by MIKE CHAIKEN
Connecticut fashion will collaborate with community spirit in September as New England Fashion Week presents its next show dubbed “Urban Meets High Fashion Back To School.”
Kayla Nicole, a former Bristol, Conn. resident and the chief operating officer for NEFW explained, “The theme of Urban Meets High Fashion back to school edition means that we’ll be starting the show with some urban designers/collections and then we’ll be transitioning to high fashion designs.”
“And,” she said, “of course, this show being in September, which is right around school season, we will be donating most of the proceeds to families who can’t afford to purchase all the proper back to school materials.”
“Joe (Wade, NEFW chief executive officer) and I have done this the last few years on our own,” said Nicole, speaking on behalf of the whole NEFW team, which also includes Sugeily Lopez (treasurer), and Eryka Williams (secretary). “Last year, we did it together. Now that we have this company and team, we figured it was perfect to incorporate it all together and make it even bigger.”
As for the designers they hope to put on the runway, Nicole said, “We have a bunch of designers who have reached out. We are still adding to the line-up as we speak, but I know for sure we will be featuring Society 21 out of Connecticut (the line from Joe Wade)… as well as Marion Imbruglio with @m.imbruglio designs . We have Arcane Designs coming to show her line and she is from Cape Verde. We have a Boston-based brand Born2lead who will also be showcasing their line and also RisiFacts is coming. There will be more. We always try to bring in designers from out of state and get everyone working together to help us all network. ”
“It’s important to put a spotlight on Connecticut fashion and local designers because we all have something special and unique to offer and present to the world,” said Nicole. “Connecticut has so much talent hidden within our cities and streets, and we need more events to bring them out for everyone to be able to witness.”
“We’re close to NYC,” said Nicole, “we’re close to Boston– so being in the middle we can attract a lot of attention.”
The show will be held at the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center in Meriden.
“We found it to be special because the floor lights up,” said Nicole. “It’s a very upscale castle type feel and it fit into our budget of being able to put on the show and still make money to be able to give back to the community.”
As far this event’s ability to help the NEFW brand, Nicole said, “We hope that with each event we do they’ll get progressively bigger and better. We hope to attract different audience members to each show and just get our name out there as a team– inspiring local artists and talent and helping us all have a platform to display our talents. This show we’re donating for back to school. Each event will be different and collectively build off one another.”
NEFW’s “Urban Meets High Fashion Back To School” will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 at the August Curtis Cultural Center, 175 East Main St., Meriden. Doors open at 3 p.m. The show will be held from 4 to 7 p.m.
For more information and tickets, call (860)922-6983.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF STEPHEN GEYER.
Images from New England Fashion Week’s June event at Spectra in Hartford.