Autism Charlotte


Hosted by Carr Bender, a talented 19-year-old successfully navigating life with autism

Every day presents a new opportunity for each of us to discover and further develop into who we're born to be. At Autism Charlotte, we help children with autism tap into their unique gifts, explore their talents and experience their best, brightest, individual selves. Our host, Carr Bender, is an authentic example of that mission realized. This year's event, featuring Luis Machicao's Prêt à Porter collection, honors the power of everyday expression and the possibility born in every sunrise.

Join us for a celebration of the beauty in all of us, as you feast your eyes on sumptuous fashion creations, bid on sensational auction items, and raise your paddle in support of our programs. All proceeds remain in our local community and benefit Charlotte area children living with the challenges of autism.

Friday, March 29th, 2019

Mint Museum, Uptown Charlotte
6:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Entertainment • Auction • Food & Wine • Fashion Show

Presenting Luis Machicao’s S/S 2020 Collection Prêt à Porter

About the Hosts About the Designer

100% of all proceeds benefit Autism Charlotte

Tickets on Sale Now

  • Second or third row seating
  • Valet Parking
Front Row
  • Reserved seat
  • Preferred valet parking
  • + Specialty drink
  • + Elegant swag bag
VIP (Table)
  • Priority valet parking
  • Personal service
  • VIP lounge access
  • + Specialty drink
  • + Champagne
  • + Elegant swag bag
a Donation

CAN'T MAKE IT? If you are unable to attend but would like to support the work and mission of Autism Charlotte, please do so by making an online donation.

Donate Today!
Carr Bender

About the Host

Carr Bender

Neil Carmichael "Carr" Bender, III is a North Carolina native. Although he has lived in many places, he affectionally refers to Wilmington, NC as “home.” At age four, Carr was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and at the age of eight, doctors discovered he was also a type 1 diabetic. The life challenges presented by his diagnoses ignited Carr’s passion for philanthropy at a very young age. He has long been actively involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where he is engaged in fundraising and serves as an advocate for a cure for type 1 diabetes. Carr and his mother, Bridget Harrell, are also supporters of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation and Zac Brown's Camp Southern Ground, both of which are charities that support children with special needs. Carr is a fun-loving, comical, 19-year-old, with the incredible ability to memorize the lines of nearly every movie he’s ever seen. He also performs some rather impressive impersonations. Carr’s passion for film and animation led him to Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, where he is currently in his second year. He drives, lives independently, and is pursuing his life-long dreams. Carr is a true example of what is possible for children with autism when given the needed resources and support. It is our honor to have him as host for our 2019 Couture for a Cause event.

Cheslie Kryst

About the Co-Host

Cheslie Kryst

Miss North Carolina USA 2019

A full-time attorney who specializes in complex civil litigation, Cheslie loves to learn and develop her diverse range of interests. A Division 1 track and field athlete at the University of South Carolina, she graduated cum laude from the honors program before earning both her Juris Doctor and MBA from the Wake Forest University School of Law and Graduate School of Business. In addition to participating in Leadership Charlotte, running 5Ks with her mom and practicing law, she also runs a blog — White Collar Glam — that provides workwear fashion inspiration and resources for women. We are thrilled to have her serve as co-host this year.

Luis Machicao

About the Designer

Luis Machicao

Luis Machicao grew up with one thing on his mind: FASHION. After studying fashion design in his native Peru, Machicao flew to Paris to begin his career. There, everything came together, and he developed a keen sense of how to dress women with impeccable taste. After acquiring significant experience in the fashion capital of the world, Machicao returned to his home country to pursue costume design opportunities in television, soap operas and theatre. After serving as the First Lady of Peru’s resident dressmaker and image consultant, he began showing his collections to celebrities and socialites in seasonal runway presentations. As demand for his work grew, he moved to the United States to open his atelier. In 2014, Machicao was named “Best Designer” at Tiffany’s Paris Fashion Week, and he continues to show his designs everywhere from Charlotte, Texas and Miami to New York, Milan and Barcelona.

See Past Collections

See Last Year's Couture for a Cause Event