Arlenis Sosa. All photos Betty/MDC.
At the kind invitation of Arlenis Sosa, OTM flew down this weekend to the Dominican Republic for the double treat of the launch of her charitable foundation in support of pediatric diabetes as well as the launch of DominicanaModa 2009. Day 1 saw our team sitting down to dinner with the Sosa family joined by Eniko Mihalik (who flew down to support her agency mate), the Lancome PR team and Marilyn head honcho Chris Gay at the gorgeous Boca Marina restaurant in Boca Chica. Day 2 was a flurry of morning press conferences and show castings, afternoon rehearsals for the Luis Menieur show and the kick-off ceremonies for Dominicana Moda 09. By nightfall the pool area of El Embajador hotel had been transformed into a neon wonderland of tents and booths to rival 7th On Sixth’s bi-annual extravaganza where Dominican high society milled at the entrance of the Luis Menieur show. That spectacle featured descending elevators that would have made Beyonce glow with envy, an opening stomp by Arlenis followed by turns by her beau Rene Rodriguez as well as Yuri Pleskun (both Request Models),Â IMG’s Austria Alcantara, Eniko, One’s Elisa Sednaoui and the surprise appearance of local baseball mascots that sent the local crowd roaring. Most touching of all was witnessing the well spring of emotions Arlenis’ triumphant homecoming triggered. There was pride, joy, flowing tears and a sense of achievement and hope for forging a path for the Dominican Republic as a future fashion player. Things have happened very fast for Arlenis but for all her physical beauty, the inner beauty of her humility, spirituality and kindness is what will remain with with us as the great discovery of this trip. Now you know where that radiant smile comes from.
At the lovely Boca Marina restaurant with Lancome’s Patricia Reynoso and Alex Sanchez.
The incredible view of Boca Chica beach from the restaurant.
Eniko and Arlenis dance up a storm.
Marilyn’s Chris Gay and Moe B with the lady of the night.
Arlenis and her beautiful parents.
The next morning, getting ready for the press conference, Arlenis gets a wonderful surprise with a Lancome congratulations.
The Arlenis Sosa Foundation will focus on pediatric diabetes in the Santo Domingo area.
Local friends come and support Arlenis at the press conference announcing her foundation.
Arlenis and Patricia.
Arlenis speaks about meeting Annety ledesma a 12 year old local girl with diabetes who inspired her to start her foundation and also about the importance of giving back to the community.
Arlenis gets ready for the evening’s show.
At the run through for the show, we catch Austria in a thoughtful moment.
Top Lancome makeup artist Alex Sanchez works his magic.
We too are big fans of Arlenis, Rene!
Backstage, Elisa Sednaoui hears some secrets.
The text generation.
Rene with designer Luis Menieur.
Post show, a triumphant walk with Arlenis, Rene and the mascots of the pride of DR sports: baseball.
Receiving her Dominicana Moda Award.
The proud and supportive Lancome team, Patricia and Alex
Yuri wipes off the makeup.
The fabulous grounds of the Hotel El Embajador, post show.
Arlenis ends the evening in a lovely Herve Leger dress.