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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Amber Lounge Fashion Show 2021 – The show must go on…

Amber Lounge Fashion Show 2021 – The show must go on…

Getting closer to the highly anticipated Monte-Carlo Grand Prix, I decided to catch up with Sonia Irvine, the amazing lady behind the famous Amber Lounge Fashion Show. 

The Amber Lounge Fashion Show is the world-renowned annual event which brings together the world of Fashion and motorsport. F1 drivers and the Ladies of F1 take to the catwalk under the watchful eye of the world’s international media. But the night is more about just fashion. 

Amber Lounge’s charity auction held during the Fashion Show has raised more than USD 6 million for charitable organisations, including Sir Jackie Stewart’s ‘Race Against Dementia’, the Elton John Aids Foundation, Special Olympics, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and Make a Wish Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

Due to the pandemic, this important fashion show was canceled last year. This year, however, in 2021 the Monaco Grand-Prix is taking place again and for this reason, I was happy to catch up with Sonia.

France just extended the lockdown, how do you prepare for the Amber Lounge Fashion Show?

It’s been extremely challenging to say the least, the rules and regulations continue to change, day by day, week by week, so we just do our best to be flexible, working & planning within the restrictions and keep positive that it will all work out in the end.

Our Floor plan for the Fashion Show has changed as many as 20 times now, but thankfully the Grimaldi Forum have been really supportive in keeping us up to speed with the rule changes and their COVID working policies.

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
F1 driveras at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show

A lot of our suppliers and partners who come from abroad are unable to make it to the event this year, so we have had to be agile and forge new relationships with new local partners. Again you can take the sit back and let it all happen approach and give up, or think, OK we can’t run in the normal way, but we can do it slightly differently this way!

What can we expect this year during the fashion show and the auction? Do you have any special guests? Special items?

We have just announced our new Charity for 2021 Caudwell Children and some of our outstanding auction lots, which will feature some incredible experiences such as RenewyouAsia & Private Island stay, a one of a kind Michael Schumacher limited edition 1 kg gold coin, HATT et SÖNER bespoke champagne, to name a few. You will have to stay tuned for other amazing auction items being announced very, very soon!

As always we look forward to welcoming all our guests to the show. Although it may be challenging for some of our international guests to make this year.

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Amber Lounge Fashion Show

Please tell us more about the supported charities and the reason why they are important for you.

It’s extremely important that we support charities that are close to my heart and resonate with me and then hopefully with the F1 community who so graciously give up their time for the fashion show as well as guest attending who give up their money! Creating the Amber Lounge Fashion show was one of my proudest moments, we use our platform to make a real difference to people’s lives, it is Amber Lounge’s way of giving back.

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Charity auction at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show

This year we are partnering with Caudwell children as our charity which is really exciting.

Caudwell children’s mission is to change the futures of all disabled children providing access to the services, equipment, therapies and treatments they need. To increase awareness and understanding of the needs of disabled children across the UK and to enable disabled children to lead an active and independent life reaching their full potential.

John and Modesta continue to do amazing Philanthropic work and I am looking forward to working with them to generate funds for there charity.

Prince Albert II at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Prince Albert II at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show

Do you plan only the fashion show, or the regular dinner and after-party as well?

It unlikely that we will be able to run a normal Amber Lounge after party, which is understandable given the current circumstances.

The fashion show is confirmed and we hope to be able to incorporate the dining element as well. The show will take the usual format, maybe a bit earlier dependent again on what time we have to finish dining which occurs directly after the show. If time is limited then we will simply run the fashion and dining at the same time and give our guests a totally new experience. There is always a way …. Most of the time ☺

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Amber Lounge Fashion Show

We continue to do our upmost to deliver a memorable experience to our clients within the constraints of COVID-19.

Who is the selected fashion designer?

In 2021 we are working with various exciting partners, to mention a few; we have support from Gulf Oil International, Oribe hair care products, Monaco designer Inessa with her swimwear collection. We are also about to sign an exciting partnership in relation to the designer element, so again watch this space.

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Amber Lounge Fashion Show

Can we see you and your daughter again on the catwalk?

Haha, yes absolutely my youngest daughter Katie gets so excited every year to walk the catwalk, there is no element of shyness about her, she normally incorporates a few flips or her latest gymnastic moves, which make the audience laugh! Last year she wanted to flip into the water to splash Prince Albert but was talked out of it by her nanny! Let’s see what she does this year, I never ask I like the element of surprise!

Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Amber Lounge Fashion Show

Interested to join and support the charities? The Amber Lounge Fashion Show will take place on Friday, May 21, 2021.
For further information please visit the Official Website.

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Zsolt Szemerszky is an independent Monaco Advocate & Revenue Specialist with 10 years experience in the Principality of Monaco. As an author of multiple books on Monaco, Zsolt is guiding new residents through the relocation process. He also helps businesses to navigate on Monaco's "water" and to create revenue productive strategies in order to capitalise their highest potentials.

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