• Keela Mimbs models a hat and dress from Polka Dotted Pineapple Boutique designed by Dori Eversole Lewis in the Kentucky Derby Fashion Show. Joshua Mimbs/Contributing Photographer
    Keela Mimbs models a hat and dress from Polka Dotted Pineapple Boutique designed by Dori Eversole Lewis in the Kentucky Derby Fashion Show. Joshua Mimbs/Contributing Photographer

SCOUTING AROUND: Local model starts career at Kentucky Derby fashion show

    Louisville, Ky. – For some, the Kentucky Derby is just as much about fashion as it is about the two-minute race. In fact, the event’s website has a whole page dedicated to what to wear – including tips on matching a hat with a dress – and several more pages detailing Derby fashion and its history.
    Murphy’s Keela Mimbs got to be a part of that history when she modeled in the third annual Kentucky Derby Fashion Show in Louisville, part of the festivities leading up to the main event this Saturday.
    Not only was she one of 60 models who made the show out about 300 who auditioned, but it was her fashion show ever.
    “I, first of all, was very nervous,” Mimbs said. “I think it was awesome. I think I had a lot of fun.”
    Mimbs, who is 5-foot-9 at 14 years old, was always more into sports like tennis, scuba diving, mixed martial arts, and dancing. She’s never watched shows like America’s Next Top Model, and the only famous model she can name is Tyra Banks, thanks to her hosting America’s Got Talent.
    “I’ve had people come up to me and say, ‘You’re really pretty,’ but I never imagined something like this,” she said.
    Her brother Joshua lives in Kentucky and told Mimbs and their parents, Greg and Chrystal, that he thought she should audition for the show.
    A positive for Mimbs was that the show was also a benefit for the Live Out Loud Charity. Live Out Loud is a non-profit focused on suicide prevention, anti-bullying and character development. One of Mimbs’ friends had attempted suicide, and she herself was was bullied through school until halfway through her fifth grade, when she and her parents decided to start homeschooling.
    With just a quick training on poise and walking in heels from instructors at Murphy School of Dance, Mimbs auditioned alongside veteran models and pageant titleholders, and was amazed she was called back for the show while some others with more experience were not.
    She got to model two outfits during the show. One was a navy blue formal dress by wedding designer Amanda Mazloum, and the other was a hat and dress from Polka Dotted Pineapple Boutique designed by Dori Eversole Lewis. She said it was comforting seeing her brother at the end of the runway taking photos for the show.
    “She is used to being in front of the camera, but nothing like this,” Chrystal Mimbs said, noting both parents are also professional photographers.
    Mimbs said she didn’t know how much work was involved in being a model, especially rehearsals in which models learn what expression each designer wants them to have on their face, and practice staying in sync with other models as they share the runway.
    “It looks easy, but it’s not that easy,” Mimbs said.
    She has already been selected to walk in New York Fashion Week in September, and the rehearsal for that will be the family’s summer vacation.
    She thinks the shows there will be scarier since there will be a larger audience, but hopes to see models she bonded with in Louisville, and that she gets model for Lewis again.
    Videos of the Kentucky Derby Fashion Show can be found on Live Out Loud Charity’s Facebook page.

Dinner theater
includes art show
    Andrews – Those who missed a chance to purchase art at the 50/50 Show last month will have another opportunity at the Valleytown Cultural Arts and Historical Society’s dinner theater on May 18 at the Valleytown Cultural Arts Center.
    The art show will continue at 5 p.m., followed by ACT2’s production of A Hard Day’s Knight: A Tale of the Table Round at 6 p.m. Audience members are welcomed to dress in their “Renaissance best” for the evening.
    The comedy full of puns stars Aidan West as Gareth who, with some help from Jester (played by Blake Williams) convinces King Arthur (played by Mitch Briggs) to allow him to go on a quest to rescue the sister of Lady Evelyn (played by Marie Fierro).
    A medieval feast will be prepared by the Andrews High School Food II Enterprise class.
    Tickets for the show are $25 and will benefit the center’s air conditioner fund. For tickets, call 361-2781.    
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by email, scoutingaround@cherokeescout.com; fax, 837-5832; or by leaving a message in the office at 837-5122.

The Cherokee Scout

Mailing Address:
89 Sycamore St. 

Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-837-5122
Fax: 828-837-5832