Eco-friendly designer dress sale raises over $20,000 for Alzheimer’s research


Katheryn Lopez-Chavez

One of the many models in the Dress Flip Fashion Show showcases the work of one of five local fashion designers. Photo by Kylie Squiers/the Gateway

Max I. Walker Cleaners & Launderers hosted the 13th annual Ultra Chic Boutique on Saturday, Feb. 1 to raise proceeds to benefit the Nebraska Alzheimer’s Association Chapter. Approximately 750 dresses were sold for $30 each, raising $21,597 for Alzheimer’s research.

This year’s total exceeded the 2019 event by almost $4,000. This marks the third year Max I. Walker has partnered with the Association for the fundraiser, with the 2018 and 2019 events raising a total of $38,000, according to the Max I. Walker website.

Max I. Walker’s employees attentively cleaned, pressed and stored the dresses donated by their customers and community members. The dress inventory of over 3,000 garments included cocktail, prom, homecoming, bridesmaid and wedding gowns, creating a more sustainable and inexpensive shopping experience.

The inventory included dresses from designer labels Vera Wang, Hayley Paige and Maggie Sottero – some never worn with the tags still attached – and ranged from sizes 0 to 26.

Five local fashion designers also competed in the Dress Flip Fashion Show to showcase their skills on the runway. In the competition, designers were required to construct a new dress with an assortment of dresses from the Ultra Chic Boutique dress inventory. The winner of the Dress Flip competition received a $500 prize.

Max I. Walker collaborated with two UNO Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) students, Mars Nevada and Kylie Squiers, on a social media influencer campaign to increase public awareness of the charity event.

“Being part of the first ever Ultra Chic Influencer campaign was a blast. I had the honor to take photos and manage the influencers, shoot the event and even create a promo video,” said Kylie Squiers, the PRSSA vice president of social media.

UNO PRSSA students also helped promote the Ultra Chic Boutique during the event by posting frequent updates and live streams on Max I. Walker’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

“PRSSA looks forward to doing the campaign next year,” Squiers said.

Members of the Omaha community or surrounding communities can volunteer or contribute to the 2021 Ultra Chic Boutique by visiting the Max I. Walker webpage for more information.