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Thank You for attending the 2013 Annual Gala

Thank you photo-Gala 2013
Dear Supporters,

On behalf of myself and the entire United Colors of Fashion team, we would like to thank each and every one of you for your unwavering support of our organization and our cause.

On October 9th, we held our annual gala at the historic Lexington Avenue Armory in
New York City and it successfully fulfilled what UCOF believes in — FAITH. HOPE.
FASHION. We remain faithful that our mission to empower youth through fashion will
launch the careers of our interns, while we provide hope for their futures and for our
children in Soweto, South Africa through the magical medium of fashion.

It was such a privilege to have Fern Mallis, fashion industry leader and the renowned
creator of New York Fashion Week, as the Honorary Chair for the event. Legendary
supermodel Pat Cleveland has made invaluable contributions to the worlds of fashion
and the arts, and was honored with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms Cleveland was presented with the award by Bethann Hardison, and was accompanied onstage by supermodels of the 1980’s including Carla Hall, Coco Mitchell, Patricia Tracey, Jamie Foster, and Linda Morand, among several others.

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BY: Jamil Khan

Our model, Bisi at Mapetla Day Care with us holding a child - Soweto, South Africa

Our model, Bisi at Mapetla Day Care with us holding a child – Soweto, South Africa

JOHANNESBURG – March 2013 realized the long awaited visit of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) to South Africa. The annual charity trip, which lasted from March 6th – 13th, will be engraved in our minds and hearts forever.

The trip served as a dual-purpose visit, due to the coincidental merger of our Charity Care and Fashion Education programs, taking us to the humility of Soweto and the flamboyance of Joburg Fashion Week.

Sade working inside David's studio in South Africa.

Sade working inside David’s studio in South Africa.

Our Achiever of The Year, Sade Solomon, and our President, Ciano Clerjuste took all the wonderful work UCOF has done in the last year and presented it to South Africa in the true sense of Fashion For Humanity. Sade visited South Africa for the first time, where she underwent a rigorous training program under the guidance of David Tlale, Shaldon Kopman (Naked Ape) and Jan Malan (Umzingeli Productions). She was introduced first hand to the workings of the South African fashion industry, working backstage at the shows of prima designers at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg. She also learned how to produce and market a fashion show under the guidance of world-renowned show producer Jan Malan.

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Ajak Deng & Sessilee Lopez wear their hearts on their sleeves for United Colors Of Fashion.

Ajak Deng-backstage at our Fashion Benefit- photo by Luan Luu

JOHANNESBURG – If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) 2012 Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit would have opened even the most reluctant eyes to see. The UCOF benefit was held on October the 17th, at the Museum of the City of New York and themed as: “Be Glamorous, Glamor Gives”. When the call for giving went out, there was no lack of glamorous responses from industry legends such as Pat Cleveland and current runway divas such as Ajak Deng and Sessilee Lopez. Currently the hottest accessories to the runway, Deng and Lopez opened their hearts with thrilling enthusiasm to help the cause of UCOF by walking in our fashion show on the night.

The Gala was held in aid of our mission to raise funds for people with HIV at Soweto Hospice in Johannesburg, South Africa. UCOF also raises funds and awareness for sickle cell anemia and paralysis. We will visit South Africa in March, 2013 to spend time delivering gifts, handing over donations and engaging with patients at Soweto Hospice and the children at the associated Mapetla Day Care Center.

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Fashion Humanitarian Organization, United Colors of Fashion (UCOF), sets a standard for engaging glamour & generosity

NEW YORK, NY (October 17, 2012) – The Museum of the City of New York burned a bright golden orange tonight, that of United Colors Of Fashion’s logo, a Fashion Philanthropy organization, which aids charities for children living with HIV and AIDS and supports the arts and fashion education in New York, as celebrities, fashion icons, and philanthropist engaged in their annual themed Benefit Gala: “Be Glamorous: Glamour Gives.”

