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Nicholas Rodriguez was born in the Heart of New York in spring of 1995, and was raised by his mother and father. Nicholas knew at a young age that he had a love for fashion and that it was a comfortable outlet for his creativity. As he grew older he became more determined to find his way into the industry. When he found UCOF he felt it was a great stepping-stone that has taught him the different aspects and hard work necessary to succeed in the fashion industry. Nicholas hopes to continue to work towards realizing his dream to become a professional fashion stylist.
My name is Destiny Bledman. I am seventeen years old. I am a high school graduate currently enrolled at Berkeley College to earn a bachelors degree in Fashion Marketing and Management with a minor in Business Administration. I consider myself to be a very creative, multitalented and self driven individual. Fashion, dance and art are some of the things that make my world go around. My dream is to become a successful fashion designer with my own label. I want to be able to give back to my community in a big way and pay it forward. In other words, I want people to remember my name long after I have left this earth by the help I have offered to others. Being a part of UCOF’s Fashion Education program has allowed me to use my creativity through practical experience and gain vital skills and knowledge that will benefit me in my career within the fashion industry. Most importantly this program offers a once in-a-lifetime opportunity that will take me one step closer to achieving my dreams.
My name is Myberson Saint Pierrre. Working for UCOF for the past two years has been an amazing experience. It has been an honor and privilege to work with such a great group of people. Two years ago I had recently purchased my first camera to film documentaries and record any projects in which I was involved. I had the good fortune to meet Ciano Clerjuste and share with him my interest in film. He offered me the opportunity to intern with UCOF and I took it. I needed the credits for school and I figured it would be a cool experience. At the time I didn’t know much about UCOF, fashion and what lay ahead.
As a UCOF intern, I worked backstage at David Tllale’s fashion show during NY Fashion Week. It was a unique experience and one I would not have had if not for UCOF. The models were getting their pictures taken by professional fashion photographers and I was amazed to be in their company. The quality of the images I took was amazing.
As cliché as it sounds, the models looked beautiful. I loved the experience and wanted more of it. After working two shows at New York Fashion Week I still feel the same way as I did the first time. If it weren’t for UCOF, I don’t know what profession I would be after right now. All I know is that I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now as a fashion videographer/photographer. My goal is to someday work for Victoria’s Secret and/or “Vogue Magazine.”
I appreciate the opportunity UCOF has given me and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the both of us.
My name is Ayanna Clarke. I am a creator hailing from Atlanta. Currently, I’m studying International Trade and Marketing at FIT, and am a member of the Presidential Honor’s Scholars Program. I am also a blogger for the FIT admission’s page. As a queer woman of color from the South, realizing that my perspective is a unique one, I often find myself writing about navigating my way around the city and the fashion industry. I am acutely aware of the underrepresentation of people of color in the fashion industry, from prominent designers to runaways, and everything in between. Upon graduation plans to effect change by making people of color more prominent in the fashion industry and improving the lives of millions who are exploited in the industry. During the UCOF seminar, I was exposed to industry professionals who shared knowledge usually only attainable through years of working in the industry.
Having access to this information is invaluable. Being involved in a free seminar offered by an organization that is actively working towards change was an exciting experience. A point that was continuously being mentioned throughout the seminar was the importance of “networking,” and maintaining a positive image within the industry. Essentially, that just means building a community of people who share similar goals and are willing to help each other. Since fashion is an industry based on relationships, creating a circle that sees the vision, and is supportive would be such an honor. Encouraging change, in an industry or profession is a struggle, but when support is offered, nothing is impossible