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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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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.

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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.

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UCOF – THE EPIDEMIC OF HOPE CONCLUDES ITS THIRD CYCLE

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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My Journey in South Africa as Achiever of the Year

Day 1 : GRATITUDE
BY Sade Solomon

Sade Solomon in South Africa

Sade Solomon in South Africa

I knew that on this journey to South Africa, gratitude would be one quality I would have to take home with me. However, I didn’t expect that I would feel so grateful on the first day of my trip.
On day 1, I traveled from the airport to the studio of David Tlale who is renowned as the Marc Jacobs of South Africa. Upon arrival I was introduced to his amazing team of pattern-makers, seamstresses, tailors and designers.
In the spirit of UCOF I was put straight to work.

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Achiever Of The Year: Sade Solomon

BY: Jamil Khan

Sade Solomon

Sade Solomon

JOHANNESBURG – Every year United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) chooses an intern as the Top Intern of the Year. This intern is usually an outstanding fashion hopeful that has been learning all they can through our Fashion Education Program and working hard behind the scenes of UCOF.

The intern we’re honoring today takes hard work to a different level and therefore we are naming Sade Solomon our Achiever of the Year. This phenomenal young lady hails from South Bronx in New York, where graduating from high school is deemed nothing short of a miracle. Having faced insurmountable odds, Sade refused to accept the script circumstance handed her to live her life by. After graduating from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, she accepted a job as a caseworker for a New York City foster care agency. Being exposed to the sad reality of childhood dynamics for New York children, Sade decided her role as a caseworker was stifling her ability to do the best she could for her juvenile clients.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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