You must tip your hat in admiration to Rita Miles, for she is a busy woman. While her background is in commercial and residential interior design (which she actively utilizes in her company Miles Interiors), Miles founded the events and promotional company Charlotte Seen last year to help create more visibility for local charities. Her current project is the upcoming April 16 event Passport for Fashion, to be held at Reel Works at the N.C. Music Factory, benefiting A Child's Place.
Creative Loafing: What is Charlotte Seen's role in nightlife?
Rita Miles: We promote events as well as do events, many centered around charities, fashion shows, cuisine and wine. We supply red carpet treatment to the most exclusive VIP events in Charlotte, such as Bartenders' Ball, and recently CIAA parties with R. Kelly and Nicki Minaj and a launch party for Cirque du Soleil. Our mission is to promote only the hottest VIP events, as well as pushing the awareness of charities. We connect the Charlotte elite while supporting local businesses and charities.
Who do you consider to be the Charlotte elite?
The Charlotte elite is a young professional to mid-age professional, one that might be in the banking, media or fashion industry. One that just enjoys life and likes going out and making sure we develop Charlotte's nightlife scene to make people want to move here. Three years ago, it was like, "Atlanta, you should move to Atlanta." We're moving up, because people are pushing the envelope to make that happen. That's why the Democratic convention is coming here next year — that's huge.
Tell us about Passport for Fashion.
At the beginning of the evening, everyone that arrives gets a passport. They go through and get their picture on the red carpet. Then they will enter a big studio where all the high-end restaurants will be: Enso for Japan, Brio for Italy, Ruth's Chris for America, San Antonio's for Spain, Amelie's for France, Basil Thai for Thailand and Crave for fusion. So they're going to go around the world and taste the cuisine and wine and sake and beverages for two hours. Then people will go through Customs. Once they go through Customs, each person gets their passport stamped and then go into another huge studio, where a 55-foot long, elevated runway is for the fashion shows. Because of my design background, I love to see everything come together aesthetically. So it will be a night of mingling, fine cuisine, wine tasting and fabulous fashion shows.
What kind of fashions can we expect?
The sponsor of this event is Gilbert Iron & Steel. And what he does is recycle metal, aluminum, things like that. With that in mind, I wanted to go green on the runway. In three shows, you'll see models in metal, paper, plastic, bottle caps, and anything the local artist [commissioned by a business] is using. For example, Michael Kors is doing a dress out of their shopping bags. Mercedes is doing it out of their old brochures. But not only will there be three recyclable/reinvention shows during the night, the other five shows will be local high-end fashion designers.