On April 1, AER (Advocate, Educate and Revolutionize!) sponsored its second annual AER Walk with Style event hosted by supermodel Hilary Rhoda and NY Jets’ Kerry Rhodes. This charity event was a benefit for CancerCare, a national nonprofit organization that provides professional support services for people infected and affected by cancer. Runway fashions by Laila Azhar preceded a silent auction, with all proceeds going to CancerCare. CancerCare provides free-of-charge counseling, therapeutic activities, resource materials and educational workshops. Again, the fashion community continues to graciously give its time and support to worthwhile charitable organizations.
Red Carpet CancerCare Interviews:
Supermodel Hilary Rhoda
Hilary, how did you come to host this event?
Hilary Rhoda: Cancer affects every one and since it has affected my family I thought this would be a great charity to become involved in.
What new modeling campaigns are you involved in?
Hilary Rhoda: I have an Ann Taylor campaign coming out next spring. They are revamping their brand, and I am pleased to be a part of that. I have been the Estee Lauder spokesmodel for four years and I am still involved in that brand. I have some other things in the works that I cannot talk about right now.
And what designer are you wearing?
Hilary Rhoda: I am wearing La Perla.
The Real Housewives of New York’s Alex McCord and Simon Van Kempen
How did you come to be on The Real Housewives of New York?
Alex McCord: We were the first ones to interview for an earlier version called Manhattan Moms. We knew a lot of people who worked on the production end of reality television who thought we would be great for Manhattan Moms, which was supposed to be a show about parenting and not about wealthy New York housewives. It took a year and a half to get the project off the ground and when they shot the first pilot it was still called Manhattan Moms.
Simon Van Kempen: While we were filming the first season of Manhattan Moms, Housewives of Orange County took off,and Bravo realized they were on to something big and decided to franchise Housewives of Orange County into other locations.
How did you come to be a part of this CancerCare event?
Alex McCord: We attended the first CancerCare event last year and we think it is a worthy cause. Simon’s first wife and his sister are breast cancer survivors. We lost his stepfather to pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago. So this really hits home for us. We use a lot of discretion when we endorse events because of time constraints, and we have to believe in the charity. We now only go out sporadically because we are launching our book, Big Kids, Little City, so we are very busy.
Are there any new surprises on The Real Housewives of New York that you can share with our viewers?
Alex McCord: Well, I can’t give you any spoilers – all I can say is this will be the best season ever. It is shocking and off the charts, and it is just getting started.
Because I am reporting for the Fashion Spot, I have to ask you, which designer are you wearing tonight?
Alex McCord: I am wearing Walter Vega.
Portuguese Style Icon Jose Castelo Branco
Which designers are you wearing?
Jose Castelo Branco: My jacket is Comme des Garcons and I have a Marni fur on the jacket. The pants are by Balenciaga, and the shoes are by Ralph Lauren.
You were recently in a music video, could you talk about that?
Jose Castelo Branco: Yes, recently I was in Rachel Sage’s new music video just being myself and filling the stage. I have also recently recorded two new songs from my repertoire.
You have a CD out now?
Jose Castelo Branco: Yes. It is out in Portugal, and I am now looking for a label in the U.S. to distribute the CD.
Why is this CancerCare event important to you?
Jose Castelo Branco: I have lost close family and friends to cancer. Just two years ago, a very elegant friend was diagnosed with lung cancer and within a year she succumbed. So this event hits close to home and means so much to me.
The Rock Group ZO2
How did you guys come to this CancerCare event?
ZO2: Well, we took a train, jumped in a cab and finally a limousine brought us here [lots of laughter.] No, really our publicist told us about this event and we really felt that it was important to support. In fact, this is the first time we will actually view a runway show.
Do you have any personal experience with cancer?
ZO2: We have a really good friend who had leukemia; he came through it and is doing great now. He did a have a really rough time, though. Chemotherapy was really tough, and he lost all his hair, which is hard when you are in your twenties. But now he has recovered and he’s out playing hoops.
You guys have a hit television show, Z Rock, on IFC. How do merge fashion with music?
ZO2: We really love Cavalli and Dsquared2 because they are great at merging fashion with an edgy rock and roll aesthetic. We also love True Religion jeans. So, we look for designers that speak to who we are as rock musicians. But tonight it is a mixture of Target and Wal-Mart.
Well, your shoes are slamming.
ZO2: We learned a long time ago that wearing a great pair shoes really gets you attention. And you know, rockers love attention.
Roxy Olin, star of MTV’s The City
Why is this CancerCare event important to you?
Roxy Olin: Someone really close to me is fighting cancer right now, so in honor of them I felt it was important to support this charity.
Could you talk about The City?
Roxy Olin: Well, I am the troublemaking fashionista on the show. My role is more serious than some of the others on The City. Although I am a fashionista, in my everyday life I am not as mischievous as I am portrayed on the show.
Have you parlayed your success on The City into other ventures?
Roxy Olin: This season I get to direct some of the fashion shoots on the show.
Who are some of favorite designers?
Roxy Olin: I love Alexander McQueen, Zac Posen, Alexander Wang – and I love Nicholas Kirkwood for shoes.
Photos courtesy of Ernest Green.