Huge Crowd Turns Up for Colorful Latin Women’s Lunch and Fashion Extravaganza

Huge Crowd Turns Up for Colorful Latin Women’s Lunch and Fashion Extravaganza

Ericka Toussaint, Rosangela Capobianco, Katalina Cohen, Raquel Adam

ONE OF HOUSTON'S most dependably fun and beautiful annual luncheon events came off without a hitch last week, despite scorching summer temps and renewed Covid fears. The Latin Women's Initiative's 19th annual fashion show, luncheon and marketplace drew a sold-out crowd of nearly 900 to the a sprawling ballroom in the Hilton Americas Downtown.


"Stunning, colorful décor with exotic florals and butterfly accents created a tropical paradise, and a specialty menu perfected the ambiance," gushed a rep for the event's organizers.

After providing a couple hours of schmoozing and shopping at fashionable popups in corridor outside the ballroom — and a rousing performance by UH's Moores School of Music Mariachi Pumas — chairs Elia Gabbanelli and Vicki Luna made opening remarks at the event, which was delayed from its typical springtime berth.

As usual, the highlight of the affair was a highly produced fashion show that zigzagged through the vast venue. Tootsie's presented this year's spectacular, highlighting superstar Columbian designer Silvia Tcherassi's collections. The designer's son Mauricio Espinosa Tcherassi flew in from Miami to provide lively music to accompany the models. The show concluded with a Titanium tequila toast for the whole room!

Organizers reported that the luncheon was the most successful ever in terms of fundraising, an effort which included a raffle with a de Boulle Jewelers diamond necklace as a prize. Some $400,000 in net proceeds will benefit multiple groups in town that support Latin women and families — including Bayou City Blessings in a Backpack, Books Between Kids, Tejano Center for Community Concerns, Bridge Over Troubled Waters and the UH Center for Mexican American Studies' American Achievers Program.

A raffle with extraordinary items including a fabulous diamond necklace from de Boulle Jewelersgenerated additional funds for the day and was presented by Nick Boulle to the winner from the stage. The grand finale was a tequila toast, thanks to sponsor and local company Titanium Tequila, with cheers and applause as all the guests raised their glasses and celebrated 19 years of fashion for a cause.

Boldface names in the crowd included Cyndy Garza Roberts, Lisset Garza, Michele Leal Farah and George Farah, Fady Armanious, Mari Treviño Glass, Ceron, Monica and Joe Casiano, Rosi and Jorge Hernandez, Trini Mendenhall, Ann Ayre, Vicky and John Dominguez, Daisy Mendoza, Manuel Gonzales, Jessie Bounds, Ofelia Vujasinovik, Hoda Sana, Donna Lewis, Kristina Somerville, April Salazar and Jessica Rossman.

Cyndy Garza Roberts and Marilu Garza

Elia Gabbanelli, Silvia Tcherassi, Vicki Luna

Heather Almond, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell

Janice Underwood, Manta Pasha, Brenda Nelson

Karen Trejo Martin, Nick Boulle

Kristina Somerville and Erika Toussaint

Lana Landmesser, Carrie Feighl

Laura Salinas-Pruneda and Monica Casiano

Martiza Gonzales and Gloria Bounds

Models for the toast

Monica and Joaquin Jimenez

Monica and Joe Casiano

Ofelia Vujasonvic, Alma Gonzales, Erica Mire

Regina Garcia and Philamena Baird

Parties
Chapman & Kirby Launches Free Concert Series for Spring

Danny Ray and the Atlantic Street Band performs May 31 (photo from dannyrayatlanticstreetband.com)

CHAPMAN & KIRBY, THE premier event destination in Houston’s East Village, is thrilled to announce the launch of its Spring Music Series, kicking off on Friday, April 12. Chapman & Kirby has become synonymous with top-tier events and unforgettable experiences, many attended by celebrities both local and worldwide. With concert ticket prices soaring to hundreds and even thousands of dollars in the last year, this eight-week music series promises to be a welcomed opportunity to engage with live music for free, showcasing an eclectic lineup of talented acts.

Keep ReadingShow less

Badolina Bakery in Rice Village (photo by Kirsten Gilliam)

WHAT MAKES A restaurant patio great? Beauty, comfort, uniqueness? Check. Stellar food? Check. The feeling that you got away from it all? Triple check. Whether you’re looking to whet your whistle, grab a bite in a treehouse, dine under the stars, or catch a sunset over the urban landscape, Houston is rich with patios, balconies and rooftops. Get some air and celebrate the glorious season at these newbies and stalwarts.

Keep ReadingShow less

Local Foods sandwiches

ONCE UPON A time on a charming vintage corner of West University Place, chef Tony Luhrman cranked out tacos and other Mexican specialties in his tiny restaurant El Topo. The newcomer earned recognition from Texas Monthly and elsewhere, but couldn’t pull out of the post-COVID slump. Enter Maximo in the same space, a new Mexican concept owned by Benjy Levit (Local Foods, Lees Den, Eau Tour), Luhrman, and Dylan Murray of Local Foods.

Keep ReadingShow less
Food