PLYMOUTH – When former Vogue creative director and influencer Andre Leon Talley died earlier this year, his death made global headlines…as did the passing of forward-thinking designer Virgil Abloh a few months earlier . Both men were fashion icons and both helped highlight the impact of black designers on the industry.
Members of the Black Cultural Awareness Club at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School hope their May 14 fashion show – benefiting the Lupus Foundation of America and the BCA Scholarship Fund – will bring attention to black designers and stylists in this region.
The club’s second annual “Ade Shades of Brown” show is scheduled for 6-9 p.m. in the high school auditorium, 201 E. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting. Walking the runway, students from PW and Colonial Middle School model clothing and accessories offered at local stores and online. Starting at 2 p.m., a variety of merchants and vendors will sell their wares in a pop-up shop in the PW Cafeteria…among them WeLoveTisoit, LashayyCollection, Taria’s…It’s The Soul For Me!, Kmarie Kollection and Aharp Cosmetics.
The event is open to the public. General admission tickets are $10; VIP tickets, $25. These include front row seats, a free goodie bag and raffle ticket for other prizes and light snacks.
Senior coordinator Treasure Greene explains that the modifier “Ade” in the show’s title is “a Yoruba word meaning crown or royalty” and reflects “black culture, excellence and beauty…what we must appreciate in ourselves before we can share it within the community.”
“Ade Shades of Brown’s specific atmosphere of an all-black cast projecting black culture and identity was created because of the lack of self-esteem and confidence in our black youth and community,” Greene continues. “Therefore, it can be difficult to convince (students) to come on stage and be who they are…especially when they don’t even know who they are.
“BCA’s primary purpose is to provide a space for Black and Brown students and families to be who they are without judgment, even if only for a period of time. As students who are in their prime of growth, their mental health is on a spiral, and with their born identities being constantly attacked and questioned in their school and outside community, BCA offers them a relatable space to ‘they can breathe freely…and have conversations about who they are.
The 18-year-old local, a 2021 BCA grad from PW and now a freshman in Temple University’s criminal justice program, has pledged to share her own “journey of self-discovery.” .
“With everything else in life that I constantly juggle – college, work and my mental health – being a leader and mentor for black students and remaining a constant face at BCA is another ball I don’t. can’t get out of my equation,” says Greene. “My role as a leader and mentor to black youth has become my purpose…and a duty that has become part of who I am.”
As of press time, Greene and his team were still accepting sponsors and attendees for the upcoming show — specifically, “vendors and companies that have good messages and good values.” They also “accept donations of any kind” – from goods and gift cards for raffle prizes to monetary contributions. Additional details are available at 215-910-3276. Advance tickets can be purchased online at https://bca.ticketleap.com/fashion2022/.
The PW’S BCA Club is currently run by student officers Luwam Telklegiorgis and Ronald Keene and adult sponsors Kim Williams and Amanda Edwards. More information about the organization is posted at www.colonialsd.org.