NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Diamonds Direct announced their partnership with New Orleans Fashion Week (NOFW) to kick off this year’s A Taste of Fashion Week. The local jeweler and fashion organization have teamed up to present an unforgettable weekend of fashion, diamonds, and most of all–community giving.

Adding to the excitement is Project Runway Season 19 designer Aaron Michael, who has agreed to design three individual garments inspired by stunning pieces from Diamonds Direct. Each original design will be auctioned off to benefit three local sectors of the philanthropic community in the city — Dress for Success, Second Harvest Food Bank and Son of a Saint.

The designs will make their debut appearance at a preview party hosted by Diamonds Direct in Metairie, set to take place Friday, Nov. 5, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at their Severn Avenue showroom. The event is a non-ticketed, exclusive preview of Michael’s designs to view in true fashion week form; the showroom at Diamonds Direct will be transformed into a catwalk for the scintillating garments, and Aaron Michael himself will host a Q+A segment during the evening.

The decision to benefit three separate charities for this event is rooted in Diamonds Direct and New Orleans Fashion Week’s commitment to fostering continued support of the arts, ongoing disaster relief and children’s organizations throughout this unprecedented last year. “At Diamonds Direct, we are founded on the principle of giving back to our communities. Collaborating with New Orleans Fashion Week has been a dream come true partnership where we have melded two passions: community involvement and community giveback”, said Vice President Yoni Padan. “NOFW’s goal is to not only shine the spotlight on fashion designers, but to redefine what it means to be fashionable while giving back to the community through charitable partnerships,” said Tracee Dundas, Founder/Executive Producer of NOFW.

Dress for Success’ Executive Director Lori Byargeon echoed the innate need for fashion-focused organizations to continue thriving in the New Orleans area.  “Dress for Success New Orleans empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life,” said Byargeon.

The need for community giving is at an all-time high due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as relief efforts post-hurricane Ida. “We were so honored to be the beneficiary of Diamonds Direct’ s auction during New Orleans Fashion Week,” said Natalie Jayroe, Second Harvest President and CEO. “It is because of support from partners like Diamonds Direct that our team is able to provide meals and emergency food to our neighbors across South Louisiana.”

The glittering evening will culminate with a show-stopping bridal gown feature from Aaron Michael, and guests will have the opportunity to place bids on Michael’s charity designs being auctioned off. For those unable to attend the Diamonds Direct preview party on Friday, Nov. 5, an online auction site now hosts all three of Michael’s original designs. Bidding closes at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 6.