Goodwill Industries Rocks the Runway for Good Cause

by Carl Mize

Rock the Runway
Photos by Carl Mize

Everythingold is new again could have been the mantra of the 2016 Goodwill Rock the Runway show held Friday night in the EmpireRoom in Downtown Greensboro.

Sevendesigners armed with scissors, thread, hot glue guns and anything else theyneeded, raided their local Goodwill locations and turned old bed sheets,draperies, and mom’s old fake fur parka into stunning new ensembles and get-upsworthy of even the most discriminating red carpet.

The showhas become a “must be seen” event on Greensboro’s annual social calendar, andseen they were, as many of the city’s fashionistas found their way to theirseat along the runway. Trust me, this can be no mean feat when your hair is 14inches high and you are tottering on 6 inch stilettos, all the while trying tolook fabulous as you try to not spill your glass of wine and balance your plateof complimentary cupcakes. This mindyou, is just the audience, not the show models.

Finally,it is show time. Lauren Melvin, from WFMY News2’s The Good Morning Show addressesthe crowd. She cues them in on what they are about to see as well as lettingeveryone know about the wonderful services that Triad Goodwill helps toprovide to many area citizens.

After theformalities are out of the way, the lights dim and the fashion processionstarts. Each designer was charged with coming up with six different looks allconstructed with materials found within their local Goodwill outlet. A seventhlook was to be created from newsprint, as one of the event’s sponsors is theGreensboro News and Record.

The sevendesigners competing in the show were as follows, Brian Atkins, FloriaHance-Morant, Timaya Kasey, Robin Otis-Clayborne, Cheslie Kryst, Amber Colburn,and Tiffany Flowers-Teague. Each designer was solely responsible for their ownpresentation, right down to the selection of their respective models.

One afterthe other each model makes their way down the grand 60-foot runway, attitudeappropriately attuned to each outfit. Finally, after each has taken their turnin the spotlight it is time for the presentation of the awards.

This year the event organizers asked blogger Ashley Carter, author of, to select a “Best Dressed Guest,” which is won by a youngwoman named Morgan Hightower. Many of you may recognize Morgan as the weekendanchor on WFMY.

Anotheraward is presented by the Greensboro Newsand Record for the winning design created from newsprint. It is won by avery emotional Robin Otis-Clayborne.

There were three awards presented to designers. First up, is the Audience Choicewhich was taken by Cheslie Kryst. Her collection featured several wearableseparates as well as a couple of pieces of evening wear. The applause at theannouncement of her name indicates why the audience felt she was the best.

TheJudge’s Choice was decided by a panelof notable local citizens and included Princess Johnson, Founding Director ofRoyal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, Susan Ladd, Columnist for the GreensboroNews and Record, Lynn Wooten, Vice President, Marketing and Communications forThe Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and Katie O’Brien, of Jared andKatie in the Morning, 107.5 WKZL.

Steppingforward as the Judge’s Choice was Brian Atkins. Brian is relatively newto designing, only recently having learned to sew. His collection centerpiecewas a ball gown created completely from that ubiquitous thrift shop staple, thenecktie. Many, many ties were used to create the dress that was complete with afull skirt and train. It was certainly one of the more unusual creations forthe night.

Theculmination of the event was a meet and greet downstairs, complete with DJand refreshments. There was also a bidding war as show patrons tried to outbideach other on outfits that had been seen previously on the runway. All moneyraised went to help further Goodwill’s various programs.