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Fashion Heals

In Uncategorized / March 24, 2015 / 0 Comments

By Michael J. Palladino

grace-manaloThrough an annual event helping survivors of domestic violence, Reveal NYC uses the power of beauty to help these courageous women who are moving their lives forward. Reveal is a New York City-based organization that aims to foster uplifting experiences for women survivors of domestic violence. Created in 2007, the group partners with corporations and professionals in the beauty, health and fashion industries to restore dignity, reinforce love and celebrate beauty through monthly workshops and an Annual Makeover. Reveal has two major components. The first is a series of monthly workshops hosted through a prominent partner shelter in the city. The second part is an Annual Makeover event which gathers some 100 volunteers and has served over 75 women from four partner shelters in years past. The women arrive at a confidential location where they are pampered – nails painted, hair styled, makeup – as well as receive style advice from a number of professionals in the fashion industry. The aim of the Makeover Event is to instill confidence and celebrate the inherent beauty of the women – no strings attached.

Grace Manalo, UCOF Manager of Education shared this opportunity with our team and I was quick to volunteer. Domestic violence is a concern for us all as statistically 1:4 women have experienced domestic violence first hand. For those of you who don’t know Grace, she is passionate member of the UCOF team and along with Ji In Lee, a vital part of our Department of Education. Grace is a first generation Filipino-American born and raised in New York. She attended the University of Delaware where she graduated a dual major with a BS in Apparel Design and a BS in Merchandising. She has had professional experience in Product Development and Design in NYC. Her goal in life is to continue her path of self-discovery and self-expression through helping others. It is through fashion that Grace is helping to impact the lives of others. This event allowed us both to bring our fashion and styling abilities to Reveal NYC while also promoting the work we do at UCOF.

The event was held at an undisclosed location for the privacy and safety of the guests who attended. The women are currently in the NYC shelter system and were escorted to the event and given a day to make them feel special and reclaim their beauty. The event had several area stations to include a “RTW” area which offered the women clothing and advice from trained staff complete with fitting rooms and personal stylists, hair, makeup, skin care and even a private area for neck and back messages. Lunch was also offered, a personal photo shoot, large goodie bag and a single red rose. To see these women smiling and laughing and happy was the best way for us to spend our Saturday.

It is so important for us as UCOF to insert ourselves in the community and at events like this. It allows us to reinforce our commitment to fashion education by sharing our knowledge and talents beyond our students.   It also shows the power of fashion to help change the trajectory of someone who is reaching for a fresh start, reaching to find her place in the world and ultimately to feel good about herself and to reclaim her inner and outer beauty.

I applaud Grace Manalo for her commitment to UCOF and her passion to find many different ways to use fashion to help make a difference. Grace and I are looking forward to work closely with Reveal NYC and potentially to find points of collaboration with them as we share a respect for fashion and its power to empower.

Fashion Education Gains a New Supporter

In Uncategorized / February 10, 2015 / 0 Comments

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Fashion Education Gains a New Supporter

By Ada Onuegbe

Between the popularity of television shows like Project Runway and sartorial blogs, fashion is continuing to define itself as an art form to be taken seriously — so seriously that First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a fashion education workshop as part of the Reach Higher initiative in October of 2014.

Michelle Obama - Education

Industry luminaries such as Tracy Reese and Anna Wintour were in attendance, providing insight in an advice panel and mentoring students during workshops. The First Lady gave a speech in which she addressed the wealth of careers in the fashion industry.

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UCOF to debut student collections at Haiti Fashion Week

In Uncategorized / January 29, 2015 / 0 Comments

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UCOF to debut student collections at Haiti Fashion Week

NEW YORK, NY (October 29, 2014) – Following a roaring response to the recent UCOF Gala themed Paper Dreams: Writing New Runways the work of their students are set to enjoy another first. As the first registered 501(c)(3) organization in the USA to offer free fashion education to under-resourced youth, their runway debuts have proved the mission to Empower Youth Through Fashion Education to be a fruitful one. On Saturday, November 1, 2014, at the prestigious Karibe Hotel in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, UCOF will showcase the collections of their two student designed labels Arshel and Rendezvous at Haiti Fashion Week.

Haiti Fashion Week

The event, which celebrates Haiti’s awakening to the importance of local fashion and the industry at large will see a diverse showcase of designs presented to interested fans of the craft as well as celebrities and dignitaries.

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UCOF Academy Celebrates Dreams with Fourth Annual Gala

In Uncategorized / October 15, 2014 / 0 Comments

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UCOF Academy celebrates dreams with fourth annual Gala

NEW YORK, NY (October 15, 2014) – It has been a week since United Colors of Fashion Inc. celebrated the hard work of their students at their fourth annual Gala, at the historic Lexington Avenue Armory, New York. This year the Gala theme; “Paper Dreams: Writing New Runways,” paid homage to the dreams of the students, who are ultimately the driving force behind the mission UCOF Academy has to empowering youth through fashion education. It is the dreams they have written down on paper that will redefine the fashion industry of the future. In essence, they are now writing new runways, which will change fashion in ways as different as their dreams are. This year, the UCOF Gala was all about the students and in preparation for their fashion debut they presented their own collections on the night.

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The students went through the year in training to build their own collections, which exceeded even their expectations. Throughout the entire experience the students learned in the areas of design, textile, marketing, fashion merchandising, management, business development, and event production, which have allowed them to showcase their spectacular collections last week.

