Annual Back To School Fashion Show Hits The Runway At Maple Grove Community Center

Teen model Katya Cuthbert participated in the 2014 fashion show.

Eleven years ago, Maple Grove Parks and Recreation youth outreach coordinator Tanya Hilger reached out to Jennie Zafft, the marketing manager at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes, with an idea. Hilger was always looking for new and interesting ideas for teens, and saw the development of the Shoppes as a way to link kids and teens with stores that might interest them.

Each year, Hilger and Zafft work collaboratively to reach prospective models (no experience necessary) along with stores that might be a good fit for the fashion show. “We want to encourage any teens with an interest in fashion and clothing to participate,” Hilger says. While there is no entry fee, models do have to commit time. Hilger says her favorite part is the end, but not because the show is over. “With their outfits, hair and makeup done, they’re a little nervous walking on the runway,” she says. “But when it’s all done, I love seeing their smiles and expressions and knowing how much fun they had.”

Echoing Hilger’s remarks, Zafft notes joy in seeing confidence levels increase on the runway. Zafft credits the retailers for making her role in the show a fun experience. “We’re lucky to have [great retailers] in this area,” she says. A true win for all, guests in attendance see the latest trends offered at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes while the models make lifelong memories.


When: August 17
Where: Maple Grove Community Center
Time: Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 admission (free for models)