By Walter Rutledge
Virgin Island Fashion Week 2011 and The American Cancer Association presented Caribbean Catwalk For A Cure fashion show fundraiser, on Saturday July 29, at the Club Panache, 2110 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. The event was another example of the Harlem community coming together to support a worthy cause. Fifteen designers, over sixty models, make-up artists, stylists, hairdressers, and a bevy of support staff donated their time and talent to bring greater awareness to Breast Cancer. The event was the brainchild of CEO and Founder of Virgin Island Fashion Week 2011 Henry R. Marsham, Jr. and Executive Director Forrest Butler.
The event had a special meaning to Butler. “I lost my mother in 1979 to cancer. I am a health care professional, it is imperative for me to bring this important message to the Harlem community,” shares Butler.
It is the goal of the sponsors to make this an annual event; and if the augural evening was any indication they are off to a great start. In addition to the outpouring of artistic support the business community; Sugar Hill Restaurant (Brooklyn) Tonnie’s Minis, MAC Cosmetics, Tonnae Nicole Cosmetics, J.B. b.o.r.n., Romell 4 Face, “We Love Hair” Hair Salon and The Brownstone were also on-board.
Healthcare professionals, including Dr. Karen Seiter from New York Medical College, opened the evening reminding the crowd the importance of the event. The African American population has disproportionately higher rate of breast cancer deaths. The rate is even higher in Caribbean family because of ancestral taboos. This event was designed to remove some of those false notions, and to free woman of what should be outdated stigmas.
Tony award winner Melba Moore wowed the audience. Moore performed two songs for the enthusiastic audience, her new single Love Is and the classic Lean on Me. Her flawless voice and tour de force performance are what the public has come to expect from Moore.
Photographer Alex Aide
Video editing by Walter Rutledge