In the case of one local fashion show, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Minnesota’s Red Dress Collection is pushing women’s heart health into the spotlight with an all-red runway show at Loews Hotel in Minneapolis, featuring local celebrities modeling dresses by 20 local designers.

The March 7 show, sponsored by University of Minnesota Heart Care, raises awareness of heart disease and benefits the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women program.

We caught up with creator/co-producer Carly Aplin to find out what’s in store for this year’s show and the answer to the most asked question: What should I wear?


Q: The Red Dress Collection concept has long been a highlight of New York Fashion Week. Why did you want to do something similar here four years ago?

A: My dad is a cardiologist, so heart health has always been a big part of our lives — staying healthy and being aware of the signs of heart disease and how many varieties of heart disease there are. When you think about heart attacks, you think about old men having heart attacks. It’s so much different from that.

Also, I started following the fashion scene in the Twin Cities when I moved back from California and had attended the New York Red Dress event. Knowing the talent we have here, I thought this was a fundraiser we could do for heart health in Minnesota.


Q: What’s new this year?

A: The biggest thing is that we are adding men to the runway. It’s so important to have men understand heart disease in women and be advocates for the women in their lives. We have a lot of men who attend our event. It’s a way to say this isn’t just about women, it’s also about men. Greg Jennings (former Viking), Kirk DeWindt (former contestant on “The Bachelor” and fitness expert at KMSP-TV, Ch. 9) and Todd Walker (Fox 9) will be walking the runway. Kat Perkins from “The Voice” will be performing at the end of the show.


Q: Who will be designing dresses and walking the runway?

A: Kim Pominville (wife of Minnesota Wild player Jason Pominville), Liz Collin (WCCO-TV, Ch. 4), Jamie Hersch (Fox Sports North), Cathy Wurzer (Minnesota Public Radio) and many others. Dresses are provided by local design talent including Emma Berg, Adrienne Yancy and Tim and Thom Navarro.


Q: Which designer’s dress are you most excited to see?

A: Emily Trevor is a new addition this year. I really like her designs. She’s paired with Falen (Bonsett) from KDWB (Radio), who’s a great personality. They’re a fun pairing. Also, Tessa Druley. She designed with us for the first time last year and I was blown away. She’s still relatively new to the local fashion scene, so I’m excited to see what happens again with her this year.


Q: What should people wear?

A: The biggest question I get is, “Should I wear red?” We actually tell people to steer away from red, so that the runway dresses are the one thing that are red and pop. It’s a night where we want people to wear long, formal dresses or, at the very least, cocktail attire. The more formal, the better.