Alexander Rossi (Photo courtesy
American driver Alexander Rossi will be in Austin next week for Austin Fashion Week's kick-off event, "Shift Into Style," which is being presented by Circuit of The Americas and the Circuit Events Host Committee

// Alexander Rossi

Most American F1 fans are quite familiar with Alexander Rossi as he is the only American currently with an FIA super license, the license all F1 drivers must hold to participate in F1. With such credentials, he is Test Driver for the Caterham F1 Team and competing for Arden Caterham in the Renault 3.5 series, part of the World Series by Renault, the championship in which he finished third in his rookie season in 2011. In addition to an impressive resume in motorsports, Rossi has earned 136 starts with an extremely impressive 38 wins and 33 pole positions. American fans embrace Rossi as he is the most immediate and promising future American F1 driver - something that we haven't seen since Scott Speed in 2007.

Born in California and currently residing in the UK, Rossi understands the important role fashion plays in international motorsport events. F1 drivers are frequently sought after by corporate sponsors for endorsements and advertising campaigns, and Rossi’s elite status has exposed him to opportunities in the fashion industry through print and runway modeling.

// Shift Into Style

On Friday, August 10, Austin's annual week of fashion will kick off with an exceptional fashion party and fundraiser at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Runway shows will feature Austin designers, gourmet food and live entertainment at this prestigious event. Seizing the opportunity to marry motorsports and style, Circuit of The Americas will welcome more than one-thousand guests to witness VIPs from the fashion and motorsports industries and unveil the outfits to be worn by the COTA Girls at this November's Inaugural Formula 1 race. COTA Girls are stylish ambassadors who will be part of the color and pageantry during the race week festivities. Local fashion talent, of Fashion Star™ fame, Ross Bennett designed the COTA Girls’ collection for the 2012 USGP and will be on hand for the unveiling. Bennett added:

This is one of the most unique design projects and it’s an honor to have been chosen for this special assignment in my hometown. Formula 1 events draw sophisticated fans from around the world. We expect Shift Into Style to highlight the important role fashion plays in international motorsports.

Geoff Moore, CMO at COTA, went on to explain:

Formula 1 Grands Prix are very fashion-focused experiences, and we expect Shift Into Style to get our guests excited for the fall season while providing a preview of what we expect to see at the Circuit this November.

// Beyond Austin

Last month COTA also announced that First Lady of Texas, Anita Perry, will open the AFW festivities by welcoming guests to the Bob Bullock Museum for Shift Into Style. She is also excited to take part in the event:

The U.S. Grand Prix will bring the attention of the entire world to Central Texas, giving people from many nations the chance to see the unique blend of cultures that our state has to offer. From music and history to our vibrant and growing fashion and arts communities, Texas has something for everybody. I am so pleased to take part in this truly special event that adds to the diverse culture that has made the Lone Star State an international attraction.

Offering Texans a unique opportunity to understand the world of F1 up close and personal, F1 cars from Williams F1 Team, Lotus-Pirelli and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari F1 world championship car will be on display at the event. In addition, an F1 timeline photography exhibition by premier F1 international photographers, Sutton Images, will be on display and take guests on a visual journey through the last 60+ years of F1. If you missed it last month, check out our interview with Keith and Mark Sutton from Formula Expo.

// Beyond Fashion

One of the best parts about this unique event is that its impact will go beyond the glossy magazines and red carpet. COTA has chosen Seton Breast Cancer Center and Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center as beneficiaries for the evening's event. A silent auction will offer guests the opportunity to raise money for local, worthy causes and take home fabulous items, including:

  • VIP tickets to the 2012 FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX
  • VIP tickets to the race kickoff reception and luncheon
  • VIP tickets to a private reception during race week
  • Tickets for a track ride in the Circuit’s F1 3-seater
  • Tickets to one of the weekend outdoor concerts

Rossi may have summarized it best:

Fashion is something I have grown to appreciate, and it’s great to see Austin’s fashion community embrace F1 style. Central Texas is going to be a fantastic place to host a Grand Prix and all of the fashion-forward guests who attend Formula 1 races. Shift Into Style will be a great way to launch Austin’s Fashion Week and start the official countdown to the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX at Circuit of The Americas this November. I feel privileged to work with Circuit of Americas for this event and I’m also very proud of my affiliation with Caterham F1 Team. I thank Team Principal Tony Fernandes for this and the opportunity he has given me within the team and I will continue to work hard to embrace the American commercial objectives for Caterham F1 Team, Formula 1 as a sport and Circuit of the Americas.

// Details

What: Austin Fashion Week Kick-Off Event, Shift Into Style

When: Friday, August 10, 2012 from 8:00PM - 11:00PM

Where: Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701

Who: Circuit of The Americas, Circuit Events Host Committee, Austin Fashion Week, Alexander Rossi and more TBA

Fashion Lineup: Ross Bennett, Keepers, Ferrari, The Danes Collection and Linda Asaf

Food and Drinks: Parkside, Olive & June, Backspace, Truluck's, Iron Cactus, Siena and Sentelli's

Cost: $85 per ticket

// Click HERE to purchase your tickets!