Runway shows aren’t always so cookie cutter or rest on a surface stitch level. With New York Fashion Week already etched in our minds as a good memory, the Grenadian American Young Women’s Association is inviting us to revel in good fashion for an inspiring cause.
Chantal Jones, the current president of the association, said, “The fashion show is to raise funds for Cedar’s Home for women and children. We plan to go to Grenada and refurbish the home.”
Cedar’s Home is a women’s shelter in Grenada the women adopted in 2013 to help serve victims of domestic violence. This particular initiative – known as the “Take A Stand Campaign” – is something the women have worked tirelessly for since its inception in 2012, visiting the women that reside there and doing what they can to ensure their living conditions are as comfortable as possible. During the “Take A Stand” campaign the association raised just over $5,000 for the home.
“Fashion for a Cause” is one of the many events the women host each year to raise funds to donate to the home. “This is what the proceeds are for. It needs a lot of painting and supplies for the women,” she said.
Heading into the third year of hosting “Fashion for a Cause,” the women are doing a few things differently compared to the previous two shows. Aside from benefiting Cedar’s Home, a young lady attending a community college in Grenada will also receive scholarship money to help with the expenses of her second year of school.
“We are announcing our scholarship winner, this is our first time doing the scholarship so we’re hoping that she does well and she has done well,” she said.
To showcase this new initiative, Jones said the ladies are doing something else they haven’t yet done at the show – showing video. The video will include an interview conducted by fellow member, Kizzi Belfon, during her visit to Grenada.
“When Kizzi was in Grenada during carnival season she did an interview with her so that’s what we’ll be displaying at the fashion show so people will see who is getting the award and a little bit more about her story,” Jones explained.
Keeping with a theme of new beginnings in a sense, Jones and her dynamic team of women have forged new relationships with designers and performers, but have also included some designers who have participated since the very first one.
Claude Michelle, a Haitian designer from Boston, will be presenting his formal wear including gowns and suits from his Spring/Summer 2016 Claude Michelle Collection. His decision to participate in an out-of-state show was based upon the organization’s greater mission of the show.
“I love organizations that serve a greater purpose especially for the black community,” Michelle explained.
“We’re very excited about that, he has some very nice pieces. He does a lot of formal wear so we’re looking forward to that,” Jones said.
Returning for the third consecutive year, EPIC Mas, designed by Sade Peter and Joshua Vincent will display a collection of costumes and swimwear perfect for every beach fete.
“I feel like swimsuits are related to costumes, they are inspired by the costumes and the costumes are inspired by the swimwear,” Peter, a Grenadian designer who works full time in a biology lab, said.
Aside from the runway show, attendees can enjoy various vendors including a T-Shirt line out of Grenada – Oil Down Factory – a showcase designer featuring jewelry starting at 6pm and a time to mix and mingle with your fellow Caribbean neighbors.
“We want people to come out, have a good time, mingle, and get to know each other,” Jones said.
Fashion for a Cause (922 Remsen Ave. between Foster Avenue and Avenue D in Canarsie, www.faceb