RIPLEY • Project Runway designer Johnathan Kayne will be in Ripley at Merle Norman and More this weekend for two days full of fashion, food and fun. As an added treat, Asya Branch, Miss Mississippi USA, will be featured at fashion shows scheduled as part of the event.
Kayne took on the fashion world when he competed on Project Runway Season 3 in 2006, where he placed in the top 5. Shortly after, he launched the Johnathan Kayne dress line and award winning shoe line produced by Benjamin Walk Corporation. Kayne starred on the TLC special Gown Crazy in 2009 and has also appeared on E!, ABC, NBC, Bravo and The Style Network.
The fashion icon will be be at Merle Norman Saturday, Sept. 19 for a meet and greet from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The event is free to attend. Kayne’s line for homecoming, pageant, prom, and curves will be available and he will be giving a sneak peek of his youth line, Sugar Kayne. Patrons will get a chance to be the first to try on his 2021 collection. To set up a custom, private appointment with the designer, call 662-837-8344.
For the occasion Merle Norman will have a big tent in front of the store with food, music, photo opportunities, and a pop up shop featuring new fall arrivals.
“We are going to be inside and outside so we can be socially distanced and safe,” said Merle Norman owner Sherri Bullard.
A fashion show featuring Kayne’s 2021 collection will begin at 3 p.m. and will be emceed by the designer. Seating is limited for the show. Tickets are $25 and include a $20 gift card to Merle Norman. The card can be combined and redeemed on all formals, clothing, Ronaldo and Earth Grace Jewelry, or cosmetics, according to Bullard.
“We are doing a lot of stuff at the store this weekend,” said Bullard. “The reason we are doing tickets is so we can get a headcount. We don’t want to have 250 people there for one show and 10 for the other show.”
From 4-6 p.m., Kayne will be taking photos with patrons and Branch will be signing autographs. At 7 p.m., the two will have dinner with guests at Grace Café located at 108 South Commerce Street in Ripley.
During the dinner, Kayne will recount his experiences on Project Runway and dressing two of the most recognizable country music stars, Dolly Pardon and Reba McEntire, whom he dresses for every award show.
The menu for the evening will be named after the iconic singers. The Dolly Pardon will feature Southern fried chicken and buttermilk waffles. The Reba McEntire will feature shrimp and grits. Both entrees come with tea and drizzled chocolate or strawberry cheesecake.
“We named the Dolly because that is a little bit sweet and then Reba is a little bit saucy,” continued Bullard.
Tickets for the dinner are $40 and will include choice of entree. Seating is limited for the dinner.
On Sunday Sept. 20, the designer will host a pageant seminar and a second fashion show.
The pageant seminar is at 1 p.m. and will include winning tips and techniques. Branch will be the keynote speaker. The fashion show will feature Kayne’s 2021 line. Tickets are $25 for each event.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call 837-8344.