Houston Snapshots

A Fundraising Labor of Love for an Iconic Houston Post Oak Clothier!

Event Date:  November 4, 2022
Location:  Omni Houston Hotel
Event:  Gala
No. of Attendees:  550
Money Raised:  $550,000
Honorary Chair:  Debbie Festari
Chairpersons:  Alice Mao Brams and Stacey Lindseth
Emcee:  Dominique Sachse
Photography:  Quy Tran, Charlie Horse Photos and Steven Traylor

A Fundraising Labor of Love for an Iconic Houston Post Oak Clothier!

Over twenty-five years ago, Debbie and Rudy Festari, owners of Festari for Men, were looking for ways to give back to their community for the blessings given to them. Rudy and his fine men’s clothing boutique located on prestigious Post Oak Blvd. has been a staple for close to three decades and he has dressed some of Houston’s finest. The annual event they created “Una Notte in Italia,” (A Night in Italy) celebrity men’s fashion show and gala has been one of the hottest and most well-attended fêtes every November with tickets and tables selling out months in advance!

The event became a labor of love for the Festaris and they tried to make the experience special for each man who was selected to walk the runway, whether it was a prominent businessman or a celebrity athlete. From the time and effort that went into the fittings, to writing bios that speak to the accolades of each model and giving encouragement as they walked the runway to their favorite song choices in front of a crowd of more than 500 guests that cheered them on, the couple were masters at producing a fabulous show! And through the years they have worked to make it all look seamless from the audience’s perspective.

Once again, this year’s gala, and sadly the last, was a fun and fabulous night of all things Italian! Chaired by Alice Mao Brams and Stacey Lindseth, with Honorary Chair Debbie Festari at the helm, the event raised a record-breaking $550,000 to benefit Children at Risk! Upon arrival, McLaren and Lamborghini Houston greeted attendees with an opportunity to view their stylish luxury vehicles. The Omni Houston Hotel ballroom, decorated in silver and green Roman-style décor, was filled with over 550 guests who enjoyed Italian cuisine, Veneno Tequila libations, a premier bar and lively live and silent auctions.

Men taking part in the “fashion strut” to thundering applause were Dr. Matthew BramsAl LindsethMo AzizJames Lassiter, Travis Torrence, Dr. Courtney El-ZokmDr. Roland MaldonadoKayvon SohrabiDonald BowersPete BellPablo DelgadoMatthew HurleyRobert Bailey and Ajay Khurana with son Shaan, to name a few.  The athletes gracing the stage included Brian ChingGerrie LabuschagneJonathan OwensAustin DeculusGarret Wallow, and Rafael Stone with son Gerard.

After the show, Auctioneer Johnny “Bravo” Holloway took over the stage and began the live auction of premier items, the first of which received a $100,000 bid to start things off, courtesy of handsome couple Ginny and Dustin Bailey!

Over the more than twenty-five years, the Festari’s annual “Una Notte in Italia” has benefited several different charities. Some of those have included Bo’s Place, Family Services of Greater Houston, Houston Area Women’s Center and others. Through their efforts, the couple has raised millions of dollars for so many worthy causes! Their roster of top celebrity athletes who have walked the runway for charity have included J.J. WattTyrann MathieuJeff BagwellCraig BiggioAlex BregmanLance McCullersMatt LeinartMario ElieKenny SmithMatt Schaub and so many more! Congratulations to Debbie and Rudy Festari, their many sponsors and those who have religiously supported this event for over two decades. What a legacy they imprinted on our community!

Socially present (not previously mentioned):  Brigitte KalaiMelissa and Michael MithoffJennifer & Chad PinkertonIraida & Danny BrownRachel BagwellMelissa JuneauHallie VanderhiderCarl LewisCourtney HopsonBen BergEsther & Hugo GuerreroLara Bell & Brent MilamChristine & Steve Johnson, Kristen Cannon and Devika Kornbacher

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