Friday, February 28, 2014

United Colors of Fashion

Since I gave a little behind-the-scenes look at my design internship during fashion week, I thought I'd also give a little glimpse at another internship I'm working on right now. It's with a non-profit organization called United Colors of Fashion and I think their mission is extremely important.

UCOF's mission focuses on two things:

1. Empowering youth through fashion
The fashion industry can be incredibly hard to break into. Being successful in fashion requires a lot of connections, and unfortunately many young people dream of entering the industry but lack the resources. UCOF provides a free fashion education to under-resourced youth in the New York City area. Students are taught various aspects of the fashion business and matched with internships that give them real-world experience and allow them to build industry connections.

photo credit: Luan Luu

2. Curing HIV/AIDS
Sub-Saharan Africa is an area that is greatly affected by HIV/AIDS. UCOF works with the Mapetla Day Care in South Africa to bring both financial and material assistance to children living affected by HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia, and paralysis. You can take a look at one of UCOF's trips to the day care here.

Co-founder and President, Ciano Clerjuste, on one of UCOF's trips to South Africa.

Consider the scope of the fashion and textile industry: from the creation of a textile to a finished product in a retail store, and the million steps in between. This makes fashion/textiles one of the largest industries worldwide. When an industry has that much power, it's important to use it for good. UCOF is doing just that, harnessing the power of the fashion industry to help others.

UCOF is also launching Ombré Magazine, a philanthropic arts, fashion, and lifestyle magazine run by interns. There's a lot of exciting things planned for Ombré, so expect big things in the future!

I've been working as one of the social media specialists at UCOF, so basically I use social media to raise awareness about the organization. So here you go, spread the word!


p.s. these pics are all UCOF's, I'm just borrowing :)
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