The Benefit Gala commenced with an awards ceremony honoring celebrities and philanthropist such as Grammy award winner Dionne Warwick, and Phillip Bloch, Hollywood’s celebrity stylist, for their humanitarian efforts. Amongst other honorees were former model and muse to Givenchy, Sandi Bass, who was honored as UCOF’s “Casting Director of The Year,” by iconic supermodel, Pat Cleveland, and former America’s Next Top Model judge, Miss Jay Alexander. “It was a delight to have had legendary Pat Cleveland walk in our show. It was a fascinating night to remember. What we do at UCOF is investing in the lives of those who lack resources. When you invest in the empowerment of young adults, you offer guidance for our future leaders, designers and entrepreneur,” said Ciano Clerjuste, President of United Colors of Fashion and founding partner.

The awards ceremony commenced with fashion photographer, filmmaker and former judge of America’s Next Top Model, Nigel Barker, who delivered a speech commissioning the mission of UCOF and urging for advocacy to make differences. “We can all do a lot more, in fact we can all do something, in fact we all too very often do very little.” Mr. Barker praised UCOF for “bringing the issues of the world together and the fashion industry together.” Bukiwe Sangqu, the spouse to the UN Ambassador to South Africa was also honored.

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Indeed United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) is a non-profit organization like no other; it stands adamant on its ideas. This not-for-profit organization goes beyond donation to “real help”.
Who can genuinely relate fashion with charity work, or who might have thought that a not-for-profit organization can use fashion for humanitarian aid?

Surely relating fashion with Charity may seem as a myth to many, but to UCOF it´s just a reality that comes with lots of ecstatic activities. Yes, fashion can be used for humanitarian aid here. Charity donations, it´s not always about donating money but doing what you do best and what you enjoy most to help those in need. Inspired by their family calamities, Ciano Clerjuste, the president and chairman of the board, Veronica Rovegno, Vice President – and a lot of other fashionistas, Wall Street bankers, socialites and philanthropisted listed on their website use fashion for humanitarian causes.

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By Lewis Ndlovu – South Africa

Johannesburg – Glamour, lights, models and designers are all words synonymous with fashion shows. And when you add fashion week to it, you tend to think of a high profile fashion event with packed nights of bubbly champagne, caviar and stunning models on the runway wearing but the best of designer gear. True. But how many times have you associated a top fashion event with a charitable cause? Probably not. Charity work doesn’t have to be always behind closed doors, because in some ways, when celebrities and designers extend their hand to help someone in need, it attracts many people, thereby helping it to gain more attention from millions around the world.

United Colours Of Fashion, a New York based non-profit organisation that has supported many noble causes was recently in Johannesburg for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week which was held in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

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United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) presents a “Bon Voyage Affair” at PRANNA

New York, NY – United Colors Of Fashion, which uses fashion for humanitarian is due to travel to South Africa on March 6th to do charity work at the Soweto Hospice. Prior to departure, the organization is having a stylish “Bon Voyage Affair” on March 3, 2012.

Presented by PRANNA, the organization is expecting an audience full of fashionistas, fashion gurus, celebrities, Wall Street bankers and the fashion and lifestyle media.

A talented fashion designer, who has built a name with private celebrity clients in New York, Mariam Conde, is set to present her current collection, “Femme Progressive.” Ms. Conde has trained in high-end evening wear in the Ateliers of OSCAR DE LA RENTA, During her tenure with Mr. Oscar , she has collaborated with renowned designers to produce some of the world´s most coveted garments and accessories. She further enhanced her high-end style and quality construction skills at Carolina Herrera.
“I dress for a cause, a progressive cause. In her story and spirit, I find my inspiration,” says Conde.

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Runway Ready: UCOF and NY Fashion Week Fall 2012


Look by David Tlale-picture by Raymond Preston

Only hours left before people get a taste of the fashion they’ve been waiting for! New York Fashion Week Fall 2012 is set to begin today and is currently the talk of the town. For many this means bright lights, new fashion, new colors and endless parties! Let’s not forget at least four outfit changes a day or street-side yellow-cab wars!

