Aviation Art Works & Pin Up Festival
Come Fly With Us!
The Museum of Flying, established in 1974, is the country’s second largest aviation museum. First opened as the Douglas Museum and Library, in 1989 it relocated to its current home neighboring Los Angeles’s oldest operating airport, Santa Monic Municipal. Renamed from Douglas Museum and Library to Museum of Flying, its collection grew and expanded to include more historical artifacts such as WWII fighter aircrafts, Douglas Aircraft Executive Boardroom, Wright Flyer replica, flight simulator, and more!
However, the museum, like many other niche arts, does fight to keep financial afloat, keep their doors open, and continue their valuable education to the masses.
Enter Pinups for American Heroes.
The ladies of Pinups for American Heroes soared in with their passion and drive to deliver the fundraiser’s main entertainment: a vintage-inspired fashion show honoring the popular looks of the 1940s and 1950s with a little rockabilly twist.
Pinups for American Heroes gathered and called their family and friends…and Red Hot Retro. Or more so, we called them! Coming across their announcement for volunteer models on the event’s page, we signed up. Privy to the behind-the-scenes of what it is to put a show, a group, and an overall glamorous affair for the crowds, it was impressive to see the progress of conception to final performance. Michele Abadi and Samantha Wade founded the group in 2015 alongside April Thompson and Mary Bird, and then expanded to five more core members in the last year and half.
“In the spirit of the 1940s USO, we are a group of Pinup Models who make event appearances to raise awareness and funds for the needs of combat vets.”
The group’s spitfire energies were a winning collaborative combo for the museum bringing in 3x the usual weekend attendance in just four hours! In a mere two and half months (what normally takes the group about five or six months) choreographed two shows paying tribute to styles during the peak of aviation innovation. One initial meeting, two rehearsals, and endless supportive communication throughout, the ladies of Pinup for Heroes succeeded in charming the attendees, especially with their final look of pinup military inspired uniforms – their signature vogue.
Our group of models were not all models, but full of heart. And guts. Walking down a runway seems simple, but the power to dominate your personality in each step and the personality of the clothes you’re wearing takes work, practice, and commitment. Every volunteer never hesitated to take the pointers from Samantha, who once ran her own modeling school, and the spirit of Michele, who rallied every participant at every practice and throughout the show. The dynamic duo brought forth a dedicated team. It was an honor to be a part of it. Observing, talking, and laughing amongst strangers who quickly became friends.
Great philanthropy is defined by money, but is founded by will.
Pinup for American Heroes has will in spades.