Guide-Dog Vogue joins owner Cornelle at SA Fashion
Backstage at the SA Fashion Week, held until Sunday 22 October at the Mall of Africa, everyone was abuzz about the new arrivals on the catwalk – Cornelle Leach and guide-dog Vogue. From models, make-up artists and hairstylists, all were so welcoming and embraced both newcomers with open arms. This of course, assisted in keeping the nerves in check!
It was the first time in South African fashion history that a visually impaired model participated in SA Fashion Week, an annual event that has been showcasing South African designers for the past twenty-one years. Not only is it a first for a visually impaired model to participate, but also a first for a guide-dog. Vogue, a black Labrador Retriever that has been with Cornelle for the past six years, took to the catwalk immediately and with her particular swagger, stole the hearts of the audience in an instant. The audiences’ clapping and cheers almost drowned out the wonderful music as they stepped onto the catwalk. Cornelle was dressed in a summery blue and white kaftan dress with red and white striped custom-made sandals, by Cape Town design house Helon Melon. Vogue was equally fetching with her white and red striped bow, carefully tied onto her harness.
CEO of SA Fashion Week, Lucilla Booyzen, was so supportive and taken by the idea of a partnership between the Association and SA Fashion Week, that she created an immediate opportunity for Cornelle and Vogue to walk in the Helon Melon show. The reason for GDA driving these types of partnerships are not only to create awareness of the Association and its essential services, but also to create opportunities where inclusivity and diversity become actions and not only discussions. The focus of the SA Fashion Week is the Business of Ethical Fashion and hence the perfect synchronicity with GDA.
The South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind extends its gratitude for this opportunity and hopes that next years’ fashion week might even see more than one Assistance Dog, on the catwalk – pardon the irony!