO Houston has been removed from the fashion calendar. Instead, Wise has decided the next signature event will be on May 11, 2017. Plans are underway for a stylus fete that will rival the beauty and originality of the May 6 Mystery Show held at the Julia Ideson Library earlier this spring.
For those of you who attended the SEASON ONE finale last November, you may recall seeing Vivian take the stage holding a sign to express her gratitude since she had lost her voice. She had no way of knowing the respiratory infection that had plagued her for months was the beginning of a medical odyssey that kept her gravely ill and homebound for 200 days out of the past 365. In May 2016, Viv was diagnosed with a rare skin disorder known as Sweet’s syndrome. Shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with a second condition, pyoderma gangrenosum.
Heart of Fashion had previously named 3 designated charities to receive a portion of the events proceeds. Vivian wanted to honor her previous commitment to these worthwhile causes, so during the evening she personally presented checks to Star of Hope Mission, Recipe for Success and The Birthday Party Project. She also presented a check to the Lupus Foundation due to her family’s personal struggles with lupus.
Viv is one of my very best friends, and I have personally witnessed what she has gone through this past year. Her courage, bravery, fortitude and perseverance have amazed me daily. I am so proud of her and so deeply sorry that she has had to suffer. There are, however, many charities that will benefit from her suffering, as she is determined to “pay it forward” and “give back” to those who also suffer, but don’t have the means to suffer comfortably.
We will all look forward to her continued recovery and the May 11th knockout event! Stay tuned!