By MIRIAM QUIÑONES & SILE MOLONEY
Bronx Fashion Week returned to Co-Op City on Saturday, May 7. The fashion show ran from 3-5 p.m. at The Mall at Bay Plaza, located at 200 Baychester Avenue, and featured designers and retailers ranging from Callejas Atelier to Larry Franco. at Boulevard Menswear, Daysi Fernandez, Macy’s, Forever 21 and Ashley Stewart.
The aim of the annual event, according to its founders, is to provide real-time business opportunities for local, emerging and established designers, as well as those from abroad, to showcase their skills and abilities. in an industry that, they say, is often inaccessible. The show has become a favorite for a diverse and inclusive audience.
Around 300 people attended this year for what was billed as a fashionable celebration of unity, regardless of age, size or ethnicity. Flora Montes, entrepreneur and founder of Bronx Fashion Week, explained the history of the now annual event, saying, “I fell in love with fashion in 2013 after visiting Latin Fashion Week on a Saturday, and I started planning for a Sunday. [for the first Bronx Fashion Week].”
She continued, “After losing everything, I took my last $200 unemployment check and started the legalities to successfully bring Bronx Fashion Week to life.” She added, “COVID has put life in perspective for the world, and I’m grateful for that. It was a time filled with appreciation and love, and it’s amazing to be back!”
As reported, Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced on May 12 that Bronx Fashion Week was to hold a “prom shop” for Bronx high school students to select a free dress or costume and accessories. accessories to wear on their special night.
Clark said, “This prom dress and costume giveaway would not have been possible without the tremendous contribution of the staff at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, as well as our Bronx community who donated formal wear. Some 400 dresses and dozens of costumes, as well as fancy shoes and handbags were donated. Thanks to their generosity, many Bronx high schoolers are going to be able to celebrate their big night in style, without worrying about buying an outfit.
In response to the initiative, Montes said, “We would like to thank all the organizations and those who generously donated items or their time. It was indeed a mission of love and unity in its purest form. Thanks to my partner sister Dawn Jones from ‘Who Am I.’ Thanks to Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and all his staff; they really moved mountains to make this happen for young people in the Bronx.
Montes continued, “Thank you to Boulevard Menswear, Promised Land Covenant Church, MUD Make-up Designory School, JoJo’s Fabulous Corner, Mello Tymes, Empire Blue Cross, NYPD Foundation and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office Community Affairs Team .”
The Prom Shop was held at the Promised Land Covenant Church, 3589 Third Avenue, on Friday, May 13, and was open to all Bronx high school students who presented school ID. Formal wear was distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Meanwhile, as noted, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (SD 34) is a co-sponsor of the Fashion Sustainability and Social Responsibility Act.
The new bill, currently in committee stage of the state legislative process, aims to hold fashion brands accountable for the environmental and social impacts of their manufacturing.