Stars campaign for heart health in show

Stars campaign for heart health in show

NEW YORK-Reuters
Stars campaign for heart health in show

Associated Press photo

Awareness of heart disease, the leading killer of U.S. women, received a boost on Feb. 8 when supermodel Christie Brinkley, singer Gloria Estefan and other stars took to the catwalk in designer red dresses on the eve of New York Fashion Week.

The celebrity models wore designs from Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Jason Wu, Donna Karan, Tadashi Shoji, Diane von Furstenberg and Badgley Mischka for the 10th annual Red Dress Collection by The Heart Truth awareness campaign.

Grammy Award-winning Estefan - wearing a gown by Narciso Rodriguez - spoke of the pain that heart disease can bring.

“My grandfather died in front of me of a massive heart attack when I was 12, and he had five before that so I know what that’s like,” she said, adding that she has been eating smaller portions in a bid to stay healthy.

Susan Shurin, acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute which sponsors the The Heart Truth, said heart disease is the leading cause of death for U.S. women.

“Women can greatly reduce their risk of heart disease by managing cholesterol levels, controlling blood pressure, not smoking, and adopting other healthy habits, such as eating well, being active and keeping a healthy weight,” she said.

Other models in the Red Dress show included “Dynasty” star Linda Evans, actresses Minka Kelly and Jenna Elfman, “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger and Debbie Phelps, who stopped on the catwalk to kiss her son, U.S. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps.

Backstage before the show Brinkley said she had not done much runway modeling during her career, adding: “I know how to walk, I hope, famous last words.” Of course, when she started down the catwalk to ex-husband Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” she stumbled, but quickly recovered.

The red dress show coincides with New York Fashion Week, which started yesterday with some 90 designers showing their fall 2012 collections.