About Us

Mission Statement

Empowering Youth through Fashion Education.

United Colors of Fashion Inc. (UCOF) Academy is a New York City-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing fashion-focused:

to under-resourced youth in New York City. As fashion students leave school, they forfeit access to school facilities such as sewing machines, steamers, and well-equipped workspace in which to create. Under our UCOF Academy Educates: STAND, these youth are afforded opportunities to pursue their fashion careers at no charge to them.

Due to the repayment of student loans and the inability to find work after graduation, many cannot afford to purchase items on their own, and their dream of becoming a designer gives way to harsh reality. To date, 80% of new designers go out of business within two years of inception due to lack of resources, funding and support. UCOF Academy aims to alleviate the burden of these students, allowing them to apply what they have learned in school and build their own brand.

350 students


6 States

usa map

3 Countries




Benefactors cover out operating costs to ensure 100% of donations fund fashion education



Every cent accounted for with photos and videos of students’ activities

Our WorkUnited Colors of Fashion, Inc. (UCOF) Academy is the first registered 501(c)(3) organization in the U.S. to offer FREE Fashion Education to under-resourced youth. Under our UCOF Academy Educates: Student Training Arts and Design (STAND) program, these youth are afforded opportunities to pursue their fashion careers free of charge to them. Our core mission, thanks to a dedicated compliment of staff who all volunteer their time, is rooted in our STAND program. The program allows students to learn in areas of fashion design, fashion merchandising, global fashion, PR & marketing, production and product development. Since inception the project has assisted over 350 students in gaining access to institutions of higher learning and facilitated the allocation of scholarships to them.

As a means to give back, UCOF also raises funds to assist children infected and affected by HIV in South Africa with our UCOF Academy Cares Initiative. Our mission has also recently taken us to Haiti to provide medical assistance and teacher training – a mission we aim to expand in 2015. This initiative harnesses the fashion community’s compassion for those suffering with HIV/AIDS to bring relief to victims in developing countries that lack access to adequate medical care. It is estimated that 67% of the 33 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. In South Africa alone, there are 300,000 children living with HIV/AIDS and another 1.4 million who have been orphaned by the disease.

UCOF on NBC 4 New York

Ciano Clerjuste, founder and president of UCOF, Sandi Bass, casting director, and Devyn, UCOF’s global ambassador, join Janice Huff to give a preview of the 4th annual United Colors of Fashion Gala.

UCOF on Fox 5 New York News

Members of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF) talk about its upcoming Gala. Devyn, UCOF International Model Ambassador and winner of “The Face” talks about her experience being bullied.


The organization is registered with New York Department of Education, NY Charity Bureau, NY Department of State and the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) as a 501 (c)(3) organization under the name of United Colors of Fashion, Incorporated.

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