Guys in heels strut their stuff for charity

Scores of men strutted their stuff for charity on Friday, donning high heels to parade through Camana Bay for the annual “A Walk in Her Shoes” fundraiser for the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.

The town center was transformed into a catwalk for the evening as men of all shapes and sizes put their best foot forward for one of Cayman’s quirkier fashion shows.

Men in all kinds of elegant footwear, from thigh-high red leather boots to chunky platforms, tottered down the street as crowds of onlookers wolf whistled, cat called and recorded the evidence on camera phones.

Many men chose not only to “walk in her shoes” but to squeeze into her dress and fish net stocking and wear her make up as well, making for an entertaining spectacle.

The event, to coincide with International Women’s Day, has a serious side, with all proceeds going to the Crisis Centre, which provides support and shelter to women impacted by domestic violence.

Some of the men carried posters with the message, “real men empower women” or “real men beat eggs.”

Michelle Lockwood, chair of the Crisis Centre’s fundraising committee, said she was hoping to raise $55,000 by the time all the donations are collected and counted. She said the event was central to funding the critical support the charity provides to victims of abuse in Cayman.

‘We went all out’

Delano Eksteen chose a classic little black dress and blonde wig to take his part in the parade. He was among a group from KPMG that raised more than $6,000 collectively through their participation in the race.

He said they had started off promising to wear heels and upped the ante every time the fundraising hit a new milestone.

“Once we got up to $5,000, we had agreed to wear wigs, dresses and make-up. We went all out,” he said.

His colleague Justin May opted for a flamboyant off-the-shoulder, animal-print number and chunky heels.

“It is awesome to raise awareness for all those beautiful ladies out there. Now I understand exactly how they feel when they kick off their shoes at the end of the day and just go ‘ahhhhh,’” Mr. May.

Matt Lee and Joe Cordero were among a joint group from NCB and Dart working together on the OLEA residential development, who paired their heels with the regular construction worker garb, complete with hard hats.

Team KPMG raised over $6,000 by promising to don dresses and makeup as well as high heels.

Mr. Cordero said walking in heels had worked muscles he did not know he had.

“I don’t know how women do it,” he added.

“It was a lot of fun and a great organization to support.”

Taraq Bashir, who took part in the parade with some of his colleagues from government, brought some flair to the occasion, with lipstick and eyeliner, supplied by the Eclipze Hair Design and Day Spa.

“Sashaying in heels is a strange feeling. I understand how women feel now,” he said.

“I got involved because I want to support the Crisis Centre.”

Ms. Lockwood said the concept was designed as a light-hearted way of bringing attention to serious issues and encouraging men to support and empower women.

Key sponsors for the event included Dart, The West Indies Wine Club, Abacus and Caybrew.

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