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.
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.
The gala, which takes place on October 9th is UCOF’s largest fundraising event of the year, which brings together fashion lovers to witness the work that we do in exposing our interns to the endless opportunities they might not previously have had access to.
Sade’s first collection will soon be unveiled to its first audience and she is an eclectic mix of nerves, excitement and energy at the thought of the event.
Her journey has taught her much about the importance of philanthropy and investing in people.
“I’ve learned various lessons through my journey with UCOF. I’ve gained more of an appreciation for philanthropy. I’ve learned that there is always an opportunity to help someone who is less fortunate than yourself,” she says.
As for her collection, she describes the preparation of it as intense, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Working for UCOF has “pushed her past the limits she had set for herself” and she is extremely grateful for the opportunity.
With the fighting spirit of a lioness and the meticulous dedication Sade has come to display, we are confident that her collection will turn heads and drop jaws. She has invested so much time and work into perfecting her craft and advancing the vision of UCOF for the betterment of others. With a resilience not often seen, Sade has shown that it is never too late to follow your dreams, and beyond that she has proved that your dreams could provide hope for someone else to achieve theirs. She is a true paragon of community and a role model of what can be achieved when people are true to their passions.
“I hope to be an inspiration to someone else who has a desire to create. My intention is to have a successful career as a fashion designer and philanthropist. I would love to continue to work with UCOF in the future, as I strongly believe in their mission,” says Sade about her future plans.
Sade Solomon has made one of the most profound contributions to the mission of UCOF, both at home and abroad and we are forever indebted. We will continue to support her as she climbs her way to the top of the fashion philanthropy ladder.
Jamil Khan is a Psychology graduate from Stellenbosch University with a keen interest in fashion, social upliftment and research. He is a United Colors Of Fashion press intern and lifestyle writer for The New Age Newspaper, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.