New York Fashion Week kicked off last night with an explosion of red dresses at the 11th annual Heart Truth Red Dress fashion show at Hammerstein Ballroom. Each year, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute sponsors the event, which includes a star-studded fashion show to bring awareness to women’s heart health.
“Heart disease is the number one killer of women in this country and we want to raise awareness of that. We want women to know that it’s preventable,” Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin told ABC News.
“Oftentimes we don’t recognize the warning signs, we don’t have the same symptoms as men. We’re caretakers, we take care of everyone else but we don’t take care of ourselves. We need to take care of ourselves as women as well,” said Benjamin.
The event was also about having fun and bringing awareness to a good cause.
“We have to look after ourselves, we have to check, the heart is the center of our being and if that doesn’t work then we’re all f****d,” said Kelly Osbourne in Zac Posen.
Osbourne gave node to heart health with her heart-tipped nails, a manicure that she sported at this year’s SAG Awards.
Kendall, Kylie and Kris Jenner all wore Badgely Mischka dresses. After Kris Jenner walked the catwalk to the song “Run the World,” she met her daughters and posed for a photo before they took off down the runway to Katy Perry’s “California Girls.”
Minka Kelly strutted her stuff in Oscar de la Renta. Roselyn Sanchez boogied down the runway to Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” in a Tadashi Shoji lace dress.
Other celebs included Jillian Michaels, Wendy Williams, Brenda Strong, Gabby Douglas, Toni Braxton, Nastia Liukin, Torah Bright, Soledad O’Brien, Savannah Guthrie and Gabby Douglas.
“The dress definitely means everything to me,” Gabby Douglas told ABC News, who walked the runway in Pamella Roland.
The 17-year-old Olympic champion is a role model for a healthy lifestyle for young girls.
“It’s important to tell young girls to start now, to stay active, to eat healthy and live a longer life,” she said.
The event was especially meaningful for Toni Braxton, who was diagnosed with heart disease in 2007.
“It’s very personal to me, which is the irony of the song ‘Un-Break My Heart,’” Braxton said.
Before she was diagnosed with lupus, the Grammy Award winner was diagnosed with heart disease and had a minor heart attack. She later became involved with the Red Dress.
“Tonight I’m trying to figure out how to walk,” said Braxton of her runway debut.
“I practiced a little bit,” she said wearing a pair of sky-high Louboutins donated by the designer, “I’m 5’7″ today but I’m normally 5’2″.”
Cindy Parsons, a Connecticut resident who worked on her heart health, was the first “non-celebrity” featured in the event, walking down the catwalk in Adrianna Papell.
Parsons’ family, kids, grandchildren and 50 heart health supporters cheered her on as she walked to the song, “Survivor.”
In one year, Parsons lost 77 pounds and lowered her blood pressure and cholesterol as part of a $100,000 grant to her town for heart health.
“My mom died of heart disease two years ago so it’s a personal thing for me and I’m just trying to make sure that my kids and my grandchildren get a little more heart-healthy and pass the word around,” Parsons told ABC News.
Her first time walking the runway, Parsons said, “I just have to walk very slowly I have very high heels.”
Parsons made walking in her heels look easy and not one celeb tripped while walking the runway. With smiles and cheers, the eleventh annual Red Dress show was a total success.