2013 November 11
(NEW YORK) As America dedicates today to honoring veterans who have protected our country, Mary Alice Stephenson shares how she's been helping out injured members of the military and their selfless family members. Using her industry connections, Stephenson beautified 50 caretakers and wounded female warriors for Bob Woodruff’s Stand Up For Heroes event at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday evening. Walking the red carpet alongside Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Stewart, the brave women were granted a head-to-toe makeover from Stephenson’s Glam4Good organization.
BY DENA SILVER
What's the story behind the Style4Heroes event?
Style4Heroes is a Glam4Good initiative I created with Lee Woodruff, Bob Woodruff's wife and co-partner in The Bob Woodruff Foundation. This was my third year doing this event with The Bob Woodruff Foundation. We believe that caretakers and female wounded warriors deserve to be pampered and treated like the stars they are. Thanks to the generous donations of clothing, shoes, and accessories to Glam4Good from the fashion industry, my team can style and help the women feel beautiful and empowered on the red carpet for the star-studded event they come in town for: Stand Up For Heroes.
How does this portion affect how these caregivers feel on the day of the big concert?
Fashion can be a glamorous armor and shield; when we look good, it empowers us to feel better and often help us to deal with difficult things in life. Having the Glam4Good team use fashion to pamper these women boosts their self-esteem and gives them two days of joy and attention. These women have so much to worry about in their lives and it's an honor to take care of them, make them feel beautiful, and give them pretty things they might not buy for themselves.
What's the most important thing to keep in mind with these styling clients?
The women were very involved in what they wore and were able to pick dresses that they loved. The most important thing was to have fun and to make the women feel gorgeous and adored. This was one big Glam4Good shopping spree for free and everyone loved that! Our Style4Heroes team included Seventeen magazine's Gina Kelly, Lucy Sykes, and Amanda Ross, among many others.
What is the best part of the event for you?
The pride I see in the eyes and stature of the caregivers when they hit the red carpet. I know they feel gorgeous and special, and they deserve to feel that way!
What other portion of the Stand Up For Heroes event were you involved in?
I did a live Google chat behind the stage of the event, where I talked about all of the designers that have supported me with this project. I used my industry connections to get the clothing just for this event.
What kind of brands donated to dress the caretakers and female wounded warriors?
Everyone from Calvin Klein to Zac Posen. We also got donations from Via Spiga, ShoeDazzle, Rent The Runway, Pink Tartan, Fenton Fallon, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Kara Ross, and Miriam Haskell. Kerastase did the hair on the day of the event, and Dior Beauty provided the makeup.
Were there any moments this year that moved you to tears during your styling session?
There are so many moving moments...this year, I had a wounded service member, a double amputee whose mother has been there for him every day. The service member came up to me at the event and told me that he'd never seen his mom look and feel so radiant and excited. He had tears in his eyes, and so did I.
How does this compare to other styling jobs that you do?
I am constantly styling, consulting, and commentating but the days I get to Glam4Good are some of the most moving and memorable of my career. With Glam4Good, I get to see how fashion and beauty really transforms lives.
What other Glam4Good events do you have in the works?
After Style4Heroes, my Glam4Good team and I went to Macy’s on Friday to host the kick-off of their holiday ‘Believe’ campaign. We spent the day granting fashion wishes for Make-A-Wish Foundation. We got to pamper those young girls with an entire store filled with fashion from Glam4Good!