The Rocking Runway

Beautiful Lives' Rockstar Runway Showcases Beauty of Human Lives Through Special Fashion Show

Beautiful Lives Project presented the 2nd Annual Rockstar Runway event in Historic Downtown McKinney following the city's Red, White and BOOM! Parade. The Rockstar Runway special abilities fashion show is an annual event recognizing unique and valuable individuals who may have been born with differences but shine bright and are full of character and beauty.

The mission of Beautiful Lives Project is to give people with disabilities and special needs the opportunity to actively participate in activities and events that may not have been possible for them previously due to physical or facility limitations. Stacy Apple, national communications officer at Beautiful Lives Project, says isolation is a very real epidemic, so events such as Rockstar Runway are extremely important.

“Rockstar Runway is a perfect example of how we can eliminate obstacles and create an immersive experience that defeats isolation and brings awareness to the community through hands-on involvement and volunteer opportunities,” says Stacy. “These events are meant to be fun, but the byproduct of them is always deeper conversations about the value of integrating individuals with disabilities and special needs into the workforce.”

From its inaugural year in 2021, Rockstar Runway nearly doubled the model count from 25 in 2021 to 40 in 2022. Half of last year’s models returned, and the remainder were new models from across the Metroplex, with the youngest model being just 4 years old.

Veteran models Kalyn, Rickey, Molly and Jacob from Hugs Cafe and Hugs Greenhouse dazzled spectators with their signature moves while mentoring the new models on how to perfect their runway walks and find their groove.

Stacy credits the McKinney community for the huge success of Rockstar Runway.

“Mayor Fuller and his wife, Maylee, have created a very inclusive and supportive environment for nonprofits like ours to flourish here,” she says. "Beautiful Lives Project hosts events nationwide and the community support we receive in McKinney is second to none.”

Local boutiques Faith & Feather, Landry Kate, LY Outfitters, Willow House, Littles by Willow House, Love Life Foundation, Rock A Boy, and Marie Gregory jumped at the opportunity to style the incredible models. Sixty volunteers, including special education teachers from numerous ISDs, local teenagers, and a large team from a local behavioral analysis services group, were crucial in keeping the backstage flowing smoothly.

Stacy says post-show, Beautiful Lives Project has been inundated with communication from sponsors and volunteers about the impact of working side-by-side with the models and how it has changed the way they view the disabled and special needs community. She adds that it's perspectives like these that will allow the Beautiful Lives Project staff to increase programming that will help communities stop focusing on abilities and disabilities and start focusing on what’s possABLE.

Planning for the 3rd Annual Rockstar Runway is already in the works. With the continued support of sponsors and the incredible McKinney community, the Beautiful Lives Project team has goals for growth and expanded reach of Rockstar Runway over the next 10 years. Those interested in becoming a sponsor may contact Stacy Apple at stacy@beautifullives.org.


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