Fashion On The Racks - Dreamstime

Fashionista’s Ball: Couture & Thrift Collide

The Fashionista’s Ball promises to be the best sale ever, with clothes for couture tastes on a thrift-store budget.

Fashion On The Racks - DreamstimeSALES WE LOVE | Mark your calendars, fashionistas, and don your ninja shopping suit (that’s tights and tees for quick changing) because Sunday, May 29, promises to be one of Vancouver’s biggest—if not THE biggest— charity/shopping events of 2011.

The Fashionista’s Ball, insanely well organized by Pixie Riddle and her pals to benefit United Way, is a one-day pop-up fashion extravaganza (think department store scale rather than boutique) that includes 3,000-plus garments, gently worn or never worn (some definitely couture); hundreds of pairs of gorgeous shoes; beautiful handbags, Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta models among them; and accessories including sunglasses, scarves and both costume and fine jewellery items.

And guess what? Prices for all this donated merchandise are shockingly low.

How Low Do They Go?

“Because we are not a consignment store and we have only one day to sell everything, the non-negotiable prices are incredibly reasonable,” says Riddle. How inexpensive is this merchandise? “We have 30 large rolling racks of clothes, three for day dresses, lots of them priced at $15. Every pair of pants, whether they’re $250 jeans or Dries Van Notten wool slacks, is $10.” Pants are hard to sell, says Riddle, and since they have 300 pairs and counting (donations close May 20), they’re letting them all go for the same irresistible price.

How About The High End?

There will be plenty to interest the couture crowd, items like a Prada coat from the fall 2010 collection for $200 (estimated original value: $3,500) and a Paul Smith wool suit for $50 (estimated original value: $2,500). Riddle says a silent auction of luxury items will “be a little bit different from a lot of silent auctions because our prices are going to be really low.”

Low, low prices will be the order of the day because Riddle and her team want the Fashionista’s Ball to be a fun, inclusive event with fashionable finds for everyone from teens and twentysomethings looking for school and work wear to mature women hunting for an indulgence at a killer price. —C. Rule

The Fashionista’s Ball is Sunday, May 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 1095 West Pender Street, Vancouver. Ticket prices are $5 for regular entry and $20 for a VIP pass that includes among its many perks four raffle tickets for 35 astounding prizes. All proceeds from this fund-raising event go to the United Way. Visit for detailed information and to see some of the clothing for sale.

Photo: Dreamstime

4 replies
  1. janet
    janet says:

    I did attend the fashionista ball sunday the 29 of May, 2011. I and many were in line for many many hours to be VERRY diapointed when arriving inside that there were just a handful of shoes and for there handbags there were about 4 left. Many shoppers came out with 4 LV’s and Coach bags this was one young lady with we thought was her father as he kept going in the volunteer door. There should be a limit to the bags and shoes to give all of us the chance to get the great deals. The event site was TO SMALL. I would NOT attend nor would many that were in line again unless it was equal buying for all. Handbags and shoes should be one per person. A lot of us were so uhappy to send 5 plus hours in line to come out with nothing. I understand it is for charity but when you see a volunteers daughter have 4 designer bags it is not a happy thought for us in line. Maybe next time you could please limit the number of shoes and bags a person may purchase. Other than that it was a nice day, other volunteers bought out candy and chips. I would attend again if things were the same for all. Many thanks again. Please let me know when you will have another charity ball would love to come and buy a designer bag or shoes. Thnaks

    • Carmen Ruiz y Laza
      Carmen Ruiz y Laza says:

      As the volunteer PR director for the Fashionista’s Ball I want to tell you that I can share your sense of dissapointment at not getting what you wanted. I had my eagle eye on a pair of shoes, sunglasses and a purse. I did not get any of them as I was scooped by other shoppers. I had visions of myself prancing around town in my new items, but alas, not to be.

      We thank you for your comments, but believe me, we did our best to please the crowds. We did not anticipate such a large turnout, nor the greed of some. We did this to raise funds for the children that need help, and we did. We raised $70,000.00 for families in need and that to us is our success. The fact that some people complained that they did not get what they thought was rightly theirs, well, no words can express how sad that makes us.

      IF we do this again, all these comments shall be considered as we want it only to please those that supported our charity event.

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