Conscious party: Condom Couture

SAFETY FIRST, FASHION SECOND: Multiple Planned Parenthood branches build fundraisers around the Condom Couture theme, which sees local designers making runway-ready garments out of condoms. Asheville's Charles Josef created this little black dress worn by model Tess Cailynn Miller. Photo courtesy of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic

WHAT: Condom Couture, a fashion show to benefit Planned Parenthood South Atlantic of Asheville

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m.

WHERE: New Mountain

WHY: Planned Parenthood South Atlantic is touting the benefits of wearing one condom by dressing models in hundreds of them. “It’s a runway show,” says Nikki Harris, the nonprofit’s director of philanthropy for Western North Carolina. “The idea is fashionable, wearable art.”

Thirteen designers are participating in Asheville’s 2016 Condom Couture, and each of their garments must employ at least 500 of the popular contraceptives. “They can use other fabrics and modes, but it has to be predominantly condoms,” Harris says. “It’s a pretty challenging medium to work with. It’s definitely a labor of love for a lot of people.”

Though this is Harris’ first year working on Asheville’s Condom Couture, the outfits created at a Charlotte-based iteration of the event “looked like truly couture pieces” to her surprise. In addition to their quirky fashion applications, condoms are the best birth control method to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, she points out.

Studio Zahiya’s Lisa Zahiya will emcee for the evening in addition to coordinating an opening dance routine. And after a troupe of models struts onstage to the tunes of DJ Marley Carroll, the latex clothing line will go up for live auction.

Also speaking at the show is Planned Parenthood South Atlantic CEO Jenny Black. The group of 15 health centers under her watch spans four states and includes an office at 68 McDowell St. in Asheville, where free condoms are readily distributed (in quantities of far fewer than 500).

Visit for further information and tickets ($25). All ticket sales and sponsor revenues plus 85 percent of auction revenues will fund the local office’s efforts to reduce teen pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections and to expand health and educational services.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Conscious party: Condom Couture

  1. boatrocker

    For the message, yes! Responsible birth control and choices.

    For image- no thanks for Gen Y thousand yard stare borderline bulimic models.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.