Photography and direction: Steven Miesel
BY Deborah Ferguson
Shopping for gifts for friends, colleagues, family can leave one feeling frustrated and stressed, I found an option when that thought that takes over 'will they really like this?' My go to idea when frustrated is donating on behalf of family and friends to various charities and causes they support or one that I feel they would appreciate and feel aligned with. Here is one that a friend of mine and his team have worked very hard on creating.
Dec 18 Melange is hosting a toy drive for http://glide.org at Antologia Vinoteca in which the Melange celebrity team are re uniting to host and encourage sponsorship.
And for those not in San Francisco, I suggest donating to this charity as it's quite relevant for today's current issues and can be immediately impactful.
Past Melange event Press release
(San Francisco, CA) – Designers, celebrities, performers and garments traveled from Brazil, Sweden, France, LA, NYC, and more to participate in San Francisco’s annual fashion showcase, Melange 2014. Celebrity designers, including Punk Kouture, who has designed for Rihanna & Nicki Minaj, as well as international designers, such as Peruvian Varignia Garcia, ventured to San Francisco to support the empowerment of a more diverse image of beauty and talent in the fashion industry.
Over 600 community leaders and local residents attended Melange 2014 to spectate this global celebration of diversity and human rights. Special guests & opening speakers for the show included diverse leaders of the Bay Area, including: Rev. Theon Johnson III and Karen Oliveto from the civil rights leading Glide Church; Jenn Kurrie, the President of Junior League of San Francisco, a woman’s leadership & community service organization; and Gil Padia, the Board Chair of Academy of Friends, which organizes one of the largest charity galas for HIV/AIDS resources in the Bay Area.
The show opened with an awards ceremony, hosted by Katiti Kironde, the first African American woman on the cover of Glamour and Harvard entrepreneur, as well as Cory Wade Hindorff, LGBT activist and finalist of America’s Next Top Model. Cory was honored with Model of the Year Award, and at Melange 2014, he took the runway by storm modeling for designer Punk Kouture. Cory’s look consisted of a jeweled, red plaid hat, fashion forward denim, glittered pants, and a top with black lace sleeves and a torso highlighting the iconic flag of Great Britain. Punk Kouture described his line as “18th century meets punk,” which is exactly what he delivered from head to toe.
Other award recipients included: Laganja Estranja, from RuPaul’s Drag Race receiving Performer of the Year Award; Bobby Lando, Stylist of the Year Award for his work with Iggy Azalea and Lady Gaga; Alessandra Senna from Brazil for International Fashion Ambassador Award; Chewy Jang, for Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and Charlie Robs, from Paris for Student Designer Award. VC Couture, a local Bay Area African American designer who has work featured in Vogue and Cosmo, was also awarded the Bay Area Designer Award.
Makeup designs by Sephora were featured on a total of 18+ designers on the Melange catwalk, including the world runway premiere of elemoon. Elemoon founder, Jing Zhou, flew out from NYC to attend Melange and showcase the technology innovation at Melange 2014. Elemoon has been worn by celebrities such as Lea Michele. VLADO Footwear was the official footwear sponsor of Melange 2014. Other celebrity designers included Natalia Fedner, who designed for Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, and the legendary music and film celebrity designer, Glynneth B Jewelry. 100+ local models participated in the show alongside other celebrity guests, including the Barbies Addiction, who have worked with Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, as well as Chapkins Dance Company from So You Think You Can Dance.
This year, Melange also pioneered its first international show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The show showcased Melange’s concept of diversity and fashion integration into a celebration of life and self-expression, led by Cristina Ribeiro, the President of Melange Brazil and Creative Director of Melange 2014. Talia Romano, COO of Melange, explains, “Melange partnering with Rio de Janeiro City Hall and participating in the coming together of 32 countries for the pre-World Cup 2014 festivities in Brazil was exciting and such an honor. Brazil is a melting pot and with the World Cup there, it was an enormous opportunity in an ideal and timely environment for celebrating culture, diversity, unity, and self-love Melange style. These several shows combined a medley of art forms for spectacular, festival-like shows that provide a unique experience for the audience that is relatable and unifying in celebrating the enrichment that diversity and tolerance brings to society.”
The Melange concept continues to grow worldwide each year as it promotes the empowerment of the LGBT, Black, Asian and Latino community members to participate in the changing perception of health and social behavior by showcasing an image of beauty that is reflective of the rich diversity of modern society.
Celebrity Guest model: Cory Wade Hindorff
Photos by: Herm Pugay