You just have to love New York even more during Fashion Week!

But for designers, this means much more than what we all anticipate; it’s putting forth the vision they´ve been working hard on for the upcoming season. A lot of hard work and chaos goes on behind- the- scenes during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. For this year, the action begins on February 9th lasting until the 16th. Top designers such as Marc Jacobs, Vera Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein will be unveiling collections for the Fall/Winter Season. Part of this year´s fashion is the campaign slogan: “You Can´t Fake Fashion” which is geared towards bringing awareness to counterfeit garments and accessories and their detriment to the fashion industry in general. Bringing awareness to this hot-button issue is not only brilliant but so crucial.

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Working from the Ground: UCOF Team Prepares for South Africa


Children At The Soweto Hospice in South Africa

Having established new goals for 2012, the team at United Colors of Fashion has made plans to begin tackling some of those endeavors. First on the list: gathering goods to bring on an anticipated trip to Johannesburg, South Africa. The date has been set for this coming March 6th -12th.

Traveling to the hospice was a decision made by the UCOF professionals to help them connect directly with the people they´ve been fundraising for annually. In preparation for this journey, the organization is asking people to gather no longer needed clothes, shoes, and even handbags to donate to the people of the hospice. The women of the hospice shops can then use these goods to resell and make a profit.

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UCOF, Making Strides for the New Year and Beyond


NEW YORK- It all started with a dream; to see fashion created by people who are extremely talented but just needed a chance to shine the same way he was given a chance. With the desire to give back in the arena of culture that matters most to him, Ciano Clerjuste, with Veronica Rovegno, were able to create “United Colors of Fashion.” With the support and help of an amazing team, and a lot of work, the UCOF group is watching their fruitful labor blossom.

In a 12-page spread in the November2011 issue of Vigore magazine, United Colors of Fashion is praised for being an organization of “highly energized professionals.” Clerjuste and co-founder, Ms. Veronica Rovegno, acknowledge that the most rewarding aspect of creating this organization, despite government bureaucracy and attorneys, is being able to use their talents, valuable time, expertise and fashion for humanitarian causes. Vigore´s coverage of UCOF´s success and positive impact mentions how its founders managed to overcome much and is now legally listed as a charitable institution in New York State.

This charitable organization´s mission is to enlist creative, gifted but underprivileged artists from New York City who have dreams of being in the fashion/arts industry. UCOF´s main goal is to provide these aspiring artists with the tools necessary for that success by training them to put together credible, sound, yet high-end fashion shows; something that may look simple on shows like Project Runway but actually take lots of hard work, dedication and guidance. And guidance is something selected young artists won´t go without because UCOF´s dedicated team members, each season, work endless hours to put together an elite group of international designers here in NYC to produce a top-notch show. In this facet, these aspiring artists are able to work hands-on with top designers, gaining the experience needed for their own future successes.

Along with working to help these young artists achieve their goals, UCOF has charitable roots in Johannesburg, South Africa, where they donate proceeds from their Annual Gala Soiree to the Soweto Hospice. There, UCOF´s Charity Care Program offers financial assistance to persons suffering from sickle cell, paralysis and HIV/AIDS. Their goal for 2012 and beyond as mentioned in Vigore is “to open other branches around the world to enrich as many lives as possible.” This goal, as well as many others, is both high and running parallel with their passion for the arts and their concern for humanity. UCOF´s mission is to continue to put forth the excellence needed to keep pushing the envelope in their love for fashion and humanitarism.

The additional team members working for UCOF are: Juan E. Torres, Cheve Chan, Lovely Atis, Ivan Suarez and Alexandra Rautionmaa, to name a few. The organization also has a diverse group of international advisors-some are based in New York and others in Los Angeles and South Africa.

Juan Torres with Amparo Chorda & Cristina

Lovely Atis backstage

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