Fashion + Fiesta in Lionshead Saturday |

Fashion + Fiesta in Lionshead Saturday

Courtney Riley
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/ Mark Ridenour Prosper StudioBallet Folklorico Dancers twirl their bright, colorful costumes as they perform a traditional Mexican dance last year at the South of the Border Fiesta. Dancers will again entertain guests throughout the day Saturday.

LIONSHEAD – A jalapeno eating contest, a salsa competition and a … fashion show? Those are three things you don’t often see paired together, but that didn’t stop the organizers of this weekend’s South of the Border Fiesta from combining them into one event. This year, for the first time in the event’s three-year history, the fashion show will include a winner from a past season of America’s Next Top Model. Jessica Serfaty, a previous winner of the popular network television show, will model in the South of the Border Fiesta fashion show in Lionshead Saturday afternoon. The show will take place on the ice rink at Arrabelle at Vail Square at 1:30 p.m. Guests can take pictures with the models after the show.

“I’m really stoked about getting to come see Vail,” Serfaty said. “The people there are so chill and charming. Being able to hang out with all of them again is going to be really nice.”

Serfaty wanted to come to the event last year, but it didn’t work out.

“This year everything just kind of lined up and worked out perfectly,” she said. “I’m excited to get to talk to other models about the industry and how it is out there.”

Since winning the title of “America’s Next Top Model” in 2010, Serfaty has been in music videos, TV commercials and gotten plenty of modeling gigs. She said she is excited that the fashion show in Vail is going to be different from the runway she’s used to in Los Angeles and New York.

“I’ll get to meet a lot of new girls and see what modeling is like over there,” she said. “There are great people backing the fashion show, and it’s going to be exciting to be a part of it.”

Lourdes Ferzacca, the president of the Chamber, said last year’s show was fantastic and the event has grown each year since it started in 2009. This year she expects about 6,000 people to attend.

“It’s a good way to represent the business community,” Ferzacca said. “It really grew to be a pretty big thing.”

Cabal Yarne, the manager of Arriesgado Clothing Company Ltd., has been putting on the fashion show since its first year. Despite the fact a fashion show and a Mexican fiesta don’t necessarily go hand in hand, Yarne said people definitely enjoy attending the event.

“Somehow it seems to blend into everything,” he said. “It’s fun and people like it, so we keep doing it. A fiesta is a party, so why not have a fashion show party with it?”

Twenty-four models will participate this year, including Serfaty and local, up-and-coming models. Clothes from various stores throughout the valley will be represented.

“The goal is to get as many Vail stores involved as possible,” Yarne said.

Wendy Regan, a local model who has been in the fashion show each year, said it’s very beneficial for the valley.

“It bring a lot of tourists,” she said. “I really like the concept, and it’s great working with Cabal and all the businesses in the village. I love it.”

The event is always fun and perfect for the whole family because there are so many activities going on, and plenty of good food, she said. Last year she particularly enjoyed La Tour’s “amazing” tacos.

This year the Ballet Folklorico Dancers form Denver and a Mariachi band will be performing throughout the day. There will be salsa tasting from Noon to 2 p.m., a jalapeno eating contest at 1 p.m. and a pinata breaking at 3:30 p.m. There will also be arts and crafts for the kids, and free face painting. Forms for entering the salsa competition can be found at the South of the Border Fiesta’s website, and participants need to provide a gallon of salsa.

The fashion show is also a competition. The winner will get to model on the cover of the Vail Valley Magazine’s winter issue.

In the past, the winner has been chosen by judges not involved in the fashion show. They looked at criteria such as interviewing skills, performing well during photo shoots, and being willing to model anything the vendors ask them to wear.

“The winner was chosen by their whole character, not just based on their beauty,” Yarne said. “This year it will probably be close to the same.”

The models’ hair will be styled by Nick Mahaffey from Bliss, and employees from Cos Bar will do the girls’ makeup.

“People don’t realize the amount of effort that goes into hair and makeup,” Yarne said. “Everybody helping out is donating their time, and it’s a fun thing for people who like fashion.”

Diana Honey Kiss will emcee the event for the second year in a row.

“I think it’s an honor to be invited back,” she said. “The girls modeling last year did an excellent job. The clothes they wore really represented each store. I felt like I was on Project Runway.”

Kiss has been working in radio for about 20 years and has been a member of the community for 29.

“I’m prepared,” she said. “You have to be on top of your game. It’s about having it together and thinking on your feet. With my radio experience, that’s pretty easy for me.”

She said the event brings the whole community together.

“It’s just darn fun because the energy is good,” she said.

Kiss is also looking forward to participating in the show with her daughter. Jillian, who is modeling in the show for a second time.

“It’s just fun showcasing all these really, really beautiful clothes from the amazing stores in the valley,” Jillian Kiss said. “It’s a good bonding thing with my mom, especially since I’m going away to college in the fall.”

Courtney Riley is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments to

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