Simple Gifts fashion show is changing its runway to comply with fire codes


Senior Allie De Anda helps sophomore Declan Ebeling design a parklet for a North Beach restaurant. The architecture students are partnering with Modus, an urban planning firm.

Aoife Devereux

The Simple Gifts Fashion Show is changing its run¬way layout for the first time in the show’s 7-year history due to a California fire code for schools.The stage will now be located by the Belvedere and the runway will be a floor carpet as opposed to the usual platform catwalk.

“The changes to the fashion show will really only affect how the show looks,” Simple Gifts co-president Annie Mitchell said. “The carpet will make it easier for the models to walk, but a little more difficult for guests in the back rows to see.”

A fire chief or a designated representative can stop a performance, such as the fashion show, if he or she finds obstacles or overcrowding in aisles or exits, according to California’s School Fire and Life Safety Code.

“With the amount of people that were in past shows, the fire exits were all blocked,” club co-president Meaghan Heckscher said, “so if there was a fire, it would be hard to get everyone out of the building.”

The Simple Gifts Fashion Show is completely student-run with students models, makeup artists, production designers and solicitation of behind-the-scene-contributors.

“The fashion show is not only fun, but important to show student leadership,” Franny Eklund, a Simple Gifts board member, said. “It allows students to take on responsibility by putting on such a large production by communicating with different people and places to get the job done.”

Students will choose a local charity to receive the profits from the show. In the past, the club has donated to Get on the Bus, an organization that transports children and their legal guardians to prisons throughout the state to visit incarcerated parents, as well as donating to the Women and Childrens Clinic, which assists low income women and children with their immediate needs. The club has not decided on this year’s charity, but will announce it before the show.

“We usually pick a charity that is a local organization that focuses on women and children in the Bay Area,” Heckscher said. “This year we are looking at the Breast Cancer Fund which focuses on eliminating environmental causes of breast cancer, A Home Within, which provides for the emotional needs of foster children and Dress for Success, which gives disadvantaged women professional attire.”

Every year Simple Gifts asks a handful of local stores to loan their clothes for the show. This year’s stores include Athleta, J.Crew, Madewell, Sports Basement, Heidi Says, LF and Y&I.

“I think that all-in-all we just want to keep it as successful and fun as it has been in years past,” Heckscher said.

The date is set for April 19 in the Flood Mansion, but the ticket price is still to be determined.