Over the next month Jersey City will play host to a trio of high-profile events that are, both individually and collectively, raising the city’s profile as a nexus of arts and culture, with the first one – Jersey City Fashion Week – kicking off this week.
For the second year in a row, Desha Jackson’s DLJ Give to Live Foundation will present four days’ worth of fashion events to raise money for Jersey City-based community organizations. Fashion Week, which gets underway with a VIP reception this Wednesday at VB3, will feature 17 designers, including several from Jersey City and Northern New Jersey.
For this year’s Fashion Week, Jackson said she tried to add a little more celebrity appeal.
“I really worked on trying to get some celebrities to come out so the event had a little higher profile this year,” said Jackson. “My thinking is, people who might not otherwise come out maybe will if they know a few celebrities will be there.”
“Jerseylicious” cast member Miguel Allure Rodriquez and actor Justin Davis of “Boardwalk Empire” and “The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3” are among the celebrities expected to shop up this year in support of Jersey City Fashion week.
The Jersey City-based DLJ Give to Live Foundation, the lead sponsor of Jersey City Fashion Week, typically uses sports and entertainment events to raise money for small community-based charities, Jackson said.
‘Each year we want to recognize the work of organizations that are making tangible contributions to the community.’ – Desha Jackson
Ticket prices for shows range from $20 to $150, depending on the show and venue.
Benefitting the community
Like last year, a portion of the proceeds generated will benefit three community organizations. This year’s beneficiaries include Rising Tide Capital, Uneek Inspiration, and the Hope Center.
“Each year we want to recognize the work of organizations that are making tangible contributions to the community,” said Jackson. “So, Rising Tide was selected for the work they do to boost small businesses and entrepreneurship in the community. Uneek Inspiration is being recognized for its work with young people who might otherwise just be hanging out on the street or who don’t have any guidance in their lives. We decided to include the Hope Center because we decided we’d like to try to also benefit an arts-orients or creative organization. So the contribution will actually go to the Hope Center’s youth music program.”
Last year, Jersey City Fashion Week benefitted Art House Productions, the York Street Project, Dress for Success, and the Hudson County Boys and Girls Club, which each received a $900 donation.
Emerging designers reprise 2012 highlight
While Fashion Week organizers consider the VIP show to be their main attraction, last year it was the Emerging Designers show that actually had the most buzz. Held in the historic old railway terminal at Liberty State Park, the Emerging Designers show attracted more than 200 ticketed spectators who turned out to see everything from swimwear, to casual wear, to formal wear.
This year, 10 emerging designers have been selected to participate in this year’s Emerging Designers show, including downtown favorite Uta Brauser, each of whom will be allowed to show 10 looks. Two of these emerging designers have been invited to show 15 looks.
Runway to return for Super Bowl
For those who miss the full line up of events this week, Jackson plans to reprise Fashion Week next February as part of Hudson County’s Super Bowl activities.
“Right now, we’re planning to have three events in Jersey City, and Secaucus, and Hoboken where we would have one show in each of those cities,” said Jackson, an attorney with a background in sports and entertainment law. “It would incorporate some things we’ve already done for Jersey City Fashion Week, but would hopefully incorporate some new features to play up the Super Bowl. My hope is to get a few retired NFL players to walk the runway.”
For more information about Fashion Week, or to buy tickets, visit www.JerseyCityFashionWeek.com.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.