Heart Health Takes the Runway
*By Alexandra Pastore
Did you know more women than men die of cardiovascular disease every year? In honor of Heart Month, the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women is raising heart health awareness for females everywhere by strutting down the runway at New York Fashion Week tonight. Celebrities including Kristin Cavallari, Ciara, Tracy Anderson, and Fifth Harmony will model the Red Dress Collection 2015. But the appearance Parents is most excited for? Go Red's youngest ambassador and one of our favorite five-year-olds: Mayhem.
If you don't already know Mayhem and her mom Angie Keiser, let me catch you up. This mother-daughter duo started making dresses a little more than a year ago, using mostly paper and tape. Keiser shared the pictures of the paper dresses on her Instagram, @2sisters_angie. The dresses were modeled off of looks they had seen favorite stars wearing on the red carpet at award shows. The posts were incredibly popular and quickly landed on The Ellen Show and in Vogue. Currently Mayhem and Angie are working on a Crewcuts collection for J. Crew, as well.
Heart health hits close to home for the Keisers. In 1984, Keiser's uncle needed a heart transplant but the operation could not be done in his home state of Ohio, so the family traveled to Houston, Texas for his surgery. Then in 2013, Keiser had her own heart scare. "It was a wake up call," she says. Now she wants other moms to know that stress can cause dramatic changes in your body. "Changes that a lot of us moms ignore because they don't seem like a big deal," Keiser says. "And we've got other people to take care of, so we tend to keep pushing until our bodies reach a breaking point." She hopes participating in the NYFW event for the Red Dress Collection 2015 will expose her daughter Mayhem to the importance of heart health.
This will be Mayhem and Keiser's first year collaborating with Go Red for Women. In the weeks leading up to the fashion show, they have been hard at work posting red, paper dresses on Instagram to promote women's heart health awareness. The two most recent dresses are inspired by red dresses worn by celebrities and admired by Mayhem. There is also a one-of-a-kind original superhero costume designed completely by Mayhem and Keiser. This look is complete with over the knee boots (yes, made of paper!) and a heart detailed, fringe cape. Super Heart Girl's mission? To let women know that a superhero is anyone who learns about heart disease and knows that it is 80 percent preventable.
"Teaming up with Go Red has been a great opportunity to have heart health discussions with Mayhem and engage her in ways to be healthy," says Keiser. Before the red dresses hit the runway tonight, Mayhem will be set up backstage to interview the celebrity models. She will be asking questions on their own heart health experiences and learning more about heart health for herself.
Image provided by Go Red for Women.
Alexandra Pastore is an editorial intern at Parents magazine.