Jersey City Fashion Week Seeks Donations and Models

Jersey City Fashion WeekFashion weeks, especially Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, celebrate all things superficial: money, beauty, celebrity. But one fashion week in Jersey City isn’t just about style – it’s about substance too.

“One way our week is different from New York Fashion Week and others is because a part of our proceeds go to charity. We look to use people’s passion for fashion to aid in helping worthy cases,” said said Jersey City Fashion Week (JCFW) Founder Desha Jackson, also an attorney and Jersey City business owner.

September 25 to 28 will mark the second annual JCFW, a program run by non-profit organization Desha Lang Jackson Give to Live Community Foundation (Give to Live). Fiscally sponsored by United Charitable Programs, Give to Live raises funds and promotes awareness for charitable causes through fashion, entertainment, and sports-related events.

“This project stemmed from a conversation I had about having a fashion week in Jersey City two years ago. I thought it was a great idea to have a fashion week that also had a community give-back component to it. From that moment on I worked with others to create what we have today,” said Jackson.

JCFW 2012 donated $900 each to Dress for Success of Hudson County, York Street Project, Boys and Girls Clubs of Hudson County and Art House Productions all located in Jersey City.

Not only does JCFW increase awareness for and give money to charity but it also creates opportunities for emerging and high-end designers by providing them a place to be recognized by area buyers. Jackson invites stores and buyers from Jersey City and the surrounding areas to attend the shows and discover new talent.

“Highlighting Jersey City, its businesses, fashion, people and community is also a plus. This week is meant to demonstrate the best in Jersey City and fashion while providing another opportunity to help worthy causes in the area,” said Jackson. “We are hopeful that this program will attract more people to the area. We believe based on the nature of the program it will flourish and bring positivity to the city, businesses and all who are involved.”

This year, Give to Live plans to donate money to Rising Tide Capital, Uneeek Inspiration, and The Hope Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

“These groups help people in the community in special ways. Rising Tide helps people in the community start and maintain businesses while Uneeek Inspiration gives hope to children of parents who are incarcerated. The Hope Center gives children in Jersey City an opportunity to grow in the arts,” said Jackson.

So far, sponsors include PSE&G, Yelp, the Jersey City Division of Cultural Affairs, Jersey City Independent, Sephora, PNC Bank, The Hoboken Brownstone Company, Cores and Nachlinger, and Hudson County Executive Thomas A DeGise and the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Jackson is still seeking additional sponsors.

Jackson will be hosting model castings on Thursday, August from 5 to 8 pm at the Boys and Girls Club (1 Canal Street) and on Saturday, August 17 from 1 to 4 pm at Powerhouse Lounge (360 Marin Boulevard).

To make a donation of $10 or more, please visit the donation page.

Image Courtesy of Desha Jackson

Laryssa Wirstiuk

is a writer who teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Born and raised in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. Check her blog Craft Your Drafts.