From shoulder pads made of footballs to dazzling tutus, the annual Footsteps to Follow fashion show has captivated audiences for the past sixteen years through the work of young designers and models ages 2-18. Beyond the glitz and glamor of the runway stage though, Footsteps to Follow is an organization built on community, partnership, and helping others. What began as a local initiative has since blossomed into the heartwarming and empowering Footsteps to Follow fashion show, an anticipated event for children with disabilities and the local community alike.
Footsteps to Follow has a core focus of serving children with disabilities through broad-based programming, with the fashion show serving as the organization’s crown jewel. Initially, the show partnered with local shops, but over the years, they have collaborated with designers who share their passion for inclusivity and empowerment. The “Stytches” program, supported by Community Elevation Grant Funding through The ACGG, allows older children to express their creativity by crafting their own clothing, fostering a sense of accomplishment and self-expression on the runway.
The organization’s dedication extends beyond the bi-annual fashion show, encompassing a holistic approach to support Greater Greensboro’s community. From the buddy system, afterschool assistance, and their uplifting pen pal program, “Footsteps to Follow” is more than just a show; it’s a nurturing community.
At its core, the program champions the ideals of inclusivity and normalcy, allowing children with disabilities to feel a sense of belonging. The symbolic gesture of wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans at the show’s conclusion emphasizes the unity that transcends any differences or challenges.
The models themselves represent a diverse array of disabilities, some visible and some not. Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), cancer, sickle cell – Each child has a different medical story that the show helps them to temporarily set aside. The initiative has forged meaningful partnerships with Mandie Dunn, Flyy Movement, By S. Benson, Blair’s Closet, Plain Jane, Fatz15 and others, amplifying the impact of their mission. Footsteps to Follow’s tutu sale, where 100% of the proceeds go towards medical bills, exemplifies their commitment to the community’s well-being and upliftment.
Building community and breaking down barriers, “Footsteps to Follow” continues to pave the way for a more inclusive and compassionate world, one fashion show at a time. With every step down the runway, these children continually redefine possibility.
Mark your calendars for next year’s Footsteps to Follow fashion shows: April 14, 2024 and October 13, 2024 from 3:00-5:00 pm. Location to be announced.