TGen and Saks Fifth Avenue Partner 

To Benefit Women’s Cancer Research

text by Fiona Clarke    event photos by Darrylee Cohen

Above, left to right: Key To The Cure 2018 co-chairs Lisa Portigal, Jan Lewis and Mary Ellen McKee. Photo by Jeffrey Watkins.

Saks Fifth Avenue’s annual fundraising event to benefit women’s cancer research will be held on October 5 at the Phoenix, Biltmore Fashion Park store. The 2018 Co-Chairs are Jan Lewis, Mary Ellen McKee and Lisa Portigal, who along with the Saks team and Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), have planned every detail. The festivities begin early Friday morning with a gourmet breakfast, allowing attendees a chance to mingle and peruse the designer raffle items from Fendi, Jared Lehr, Akris and ETRO among others. Guests then will be treated to an exclusive runway show that showcases the current Fall trends.

“We are honored to be participating in Key to the Cure (KTTC) for the 20th consecutive year. It is a time to join together with our friends in the community to raise awareness and money for cancer research,” says Angela Zdrale, marketing manager for Saks Fifth Avenue, Biltmore Fashion Park.” 

“The 20 year success of  KTTC has been fueled by the generosity of our customers and commitment of our ambassadors, designers, partners and internal team. It is incredibly rewarding to see the results – close to $40 million has been donated to cancer research  and treatment organizations  throughout the United States,” said Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue. “We are honored to have Julia Louis-Dreyfus represent our campaign this year, a woman of strength, courage and levity. Together with the support of Julia and the Carolina Herrera Organization, I’m confident our 20th year will be the most successful yet.”

Top, left and right: Attendees enjoy the fashion show, 2016. Below: Saks Fifth Avenue, Biltmore Fashion Park rolled out the pink carpet, 2016.

The fashion show will highlight the Best of Saks, with special pieces brought in directly from New York. The fashions will transition from day wear to evening wear with Zang Toi gowns closing the show. Designs from Oscar de la Renta, Akris, ETRO, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney, Brunello Cucinelli and Michael Kors will grace the catwalk. “Every item will be from the current season,” shares Zdrale. “After the the runway show, we will be hosting Shop the Show where all the runway ‘looks’ will be available to view and special order.” 

Proceeds from KTTC will be donated to the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).  “Key to the Cure is one of the major fundraising events generating support for breast and ovarian cancer research at TGen,” says Lindsey Kent, event planner for the TGen Foundation, the fundraising arm of nonprofit TGen. “Through this event, Saks helps spread awareness about TGen’s patient-focused mission and specifically how we help local physicians to better diagnose, treat and prevent these devastating diseases.”  

It is important to Saks that this event helps raise money and awareness for a disease that touches everyone, and the relationship between TGen and Saks has strengthened over the years. “We are honored to be able to give a large stage to what TGen does and to raise funds that stay in our community,” adds Zdrale. “We are so fortunate to partner with TGen. Their efforts are saving lives.”

Top, left and right: The runway show featured ETRO fashions, 2017. Bottom, left: Guests Shop the Show. Bottom, right:  Anna Chung and Angela Zdrale, 2017.

“What is really special about Saks, Biltmore Fashion Park is that it takes this event to such an elevated level,” explains Kent.  TGen will receive 100 percent of all ticket sales, 100 percent of sales from the KTTC T-shirts and ten-percent of store sales from October 5 – 7. 

“The proceeds from this event allow TGen the flexibility needed to research women’s cancers and find a cure,” says Kent. “We hope that the guests will come away with a better understanding of the importance of genomic research and what it can mean to their future and the future of their children.” Zdrale adds, “We also hope that they come away with some pretty spectacular fashion ideas for fall.” Both agree, “While this is a serious subject, we also want our guests to have fun!” 

WHEN:  Friday, October 5, 8:30 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.

WHERE:  Saks Fifth Avenue, Biltmore Fashion Park 

ATTIRE:  Stylish

CONTACT:  Lindsey Kent (602) 343-8681 or 

TICKETS: Individual Ticket $150, Diva Ticket $1,500