“Style with Significance. Fashion for the Greater Good on the right side of the Hudson.”
There is a roar in New-Jersey’s art community after last week’s Jersey City Fashion week that has draped the town with a possibility of change, having everyone from local non profits to major sponsors coming together for the uplifting of a community.
.It was five nights and five fashion shows exemplifying the best of todays art, businesses aficionados, and community leaders from NJ; highlighting those unafraid to stand for good, and awarding those at the forefront of positivity and change. With Desha Jackson, attorney and community leader, at the wheel, everyone from high end designers, to former super bowl contenders, and even Jim Jones came together in tethering design to drive in change.
” It was such an honor to be part of Jersey City Fashion Week. Desha Jackson combined fashion, philanthropy, musical talent in a way that pushes awareness for the amazing talent that does exist in our wonderful state of New Jersey. The brilliant exposure this provides not only to our emerging designers but to the beautiful venues and landmarks of Jersey City that hosted Jersey City Fashion Week such as Maritime Parc and Liberty Science center coins the greatest of our Garden State,” said Jeannette Josue. National Ms. 2014.
“It’s a charitable list of events, and whenever there is a cause behind something, and its fun – its always terrific,” said author, fashionista, and host for the VIP showcase Delvon Johnson. “Its grown substantially since its start just a few years ago. Its a major success.
JCFW’s purpose is to celebrate fashion, entertainment, and highlight businesses in Jersey City to create an opportunity that gives back to the community by fund-raising for charity, said its main website, JerseyCityFashionweek.com. JCFW’ to date has donated over $5000 to nine charities over the past three years
“What we do when considering recipients for our award show is look for leaders and their contributions to the community, and how it matches JCFW,” said Priscilla Pender of Jo Pri Consulting. “last year we searched for people who helped jersey city, this year we expanded it to Hudson County. This season’s JCFW award recipients were Benedicto Figueroa, Helen Castillo, Senator Robert Menendez, Monique Smith-Andrew.”
The non-profit organizations that were highlighted and awarded at this year’s JCFW were The Concordia Learning Center at St. Jospeh School of the Blind – a NJ based school dedicated to providing services to children, and adults, visually impaired or blind; And the Mo Hair Foundation, a NJ based non-profit who’s mission is to provide children and adults suffering from hair loss caused by various medical conditions – providing surgical hair replacement services free of charge, said Pender.
.Other than the numerous charities involved and rewarded, the week long event featured some major names in the fashion industry.
.Fashion to me is an form of visual art and everyone does it different. And thats what makes this event great. It’s important, because what I wear will give you a taste of who I am. Whether it gives me confidence or becomes a trend.” said professional model, Alice Lopez, who walked exclusively for Project Runway All-star designer, Hellen Costillo.
louis Allen, a seasoned model who began his career in local fashion shows at NJ colleges to then being featured on VH1 runways, didn’t always want too model, but he knew he wanted to make a difference. And he found a home at JCFW.
“It was a very nice venue; a very well put together event. It’s cause… thats what makes it special. I look forward to its growth. I can’t wait to see what great designers continue to join. I’m glad to be a part. Its a good cause for a change.”
.And if change or positivity was ever boring from a marketing perspective, then the art of expression had proven to yield people in a way that grabbed audiences from all demographics to come together and share a commonality that sees through racial disparities, and class lines.
.Ask super bowl champion, owner of Iifilmmaking.com
, and Jersey City Fashion Week board member , Darrel Reid
. “Art and fashion does not have any color lines, any ethnic lines, or status, or income – none of that matters! what matters is your creativity. what matters is your creativity and your product, and that’s what unites people from different ethnicities, and different levels.”
But none of it could have come together without Desha Jackson. The brain child behind jersey cities fashion week who found a way to bring Jim Jones Vamp clothing line in the same room as high-end designer Hellen Collido.
“This project is a labor of love for me. A way to express my heart, connect with people and highlight Jersey City and New Jersey, said Jackson. “I am glad to see it come together so well this year! The energy from everyone was dynamic. From our opening night through to the brunch everyone involved was turned up 100%.”
“I use the analogy sometimes of a magician. you don’t see the work, or how much work it takes to make things come together. But she was pulling rabbits out. 5 rabbits out,” said Reid.
During the VIP Fashion event entitled ” A Walk Through in the Park: An Exclusive VIP Fashion Event ” held on 9/25 at Maritime Park, in addition to Jim Jones Vamp Life line being shown there were other designers including Kenya Smith of Planet Zero Motor Sports, Sadia Hussain from the House of Sadia and Helen Castillo from Project Runway Season 12. Ms. Castillo was honored as a JCFW Person of Influence Award Recipient. “
.This homogeneous group of talent full of local organizations and artists are using their individual paint brushes to come together to paint a better town with a clearer picture for NJ. This fashion world, full of material, has found room for warmth, and positivity, that sees a growing art community, like that of its city.
– “We are changing our world, by changing our community, ” said Pender.
photo credits: Fashion Kin, George Creekmore and Fred Sly.