Runway Moms for the Cause May 8 – Interview with Founder and Designer Lara Akinsaya


An event close to my heart which I passionately recommend to families is happening this spring, Runway Moms for the Cause. Runway Moms for a Cause (RMFC) is a fashion show and gala which raises funds for non-profit organizations.  The beneficiary of the May 8, 2014 show is Kidsave International, which finds loving homes for forgotten older children worldwide living in orphanages and in need of parents.

Lara Akinsanya is the founder of RMFC and the face behind internationally acclaimed ready-to-wear clothing brand L~Shandi Designs. Her designs are STUNNING, detailed and highlight a woman’s body like nothing I have ever worn. Since Lara’s grand entrance to the global fashion scene, she has been heralded by the media and is an active member of the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce. She has participated on panel discussions related to economic development through fashion programs in the greater Washington DC area. And she is a mother of twin preschoolers!


I was honored to interview Lara via e-mail about her successful fashion design platform, work to raise awareness on issues close to her heart and the May 8 Runway Moms for the Cause event for local parents!

A Parent in Silver Spring: How did you conceive of Runway Moms for the Cause?
Lara Akinsaya: Volunteering my time, money, talent, services, etcetera is a part of who I am (thanks to my mom.) I have organized many small groups together to help others in different forms and capacities. Creating Runway Moms for a Cause was a natural next step for me using all the resources that I had available.

What drives you to devote your (limited!) time and energies to this project?
I find it fulfilling to give more than to receive. Therefore, the feeling of giving to someone else in need drives me to devote my time and energy to this project.

What charity did you choose as the Cause for 2014?
Kidsave International. Kidsave has helped over 12 governments and 3,000 children. Yet countless children live in orphanages and foster care. Kidsave’s goal is  to give every child has a permanent family. I hope that our event will help with that.

Thanks so much for choosing me again as a “mom model”! As a designer you usually work with professional models. What made you choose local mothers for your catwalk?
I chose real mothers active in the community because moms are selfless and giving in nature. Plus I also want to give the participating moms a chance to get pampered and made over along the way.

Fellow model Kelly Collis and her partner-in-crime Tommy McFly. By the way, turn on  The Tommy Show on 94.7 Fresh FM every single morning, ‘k?

How can local businesses get involved?
Businesses can help spread the word about our cause; they can volunteer to model, donate goods/services to auction off or raffle off, purchase sponsorship package, ad space, purchase tickets to the event, or donate directly to Kidsave. My hope is that we all end up promoting one another by working together.

I think the Runway Moms for the Cause gala is a fabulous date night or moms’ night out!  What do you think makes this evening unique and fun?
Any deserving mom can walk the runway, and items for the auction and giveaways will be especially for moms, kids, and families. We will have special performances for guests to enjoy. The event is also unique in the sense that most of us involved are all volunteers (the goal is to have everything at the event done by volunteers) rallied together for one purpose: to raise funds for Kidsave International. I am not a non-profit and not affiliated with Kidsave. I heard about them, met some of the orphaned children and felt compelled to help however way I can.

Thank you Lara!I am a media partner of Runway Moms for the Cause, happily donating my time to help promote this event. I attended Runway Moms for the Cause in 2011 and my husband Chris and I had one of our best nights out ever. I love that the ticket price is accessible for such a luxurious gala, and that all proceeds go to helping children in need. I am also walking as a “mom model” with some phenomenal women in the community.

VIP and general admission tickets are heavily discounted until March 31. I heartily recommend the VIP ticket because at the last event the goodie bag included a couture purse handmade by the amazing Lara!

I also urge businesses to sponsor this event. Sponsorship packages are very reasonable and media partners include small fry like me and big fish like Washingtonian Mom.

Runway Moms for the Cause is the greatest charity event I have attended, and after 20 years of DC fundraisers? Honey, that is saying A LOT.

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  1. Lara Akinsanya says

    Thanks Jessica 🙂

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