On, United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) will hold its 3rd Annual Gala at the historic Lexington Avenue Armory starting at .
Fern Mallis, fashion industry leader and the renowned creator of New York Fashion Week, is the Honorary Chair for the event. Legendary supermodel Pat Cleveland, who walked the runway for UCOF’s gala last year and has made invaluable contributions to the worlds of fashion and the arts, will be honored with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. This black tie affair will include an international runway show featuring top models and acclaimed designers from around the world, including David Tlale (South Africa), Naked Ape by Shaldon Kopman (South Africa), Ron & Ron (Haiti/USA), Kosibah (United Kingdom), Sukeina (USA), Carmen Marc Valvo (USA), and Marc Bouwer (USA). UCOF is also excited to have industry veterans overseeing the runway show: Jan Malan is the Producer, and Sandi Bass is the Casting Director. Supermodel Devyn, the first official winner of “The Face” reality TV modeling competition, is the International Fashion Ambassador who will represent the 2013 Annual Gala.
United Colors of Fashion is a New York City-based non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization with a mission to Empower Youth through Fashion. UCOF works to achieve its mission through two initiatives: (1) locally mentoring under-resourced youth in New York City about the fashion industry through hands-on training in fashion education; and (2) offering provisions of financial assistance, food, and clothing to youth in South Africa who are living with HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia and paralysis.
This year’s gala theme is: FAITH. HOPE. FASHION. As the name suggests, this year’s gala is a celebration of what United Colors of Fashion stands for: remaining faithful that UCOF’s mission will launch the careers of its under-resourced interns, while providing hope for their futures and for the children in South Africa through the transformative medium of fashion. All proceeds generated from ticket sales and 100% of public donations will be used to fund the costs of running UCOF’s Fashion Education and Charity Care programs for the upcoming year.
In addition to the international runway show and awards ceremony, gala attendees will also see the progress UCOF has made through the first collection by Sade Solomon – the Fashion Education program’s top intern and UCOF’s Achiever of the Year – which will also be presented. “I have learned so much in my past three years of working with UCOF,” explains Sade. “I have also grown as a person and as a designer. UCOF to me is people helping people: helping children in South Africa with AIDS and HIV, and also helping emerging designers like myself.”
The gala brings together a global community from the worlds of fashion, business, the arts, and philanthropy – all of whom believe in the vision of UCOF. According to Ciano Clerjuste, UCOF President & Chairman: “The annual gala allows us to provide our interns the most extensive and intense training in design, textiles, marketing, management, event production, media and communications. We offer the training at no cost. The talented youth selected get an opportunity to turn their dreams into reality by working with the best in the industry. Our youth are the future leaders of our communities. As we empower them through fashion, we are investing in the upcoming groundbreakers in our country.”