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Nadine Jenkins makes heart health fashionable at Project Runway

Feb '10
Campbell Soup Company lit up Project Runway last night with a flourish of red fabric to raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement. Heart disease survivors turned into runway models and served as inspiration for the competing designers, putting faces and names to the disease, the number one killer of women in America. The show's panel of famous judges selected Plano, Texas designer Amy Sarabi's silk red dress as the winner, worn with confidence by American Heart Association ambassador Nadine Jenkins from East Orange, N.J.

Campbell sponsored the Project Runway challenge as part of the company's “AdDress Your Heart” campaign, which has enlisted top fashion designers for the last four years to create Campbell red dresses. The red dress is the celebrated symbol for women's heart health. The company's campaign has also pledged to donate more than $3.6 million to the AHA by 2012.

As style consultant on the show and longtime champion for women's heart health, Tim Gunn was moved by the stories and the inspired designs. “These women truly are role models and should be proud of all that they have accomplished in their fight against heart disease,” said Gunn. “They certainly 'make it work' on and off the runway.”

Jenkins, a 45-year-old mother of four, learned that she suffered a silent heart attack when she was just 33 years-old and had an implantable cardiac defibrillator placed into her chest five years later, at age 37. Jenkins is proud of the steps she's taken to become a heart-disease survivor. “Remember, you can be young and beautiful and still have heart disease, so know your risk factors, eat right, exercise and always love your heart.”

The winning designer, Sarabi, was motivated by Jenkins' perseverance and positive attitude. “I designed a dress to showcase Nadine's confidence and demonstrate her spirit in the fight against heart disease. I am thrilled the judges chose my Campbell red dress design – it's an honor to be a part of such an important cause.”

As part of the reward for winning the challenge, both Jenkins and Sarabi will join Tim Gunn on the red carpet at the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards in New York City on Feb. 10, 2010. In addition, a limited edition replica of Sarabi's winning dress will be sold on ProjectRunway.com with proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association. The dress will also become part of the Campbell red dress collection joining creations by noted designers Nicole Miller, Lisa Perry and Michael Vollbracht for Bill Blass.

Campbell Soup Company

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