All posts in Benefit


by Ada Onuegbe

United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) continues to partner with various New York City High Schools to host Career Day Programs. UCOF will be sharing information about fashion careers and business opportunities with students in grades through 9-12 at the following schools:

Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers

Annual Career Day

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 11:30-3pm

411 Pearl Street, New York City, NY 10038

UCOF Vice President of Fashion Education Michael Palladino worked with MBHS Principal Naima Cook to present the 2015 Fashion Career Exploration Day. Breakout sessions were presented by fashion industry insiders who shared their experiences with Murry Bergtraum students. Sessions included Styling, Fashion Magazines, the Business of Fashion and Event Planning to name a few. We are looking forward to returning to Murry Bergtraum and furthering student engagement.

Lower East Side Preparatory High School (LESP)

Annual Career Fair

Wednesday March 23rd, 2016 – 11:00 AM to 2:20PM.

145 Stanton Street, New York, NY 10002

UCOF participated in the school’s career event last year, presenting Personal Branding workshop. We are looking forward to returning for the 2016 Career Fair and developing our ongoing partnership with the school.

Flushing High School

“5th Annual Career Conference: Visualize Your Future”

Saturday, April 9, 2016 9:00 am – 1:30 pm

35-01 Union Street Flushing, NY 11354

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response by students at last year’s Career Conference, we are excited to be returning and speaking with Flushing High School students at this years Conference.

For any information on our Fashion Career Explorations Day, Fashion Education Seminar program, or general inquiries please contact Michael Palladino:

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.

Read more →

Sade Solomon: A relentless beacon of hope

BY: Jamil Khan

It is said that success requires 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and that luck is simply the meeting place of opportunity and preparation. Whatever you choose to call it; the relentless efforts of United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) to create opportunities for talented under-resourced youth can best be represented by our most industrious intern: Sade Solomon.

Sade Solomon in the studio in South Africa.

Sade Solomon in the studio in South Africa.

This South Bronx native and Pennsylvania State University human development and family studies graduate started her journey as a caseworker. Her true passion for fashion could not be suppressed and eventually led her to UCOF three years ago where she has since done amazing things including an all expenses paid trip to South Africa in March 2013 as part of UCOF’s third charity cycle. It was there that she also received necessary exposure to African interpretations of fashion. The trip was the perfect addition to Sade’s frame of reference as she returned to New York to create her own collection for debut at this year’s annual gala event.

Read more →

Sade Solomon: A champion of fashion philanthropy

BY: Jamil Khan

2013 FIT graduates, left to right, Camila Leta, Sade Solomon, Daphney Jules, Yeomin Chae and Crystal Dy

2013 FIT graduates, left to right, Camila Leta, Sade Solomon, Daphney Jules, Yeomin Chae and Crystal Dy

Sade Solomon, United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) Achiever of the Year for 2013 has once again dealt adversity a triumphant blow. She has graduated with a degree in fashion design from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Thursday evening. It is evident that she has no intention of resting on her laurels and she is clear that each achievement is only the foundation upon which she can build the next.

Since she started working with UCOF, this former caseworker, has grown into a visionary and a paragon of hope with aims of starting her own business through which she can use fashion and philanthropy to encourage the youth and empower them to fulfill their dreams and passions as she has done. UCOF is proud to be associated with Sade and has kept its promise of assisting her every step of the way to realize her dream of fashion philanthropy that so closely aligns to the mission of UCOF.

Read more →

New York Fashion Week: Then and Now

BY: Jamil Khan

David Tlale: Spring 2013 Collection

David Tlale: Spring 2013 Collection

JOHANNESBURG – Now one of the most exciting events in the Big Apple, held bi-annually, New York Fashion Week was once but a ploy to bring attention to American Fashion. First held in 1943 and named “Press Week”, it was organized by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert to divert attention from French fashion during World War II, when insiders of the fashion industry could not travel to Paris to see fashion shows. The aim of the event was to allow fashion journalists to see American creations, which they had previously ignored. Strangely, buyers were not invited and had to visit designers’ showrooms. Following the success of Press Week, American fashion soon started laying itself down on the pages of Vogue where French designs took sole occupancy for years.

Read more →

United Colors Of Fashion Presents “Hope Beyond Horizons” in New York

For Immediate Release

New York, NY (January 26, 2013) Fashion philanthropy organization, United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) is due to present an Avant-garde exhibition commencing on February 9 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, extending until March 2, 2013, at Rain NYC, located at 59 West 49th Street at Rockefeller Center.

