On Sunday, Oct. 18 hundreds of students, faculty, and guests piled outside the doors of the John L. Tishman Auditorium located at Parsons School of Design eagerly waiting for the 11th Annual Sisters on the Runway Charity Fashion Show.
Sisters on the Runway (SOTR) is a non-profit organization that raises awareness and funds for women and children residing in domestic violence shelters. Since SOTR’s start in 2005, young creative adults have been encouraged to use their passion for art and fashion to make a difference in the world.
This year, Parsons’ senior and SOTR New York Chapter President, Blair Morgan Reeves ran her fourth and last annual SOTR show as fabulously and as smoothly as ever – beginning with a 6 p.m. reception overrun with photographers, great food from Grey Dog, dessert from TreatHouse, and wine from Trader Joe’s.
“The best part of being the president of SOTR is that I am not only helping young designers get their work out there and seen by hundreds of people, but I am also able to use fashion to raise awareness about domestic violence,” Reeves said. “I think this is a direction that more fashion brands are going towards – using fashion to benefit and help other people.”
All of the proceeds from this year’s show will go to Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States.
Students weren’t the only ones volunteering for the big event. Professors and staff from Parsons and The New School pitched in as well.
“The students put together such creative and effortful organization that disproves that their generation is a narcissistic one,” New School Professor Michele Frank said. “The fact that they came in mid-semester to work ticket sales, set up tables, and prepare for modeling, shows the innovative dynamic at The New School,” Frank continued.
“The New School is a very exciting place to be and this show is amplifying how critical it is that the retail and fashion world don’t ignore an invisible population – I am very proud of the students, other volunteers, Sisters on the Runway organization, and The New School as a whole.”
In addition to volunteering to help out with the fashion show, Professor Frank is offering a course entitled “Understanding and Treating Victims of Abuse.” The course begins on Jan. 26 from 8 to 9:50 p.m.
Once the show began the runway came to life with designs presented and created by current students and alumni from Parsons and the Fashion Institute of Technology. The show featured 15 designers altogether, including: Carly Elizabeth, Casey Barber, Deepti Moga, Elias Gurrola, Grave X Sl, Havanna Fisher, Helena Bajaj Larsen, Kellita, Jillian Demayo, Jinglin Du, Michael Laed, Mouen, Rebecca Rivera Irishlatina, Stephenae A. Searles, and Zel.
“I made this collection with my mother in mind,” Parsons Graduate and Fashion Designer Havanna Fisher said. “Because that is what it is all about – mothers and daughters supporting one another,” she continued. “If more and more women began protecting and supporting each other, we could end domestic abuse.”
Each collection spoke louder than words to convey one powerful message for victims of domestic abuse. A message that screamed out ‘you are strong and you will overcome this.’
By the end of the night, the 250 tickets sold resulted in a $3,000 donation to the Safe Horizon shelter.