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.
The Gala was reflective of the arts, which is also inclusive of the mission of UCOF. Hosting the event was Kaye Tuckerman, lead actress from the cast of “Mama Mia,” on Broadway, and Thuli Dumakude who was casted as the original “Rafiki” from Disney’s “Lion King,” on Broadway, who made mention of the UCOF “Ambassadors of Hope” support bracelets that were made by the women of the Thembalethu Beader, meaning “My Hope.”
The latter part of the Gala consisted of an international high fashion runway show, which was produced by the internationally acclaimed fashion and entertainment producer in Africa and honoree for Producer of the Year, Jan Malan. Featured designers such as season nine, “Project Runway” winner, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and returning presenter to UCOF, South African designer, David Tlale and other international designers such as Style Butler (Denmark), Amparo Chorda (Spain), Carla Silva (Angola), Naked Ape (South Africa), and Soucha Fashion House (Egypt)-an exhibition by House of Diehl (USA) and Losson Couture (Spain). The show featured supermodels such as Sessilee Lopez, legendary Pat Cleveland, Ajak Deng, just to name a few and was supported by international ambassadors such as Ms. Universe 2011, Leila Lopes.
Tonight was a harmonious orchestration and manifestation of the mission of UCOF. Each facet of what UCOF embodies, that of embracing fashion, art and philanthropy, was beautifully depicted at this event. This Gala served as a commencement ceremony to bring awareness and support to the uniqueness of UCOF, but more so, that patrons can have an intimate look, a visual demonstration of what the capabilities of UCOF consists of.
The organization will continue accepting 100% tax-deductible donations, products and government grants until March 1, 2013. The team is scheduled to travel to South Africa in March to deliver all donations to the Soweto Hospice, and spend a week with the children at Mapetla Day Care in Soweto. The total amount raised from the Gala, auction, government grants and corporate donors will be reported to the public in the first quarter of 2013. “We urge supporters and the fashion industry to not just end here, but continue supporting and donating to our cause as it will help bring a better and brighter future,” said Veronica Rovegno, UCOF’s founding partner and Vice President.
This event was made possible by the board of directors. Additional support provided in part with South African Airways, Hair & The City, Makeup Pro, Wines of South Africa, Jan Malan Productions, Losson Couture, COPHA, Patemm, DP Photo, IMG, New York Model, Wilhemina, Major Model, MUSE, Hadja Models, Red Models, Q Models, Women Model, Fenton Moon Models, Dimitrios, Heart 365 Emporium, Teni Cocker, Gwyneth, Eleqt, Fashion One TV, Vigore and Eramene Clerjuste.
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