United Colors Of Fashion, a 501 (C)(3) organization, which Vigore magazine calls an “epidemic of hope,” runs a fashion education program in New York City.
The program engages under-resourced youth with opportunities in fashion and exposes them to the fashion industry in its true form. This program is unique in that it is the only one in the United State that is offered to interns free of charge. In addition, the organization heavily provides financial assistance to children with HIV/AIDS in Soweto, Johannesburg in South Africa.

“Hope Beyond Horizons,” the name given to this exhibition, alludes the parallel hope and passion of aspiring artist, and that of those fighting for their lives in Soweto. A horizon is the depth as far as what the human eye can visually encompass, but UCOF offers exceeding hope beyond these limitations by providing individuals with inconceivable opportunities.

Read more →

United Colors Of Fashion produces top interns through Fashion Education Program.

BY: Jamil Khan

JOHANNESBURG – Much has been written of the health related mission of United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) in recent weeks, which will culminate into our sojourn in South Africa in March 2013. Although it comprises a very important part of our work at UCOF, it is not the only part of that work. The UCOF Student Training Arts & Design (STAND) program promotes our aim to expose under resourced, creative fashion and design students to the many exciting opportunities in the fashion industry. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, board of directors and donors STAND is the first and only program of its kind that is offered to students, in the United States, at no cost. This program gives them a chance to start making their mark on the fashion industry and helps them to carve out their own career path in fashion. The program was conceptualized as a stepping-stone for students who are talented, but uninformed and unaware of the many opportunities that exist within the fashion industry.

The STAND program allows interns to learn in the areas of: Management, Media & Communications, Marketing, Design, Textiles, Accessories and Event Production. These fields of work are opened to our interns in the form of workshops, hands-on participation in fashion show production and internships with leading designers. We also assist interns to get scholarships to leading fashion schools and arrange presentations for newly graduated designers. All these opportunities give talented, aspiring fashion professionals a platform to be recognized and integrated into the industry.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

Nigel Barker Rocks The Boat: Do Something!

Nigel Barker

BY: Jamil Khan
JOHANNESBURG – How many times have the words “I don’t feel like eating that again” or “I don’t eat that” crossed your lips? An alarming reality strikes me when I hear those words – somewhere very close to me and you someone is saying: “I’m so hungry, I cannot bear to face this day!”
Those words are often drenched in tired tears falling from vacant eyes. Those tears roll over a face that has become the epidemic of our time; it is the face of POVERTY. Add to that the faces of disease, famine, and warfare and you’ll start hearing their voices too. A pretty gloomy outlook some would say, but it is an outlook that can be changed by making a change in your world.

At the United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) 2012 Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit held on October 17th at the Museum of the City of New York, one of UCOF’s Honorary Chairs, Nigel Barker delivered a thought provoking speech on the power to make a difference.

“We can all do a lot more, in fact we can all do something. We all too often do very little. We take the easy road, we decide to actually cross the road when we see an issue and say somebody else can do something about that problem.” said Nigel Barker.

As a passionate protagonist for the fight against poverty and social injustice, Barker has used his talents as a storyteller, filmmaker and photographer to bring light to the suffering around the world. His passion has mobilized many of his friends and colleagues to join the fight. This is how he has “made a difference in his world”, as he put it.

Read more →


BY: Jamil Khan

JOHANNESBURG – Pat Cleveland is a name that still redefines the concept of beauty as it did in the 70’s. The American-born darling of fashion has come a long way since making Europeans gasp for breath at the “Battle of Versailles” at the Palais de Versailles. It was a moment that would literally change the face of fashion the world over. While most models were confined to the choice of print or runway, Pat Cleveland did both – a formidable face framed by indomitable hair and complimented by an inimitable walk that never led her too far from the runway.

A graduate of the High School of Art and Design and student of the LaGuardia School of Art one can say she was groomed for her discovery by Vogue editor, Carrie Donavan, in a New York Subway in 1967. From there it was all the way to the top for Cleveland, who became a sensation in the fashion world, being photographed by Steven Meisel and Andy Wharol.

A career that has spanned decades, including devoting herself to motherhood, has given Pat Cleveland a status that can only be described as legendary. Having worked with fellow legends such as Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Stephen Burrows, Thiery Mugler and Paco Rabanne to mention a few she has managed to move into the A-list neighborhood of fashion in a time when the market wasn’t buying her look.

As imperceptible as her achievements in fashion are, Pat Cleveland is not just about face. Inside that tiny shell, lies a big heart that gives glamorously. The United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) 2012 Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit was held on October 17th, under the theme “Be Glamorous, Glamor Gives”. Alongside her very close friend, Sandi Bass and other fashion heavyweights such as Nigel Barker and Miss Jay Alexander, Pat came out in support and strutted down the runway for our fabulous fashion show.

Read more →

Email News and Updates