A Dallas Community Leader in Paris — Vickie Yakunin Takes Us Inside An Unforgettable Fashion Week With Akris

A Whirlwind of Poppies and Power Suits

BY // 12.01.23

Vickie Yakunin had plenty to celebrate in the fall of 2023. Fresh off the heels of a triumphant North Texas Giving Day, which raised $63.9 million for local nonprofits, the head of community affairs for the Dallas Region at Amazon (which has served as the presenting sponsor for NTGD since 2021) was whisked off to Paris Fashion Week. Yakunin was one of just five women chosen by Swiss luxury fashion house Akris as guests for a whirlwind trip, each of whom represented a U.S. boutique — Atlanta, New York, Boston, Palm Beach, and the Dallas store in Highland Park Village.

“Every detail was taken care of, from the moment the driver picked me up at my place to the moment he dropped me back off,” shares Yakunin, who almost exclusively sports the brand’s business wear.

Ahead, Yakunin shares some of the photo highlights of her philanthropic and fashionable fall 2023 with PaperCity.

Vickie Yakunin (second from left, celebrating 15 years of North Texas Giving Day. (photo by Jason Janik)

North Texas Giving Day | September, 2023

Just before departing for Paris, Yakunin gathered at Community Partners of Dallas to celebrate the 15th annual North Texas Giving Day, which raised $63.9 million for 3,249 organizations.

“It’s a really great reminder of how philanthropic the Dallas community is,” Yakunin says. “That night, I had guests with me from The Miami Foundation. They were there to observe — they were basically sent here to see how it’s done.”

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Akris Fittings

Ahead of the Paris trip, Yakunin visited the Highland Park Village Akris store to be outfitted for the weekend.

“The boutique director Teresa [Moeller] asked me to bring my favorite Akris pieces that I owned for inspiration,” Yakunin adds. “Akris does a lot of power suits, but I’m very much a dress and skirt person. We had mimosas and it was very fun.”

Dinner With Akris at Girafe | First Night in Paris

The Eiffel Tower’s nightly light show dazzled during the group’s first dinner.

“What was so great about that evening was that it was every boutique director and their guest, but then we also got to hang with the Akris’ global CEO [Melissa Beste] and with the U.S. CEO [Peter Herink],” explains Yakunin. “Dinner was fabulous. The food was great, the view was great, the conversation was great… it was 11 pm before I knew it.”

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Vickie Yakunin with other U.S. boutique guests at Akris’ Spring-Summer 2024 runway show during Paris Fashion Week.

The Akris Spring-Summer 2024 Show at Paris Fashion Week | October 1, 2023

For the Spring-Summer 2024 collection, Akris creative director Albert Kriemler designed an ode to the work of Felice (Lizzi) Rix-Ueno, a late Austrian artist whose textiles are finally beginning to get the recognition they deserve. Her whimsical poppy print was Kriemler’s greatest inspiration for the Spring-Summer 2024 collection, featuring graphic power suits, playful pajamas, and a stunning white tent dress adorned with Rix-Ueno’s design for an Easter bonbon box (Easter Bonbonnière).

The whole scene was amazing. Just so amazing,” shared Yakunin. “It was definitely one of those bucket list moments.”

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A Tour of the Akris Showroom in Paris

Of all the moments in her packed itinerary, a visit to Akris’ Paris showroom was a highlight for Yakunin.

“It was incredible to be in Paris and be able to participate in Paris Fashion Week, but I will never forget the showroom experience,” she recalls. “Just being able to touch all of the clothes and see them up close. I’ll never forget that experience.”

Albert Kriemler, the Swiss designer who joined the family business in 1980 (his grandmother, Alice Kriemler-Schoch created Akris in 1922), made an equally strong impression. “He was so warm and asked such thoughtful questions,” Yakunin adds. “I was so impressed by how available he was.”

When he asked her what she liked at the showroom, Yakunin pointed to a poppy print that she absolutely loved, but not in its wide leg pant form. “I asked if he could make a skirt with the beautiful print and he said, ‘Yes, Of course!’”

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