SC: French fashion designer likes Detroit’s taste

Chuck Bennett
Fashion designer Roland Mouret, left, with philan­thropist Stephanie Zekelman.

French fashion designer likes what he sees in Detroit

Acclaimed French fashion designer Roland Mouret made a first-time visit to Metro Detroit on Tuesday for an elegant luncheon to benefit Transition to Betterness, a grass-roots, Canadian community organization dedicated to ensuring comfort for patients living with cancer. The always-glamorous Stephanie Zekelman, who lives in Bloomfield Hills and Windsor, invited about 50 of her fashionista girlfriends to Forest in Birmingham to meet Roland and see and purchase items from his striking 2017 resort collection. As the ladies noshed on bronzino with quinoa and pine nut salad, stunning models from the RGA Talent Agency strutted through the room showing the clothes that have often been described as “irresistible to women.” “I was so excited and surprised to learn that Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy sells more of my collection than any other store,” admits Roland, who mentored Victoria Beckham into her lucrative design career. “That speaks volumes about the style and sophistication of this town. It’s no wonder Detroit is making such a dynamic comeback.” Saks Fifth Avenue, which will donate a portion of the sales from the luncheon to T2B.

Rachel O’Neill, left, and African Chief Theresa Kachindamoto will be at the Big Dinner.

Big Dinner has big dreams for African villages

Theresa Kachindamoto, a female senior chief in Malawi, Africa, who presides over a district of 900,000 people, will be in Detroit as keynote speaker for a spectacular event called the Big Dinner, which benefits Little Dresses for Africa. The party is Nov. 12 at Metro City Church, Riverview Campus. “It’s limited to the first 500 ticketholders, and the evening promises not only good food, but an array of passionate messages through word and song,” explains Rachel O’Neill, founder of Little Dresses for Africa. “Chief Kachindamoto is following the call to abolish child marriages in her district. Following dinner, she will share personal stories of her journey to empower and protect the young women of Malawi.” Entertainment will be provided by Chad Dohring. The Big Dinner is hosted by Little Dresses for Africa, Brownstown, and is part of the global Big Dinner event held in homes, schools, churches and halls all across the world on Nov. 12. Each event will provide 12 villages with clean water, education and community. “We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending hope,” O’Neill says. Tickets can be purchased online at

Chris Ayotte as Elvis.

Supper club show with a twist

Elvis? Frank Sinatra? Dean Martin? Tom Jones? Nope, just GM advertising exec Chris Ayotte doing his fun moonlighting gig as a pretty darn good impersonator of the aforementioned iconic crooners. Chris did a supper club-style show at Angelo Brother’s Banquet Hall in Westland on Saturday that carried an unexpected surprise — especially for his girlfriend of three years, Kiki Gleneski. Somewhere in between Dean Martin and Tom Jones, Chris presented Kiki with a box of Godiva Chocolates, followed by a bouquet of flowers. And then he asked her to join him center stage, where he got down on one knee and proposed marriage. Her answer was, “Yes!”

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.