By MIRIAM QUIÑONES & SÍLE MOLONEY
Bronx Fashion Week returned to Co-Op City on Saturday, May 7. The fashion show ran from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Mall at Bay Plaza, located at 200 Baychester Avenue, and featured designers and retailers ranging from Callejas Atelier and Larry Franco to 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 to local, emerging, and established designers, and those from abroad, to showcase their skills and abilities in an industry that, they say, is often non-accessible. The show has become preferred for diverse and inclusive audiences.
About 300 people were in attendance this year for what was billed as a fashion 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 on a Sunday [for the first Bronx Fashion Week].”
She continued, “After losing everything, I took my last $200 unemployment check and started the legalities of bringing Bronx Fashion Week successfully to life.” She added, “COVID has put life in perspective for the world, and I am grateful. It was a moment filled with appreciation and love, and it feels incredible 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 seniors to select a free dress or suit and accessories to wear on their special night.
Clark said “This prom dress and suit giveaway would not have been possible without the tremendous contribution of staff at the Bronx DA’s Office, as well as our Bronx community who donated formal wear. Some 400 dresses and dozens of suits, as well as fancy shoes and handbags were donated. Thanks to their generosity, many Bronx high school seniors are going to be able to celebrate their big night in style, without the worry of purchasing an outfit.”
In response to the initiative, Montes had said, “We want to thank all the organizations and those who generously donated items or their time. It indeed was a mission of love and unity in its purest form. Thank you to my sister partner Dawn Jones of ‘Who Am I.’ Thank you to the Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark and her entire staff; they truly moved mountains to make this happen for Bronx youth.”
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 took place at the Promised Land Covenant Church, 3589 Third Avenue, on Friday, May 13, and was open to all Bronx high school seniors who showed a school ID. The formal wear was distributed on a first come, first served basis.
Meanwhile, as reported, State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (S.D. 34) is a co-sponsor of The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act.
The new bill, currently at the committee stage of the State legislative process, aims to hold fashion brands accountable for the environmental and social impacts of their manufacturing.