By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

Red dresses, heart signs and dance steps all traveled down the runway Thursday night as celebrity models showed their support in kicking heart disease by kicking off New York’s Fashion Week.

Celebrity models, actresses, social influencers and musical artists all donned red designer gowns — and a couple of pantsuits — at the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2018, presented by Macy’s.

The show, held at the Hammerstein Ballroom, was hosted by Marisa Tomei and featured musical performances by Tony Award winner and Disney legend Lea Salonga and R&B-pop group En Vogue. Salonga wore Oliver Tolentino, while En Vogue members wore Michael Costello with fishnet hose and boots.

Wearing Carmen Marc Valvo during her opening remarks and Alice + Olivia on the runway, Tomei spoke about the importance of women’s health.

She told of the startling underrepresentation in clinical research involving women and the role gender plays in health.

The diversity of the celebrity models stretched from women in their 20s to their 80s and mirrored how cardiovascular disease strikes women of all ages and colors.

Supermodel Niki Taylor flashed heart signs at the crowd and wore a dress cut deep in the back created by Badgley Mischka.

Actress Marion Ross, wearing a pantsuit by Karen Millen, danced along the stage to both the theme song of “Happy Days” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

Kathy Ireland wore a velvet gown by Rubin Singer, while Maye Musk wore a sharply cut wig and a sequined pantsuit. Ginger Zee wore fashion incubator Lia Larrea and highlighted her baby bump as she went down the catwalk.

Other celebrity models included: Adrienne Bailon Houghton in Galia Lahav; CeCe Winans in Nicholas K; Liz Hernandez in Jay Godfrey; Elizabeth Rohm in fashion incubator Dur Doux; Grace Helbig in Sachin & Babi; Kate Walsh in Rubin Singer; Lynn Whitefield in Terani Couture; Melissa Joan Hart wore John Paul Ataker; Rachel Lindsay wore Pamelia Roland; Tatyana Ali wore fashion incubator Gidi; and Zuri Hall wore Catherine Regehr.

Also joining the celebrities on the runway were heart disease survivors Karen A. Hill of Washington, D.C., who is living with cardiomyopathy, and Lilly Rocha of Pasadena, California, who survived a heart attack at the age of 37.

The Red Dress Collection was founded in 2003 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Heart Truth Campaign in partnership with America’s top fashion designers. The event has been presented by Macy’s since 2014.

Beautiful women in beautiful designer gowns put the issue of women and heart disease in the national spotlight. Every 80 seconds a woman dies of a cardiovascular disease, making it the leading killer among women.

The Red Dress Collection has previously been worn by such celebrity models as: Kris, Kendall and Kylie Jenner; Giada DeLaurentis; Lucy Lawless; Zendeya; Barbara Eden; Rosie O’Donnell; Laverne Cox; Alexa Rae Joel; Olivia Culpo; Juliette Lewis; CCH Pounder; Fran Drescher; Florence Henderson; Misty Copeland; and Kelly Osborne.

Designers who have participated include: Zac Posen; Oscar de la Renta; Carolina Herrera; Marchesa; Badgley Mischka; Carmen Marc Valvo; Pamella Roland; and Donna Karan.

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.