If Minka Kelly was nervous about walking in Wednesday’s Heart Truth Red Dress Show at New York Fashion Week, she definitely wasn’t showing it. The actress hit the runway in a glimmering, custom creation by Diane von Furstenberg, and was met with cheers from the adoring crowd.
Kelly got involved with the annual show through sponsor Diet Coke, once the company asked her to be their celebrity ambassador. “Before I got involved I didn’t know that heart disease was the number-one killer of women,” she told PEOPLE exclusively (hear more in the clip above). “If I get one girl to go to the gym one day more often than she does … then I’ve done a good job.”
Joining Kelly on the catwalk were stars like Christie Brinkley (in Pamella Roland), Jenna Elfman (in Alberta Ferretti), Rebecca Romijn (in Marchesa), Rose McGowan (in Donna Karan) and Elisabeth Röhm (in Nicole Miller). “I’m excited for Chaka Khan and I’m excited for Gloria Estefan,” Kelly revealed before the show. “I’m such a huge fan of both of them, so I’m so honored to be in their company.”
The scene backstage was lots of fun: the seventh floor of New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom was transformed into a giant salon, with hair stylists from Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa, makeup artists from Bobbi Brown and nail guru Deborah Lippmann running between celebrities to primp and perfect. (Check out our Pinterest page for some behind-the-scenes photos.)
The Red Dress Show — now in its 10th year — raises awareness about heart disease and the Red Dress, unveiled by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in 2002 as a symbol for the cause. For more information on prevention, and the campaign, visit hearttruth.gov.
And to help in the fight, pick up a four-pack of Diane von Furstenberg’s limited edition Diet Coke bottles ($30), sold throughout the month of February; 100 percent of proceeds will benefit the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.