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UCOF Academy Celebrates Dreams with Fourth Annual Gala

In Uncategorized / October 8, 2014 / 0 Comments

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UCOF Academy celebrates dreams with fourth annual Gala

NEW YORK, NY (October 8th, 2014) – Tonight, United Colors of Fashion Inc. will celebrate the hard work of our students at the fourth annual Gala, taking place at the historic Lexington Avenue Armory, New York at 6:30pm. This year the Gala theme; “Paper Dreams: Writing New Runways,” pays homage to the dreams of the students, who are ultimately the driving force behind the mission UCOF has to empowering youth through fashion education. It is the dreams they have written down on paper that will redefine the fashion industry of the future. In essence, they are now writing new runways, which will change fashion in ways as different as their dreams are. This year, the UCOF Gala is all about the students and in preparation for their fashion debut they will present their own collections on the night. In addition, they are giving their seal of approval of the theme with a collection of paper dresses, which will be put on display.

The students have gone through the year in training to build their own collections, which have exceeded even their expectations. Throughout the entire experience our students have learned in the areas of design, marketing, merchandising and production, which have allowed them to showcase their spectacular collections tonight.

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UMANO Phone Interview: “Rock a Pocket. Empower a Kid.”

In Icons,Uncategorized / August 16, 2014 / 0 Comments

By: Venita Aspen

How did you come up with the idea?
We’re a brother duo, and we knew our social mission from the jump. Our parents were both teachers and it was a given that we would focus on education. The concept came from the desire to want to do something. We believe that one does not have to choose between doing well and doing good. We don’t have a background in fashion but were inspired by game changing moments while learning about social entrepreneurship.

How do you choose each Pocket Artist?
Virtue cycles start and end with a Giving Trip and we collect drawings. We come back with 800 or more drawings, and start looking at each and every one. We find the drawings that will do the best as PocketArt and then go to work, but one rule protects the drawing- we don’t add or take anything away from the drawing.

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UCOF honors Bruce Reynolds in the name of fashion philanthropy.

In Uncategorized / August 9, 2014 / 1 Comment

BY: Jamil Khan

Bruce Reynolds

Bruce Reynolds

NEW YORK – The foundations of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) have the ethos of giving embedded in them. The UCOF vision has always been reflective of the concept of paying it forward, and it is that vision that has assisted over 350 youth in the tri-state area since 2010. The work that UCOF does through its free fashion education Student Training Arts And Design (STAND) program, gives aspiring fashion professionals the exposure to and training in fashion they would not be able to get starting out in the industry.

Speaking of giving, Bruce Reynolds, a friend of UCOF, celebrated his birthday this week in New York and our President Ciano Clerjuste attended. Bruce has been a trusted advisor to the organization on many topics from business to fashion – which is ultimately his forté. Bruce was the correspondent for ABC’s “On The Red Carpet” where he has interviewed nearly every Hollywood celebrity and he often serves on fashion panels assessing the latest fashion and trends.

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UCOF President Partners to Help Haiti

In Uncategorized / July 26, 2014 / 0 Comments

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UCOF President partners to help Haiti

NEW YORK, NY – July 23rd, 2014 – Three weeks ago the President and Chairman of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF), Ciano Clerjuste, joined a group of 100 people from NOAH NY on a special medical mission in Haiti. With Haiti still picking up the pieces of the devastating 2010 earthquake, NOAH NY took doctors and nurses from various US hospitals, non-medical volunteers and medical students from Howard University, to Fort-Liberte Hospital to provide assistance to those in need. This is the sixth trip the organization has made to Haiti.

Ciano Clerjuste, President and Chairman of United Colors of Fashion, Inc. (UCOF) with patients at Fort Liberte General hospital, Haiti.

Above: Ciano Clerjuste, President and Chairman of United Colors of Fashion, Inc. (UCOF) with patients at Fort Liberte General hospital, Haiti.

“Six years ago NOAH NY decided to focus its medical mission on Haiti’s Northeastern Town of Fort Liberte. More than 25,000 patient visits and 400 surgeries later, we now have a better sense of the needs in Fort Liberte and its surrounding towns. It continues to be apparent that quality healthcare and health education is badly needed. However, there is one caveat, it has to be provided throughout the year and we must have our own facility. We will achieve this goal in 2015,” said Dr. Henry Paul, President of NOAHNY

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Look Du Jour: Nicholas Rodriguez

In Look Du Jour,Uncategorized / July 20, 2014 / 0 Comments

Name: Nicholas Rodriguez

Nicholas Rodriguez

Nicholas Rodriguez

City: New York, NY
School: Borough Community of Manhattan
Major: Liberal Arts

Ombré: What is the inspiration of your look today?
Nicholas: My overall inspiration was grungy street wear. I paired my distressed shorts with a colorblock tee. I wanted my outfit to be casual while keeping some edginess to it.

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Feedback from our students

In Uncategorized by UCOF / May 11, 2014 / 1 Comment

For many who have dreams of choosing fashion as a profession, a long difficult road lies ahead. The progression of the fashion industry has led it to create a partition between the elites who made it in and newcomers who aspire to get in. The partition proves, for most, to be a challenge too hard to confront.

It is for this reason that President of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) Academy; Ciano Clerjuste started this one of a kind organization four years ago. His dreams of becoming a fashion designer were unfortunately deferred due to a personal tragedy. Although he chose a different career, he never forgot his dream and instead of wallowing in bitterness, he chose to invest in the dreams of the many young people who have their hearts set on the same journey.

Today, UCOF Academy actively helps under resourced youth in the tri-state area gain exposure and opportunities within the fashion industry in various fields. As interns of the UCOF Academy Educates: STAND (Students Training Arts and Design) program, which is the only one of its kind offering free training to students, these fashion hopefuls get the opportunity to learn everything about the industry. The experience they take from UCOF Academy equips them with the understanding and resolve thrive in fashion.

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