Ciano Clerjuste is currently the founding partner, President and Chairman Of United Colors of Fashion (UCOF), which is a New York City-based non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization with a passion to locally mentor under resourced youth in New York City about the fashion industry through hands-on training in fashion education; and offer provisions of financial assistance, food, and clothing to youth in South Africa who are living with HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia and paralysis.
His work is as influential as traditional art. He has rubbed shoulders with the best in the fashion industry and the poorest of the poor yet in his own right, he is a simple, humble man contributing a change in our world today.
Prior to settling in the USA in 1996, Clerjuste made a promise to himself to help those less fortunate and in need the same way he was raised by his parents.
Fashion and arts have always had an impact on him. They helped him in many ways in time of need. Through many trials which he faced from the age of 17, dance and fashion were some of his areas of contentment. After a car accident that left his mother paralyzed from the waist down and the sudden passing of his father thereafter. He had to step to a role of responsibility by taking care of his younger sister. Amidst all this difficulty, he nurtured his talents throughout. Help poured in from some organizations and people, which gave him an opportunity to be where he is today.
“My most rewarding gifts and fragments of my journey on earth right now are knowing that l am able to use my talents, valuable time, expertise and fashion to empower youth. The best part of all this is, in return, l do not get any tangible compensation, whereas the making that huge difference in someone’s life is mesmerizing, remunerating, and enchanting.”
He has teamed with great designers from all over the globe. From as far as Argentina, Spain, Haiti, Angola, Paris, Trinidad, Philippines, Russia and South Africa – with one purpose in mind – to empower youth through high fashion.
Ciano Clerjuste was born and spent most of his teen years in Gonaїves, Haiti. His educational background spans across a wide range of theatrical performances, dance, film, fashion, and arts. With eighteen years of valid experience in these fields, he has graced stages performing in leading roles for such productions as Romeo & Juliet, South Pacific, Daniel’s Song, Pas De Deux, Lulumba, and Cinderella and for 5 years in the run in The Jesus Story. He has coupled his acting with directing some of these productions including Noel Sans Toi for five years. He has also performed in the WYACT/NJPAC Summer Musical Production.
With extensive training garnered from Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Newark School of the Arts, New York Conservatory of Dance and Cynthia Meryl, he has also made some independent films including The Kreyol Boys, Descent, and Love Around the World.
Today he holds a Bachelor in Business Administration and Management and has been an Account Executive for a Retirement & Global Asset company for the past eight years. In addition, he works as a freelance Interior Designer and a much sought after high-end event planner. His perfectionism and eye for detail has seen him work for three consecutive years with the US-Spain Chamber of Commerce, United Nations, and has planned a multitude charity events and weddings for the New York and New Jersey elite.
UCOF has been a platform for Clerjuste to work and showcase some young and gifted artists in fashion and expose them on a global scale in realizing their dreams. He also plays a role in planning the Annual Gala and International Fashion Benefit, which seeks to raise funds for UCOF’s Free Fashion Education Project and the Charity Care Program, and other organisations in Haiti. The main goal of the UCOF Charity Care Program is to help and assist people who are living with HIV/AIDS, paralysis and Sickle Cell.
He is delighted to work hand in hand with people who share the same vision and ideals as him – and that is to make a huge difference in the lives of those less fortunate around the world.
Clerjuste has a finger on the pulse.
Being on the cutting edge of fashion, events and charity work, Ciano demands excellence. He just doesn’t deliver excellence, but a better future for those he touches as well.