2012, Backstage, care, change, Controversial, Custo Barcelona, dressing for fashion week, encouragement, fashion, Fashion and Religion, fashion industry, fashion week, Humanitarian, interesting, love, Mara Hoffman, MBFW, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, models, non profit organization, prayer, religion haters, Runway, thought provoking, Volunteers, Youth WIth a Mission
I tend to live vicariously through those who attend Fashion Week all around the world. As I do my research around NY Fashion Week (to blog about the many beautiful up and coming designers,) I come across some pretty interesting things.
Considering myself a Humanitarian, as I have traveled the world to love on street children in India and the destitute in the Philippines as well as other parts of asia, I naturally gravitate toward anything that combines religion and philanthropy with High Fashion. It’s controversial and thought-provoking.
Most of the time people have the sneaking suspicion or hardcore belief that religious groups HATE fashion, think it is shallow and narcissistic, but I have come across quite an interesting story and have gotten a firsthand interview with Angela Nennie, PR for Designer Custo Barcelona . She is also the Fashion Liason for YWAM NYC.
YWAM is a Non Profit Organization, Non Denominational, Christian Based Humanitarian Organization, and the NYC chapter is loving on, and highly involved with the High Fashion industry.They are in no way trying to force religion on anyone but to simply give encouragement to the designers and models.
This MBFW, Angela and a few volunteers (makeup artists, fashion students, and YWAM students) all helped backstage to make Custo Barcelona’s Runway show run like glass!
Here is a snippet from Angela and her experience with the models, designers, and what she thinks needs to change in the fashion industry.
‘Every Fashion Week, teams from Christian missions organization ,Youth With A Mission (YWAM), descend on New York from various regions of the country and the globe. They are young and beautiful, fashion savvy and fancy-free and yet against all odds, they are compelled by a force much greater than themselves.
Each season, the YWAM teams become interns for various fashion labels. This gives
them access to work backstage in varying capacities. Operating check-in services for
press and guests, dressing models, ushering and running errands are just some of the
ways that they become involved.
While serving in these positions, they are presented
with opportunities to share the message of hope with fashion professionals. They also take time to pray with industry people and encourage them. On many occasions, they’ve been granted direct access to the designers.
One volunteer shared the following experience from the recent MBFW.
“I will never forget talking to designer, Mara Hoffman. The Lord told me to tell her that
He delights in her designs and that He watches her create these beautiful expressions
of art and loves every second of it! He wanted me to remind her that He opened these
doors into the fashion industry for her, so that his glory might be brought out in her
She was so pleased and shocked by the words that I spoke to her. These designers get
swarmed by people after the shows are finished, but I could tell that no one had ever
come up to her and said anything like what I had just spoken. As quickly as our
exchange of words happened, her assistant insisted that Mara need follow her away
from all of the backstage madness.”
If I was asked to use five words to describe the atmosphere at Fashion Week, I would
have to say Competition, Pride, Excess, Insecurity and Selfishness. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to be involved. With God’s presence comes Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,Gentleness and Self Control. I speak from experience when I say that those are cravings of people working in such a competitive environment. My prayer is that by seeing such a contrast, fashion professionals will be jealous to be reconciled to God who delights in their creativity and designs.
Whether you believe in religion or not, these volunteers have hearts to encourage, not to push a product. I think this is pretty wonderful. Fashion is about creativity and a passion for the art.
Angela Nennie’s Information is below if you would like to contact her with any questions about MBFW. Please do not send any hateful comments her way, as she is a fashion activist and loves the industry.
Australia Born, NYC Residing Fashionista. PR Consultant for Custo Barcelona and Fashion Liason for YWAM NYC, who loves to have fun, don the latest fashion trends, and share her love for people.