Rainbow Fashion Week
When New York does Pride, they do it all the way. With events including performances by Nelly Furtado and LeAnn Rimes, as well as attendees numbering in the millions, you can expect Pride events in New York to be nothing short of energetic. One event you won’t want to miss out on is Rainbow Fashion Week.
Rainbow Fashion Week (RFW) is one of the leading pre-pride events for 2017. The mayor of New York has even gone so far as to declare Rainbow Fashion week the official fashion event for Pride. “We were elated because we managed to connect to his office via word-of-mouth. They begin to chatter about RFW and our mission and opportunities offered to the LGBT and Fashion Community in New York City,” said E. Jaguar Beckford (Jag), founder of RFW.
What’s All the Fuss About?
Rainbow Fashion Week is doing what no other fashion event has done. Sure, this event is about creating and sharing great fashion, but it also carries with it messages of social and environmental politics. Rainbow Fashion Week is the world’s first carbon-neutral fashion brand and is also the first fashion event to include two double mastectomy survivors as well as an 11 year-old transgender model. Furthermore, RFW will be featuring Petr Nitka – the first gender-neutral model in India and the first androgynous model in Africa and Czechoslovakia.
According to environmental news website EcoWatch, pesticides, toxic dyes, and the use of natural resources has caused fast fashion (getting new designs on the market as quickly and cheaply as possible) to become the second dirtiest industry in the world after big oil. RFW aims to combat the environmental impact of their production by using solar power to reduce their energy consumption by one-third as well as re-purposing clothing and educating others in the industry in how they can reduce their own carbon footprint.
“The aim of RFW is not only to support the business of queer style, the notion of daring to be different while just being yourself but also fosters anti-bulling, anti-domestic violence, body positivity, trans justice, immigration justice, teen homelessness, trafficking, environmental awareness, among other larger issues facing the LGBTQ community at large,” said Jag. RFW has developed several partnerships with organisations such as The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth. Other affiliations include the James Baldwin School, True Colors Fund, Etsy GOL Outreach, Brooklyn Artistry, The Molecule Project, Water Aid America, and Relabeled Kids.
The idea of RFW came to Jag in 2013 after launching her own line of fashion for people of all bodies and gender identities. As she received her applause on the runway, she envisioned a show that would feature behind-the-scenes themes of fashion. “Finally, I went further and even thought about something called the Metamorphic Corner; while everyone was busy getting all pretty on the outside, what about their mental, spiritual and physical health. Each of these areas were incorporated into the creation and celebration of Rainbow Fashion Week,” said Jag.
Through RFW, Jag sought to combine outstanding fashion with social justice in order to raise awareness of issues in the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to creating a platform for tackling social issues, RFW designs clothes for all body types and genders – something that most other fashion designers fail miserably to accomplish (or even attempt).
Attendees to Rainbow Fashion Week can expect eight days of non-traditional fashion with all the colours of the rainbow to dazzle them. There will be themed runway shows including Drag Stars and Hair du Soleil. There will also be shows for the younger queer community including the Rainbow Tots Meets Kids Who Tech Event and the Queer Kids Kick Azz Event.
Running events from June 16-23, 2017, RFW has something for every body. Tickets for events start at $15 or grab an all events pass for $150.
Find out more at the Rainbow Fashion Week website!
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