The second annual Rockland Fashion Week puts Nyack and surrounding communities in the tri-state back on the map of the international fashion world after a gap year due to the pandemic. The first Fashion week was held in December of 2019.
Produced by Hope Wade Designs of Nyack, the kick-off event is set for this Saturday, November 6 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm at the Palisades Center, located at 1000 Palisades Center Drive in West Nyack. The runway will be set up in front of the H&M store on the first floor of the mall.
Tickets are still available, priced at $30 and $55. The $55 VIP ticket entitles the guest to special seating and refreshments, plus a swag bag brimming with goods worth over $150. Guest fashionistas – which according to the dictionary definition includes men as well as women – are invited to dress to show their personal style.
“Building on the big success we had in 2019, this year’s kick-off promises to be bigger and even more exciting,” said Hope Wade, Fashion Week producer and owner of Hope Wade Designs.
“The main runway event will showcase the work of 14 designers including four from Rockland, plus lead makeup artist Litha Vazquez from Project Runway, JayLee and Sephora for makeup products, Ziggy Artistry for hairstyling and more than 40 models including the Faces of Beauty Model Team,.”
Adding spice to the mix, live music will be provided by crooner Mark Wade, Dance Hall Pastor Stephen Blake who hails from Jamaica, and a guest artist from VP Records.
Wade said her goal as producer was to make the event as local and inclusive as possible. In addition to the launch event, Rockland Fashion Week will feature discussions about the fashion business in local schools. Additional activities will include pop-up shops in Nyack at Hope Wade Designs at 23 North Broadway and the Maria Luisa boutique at 77 South Broadway, as well as at A Time To Clothes in the Mall.
Wade courageously opened shop in September of 2020 while the pandemic was still raging. Since then, she has managed to keep her business humming, creating couture dresses and gowns for women and children. She selects materials, designs, sketches and sews every garment she sells.
Fashion isn’t the only arena where Wade is making a mark. She was recently elected president of the Jamaican Civic & Cultural Association of Rockland (JAMMCAR), a decades-old civic organization that provides a platform for politicians and community leaders to discuss local issues. Among other activities, the organization awards scholarships to local high school students headed for college.
Wade’s goals for the future are nothing short of remarkable. “I want Rockland Fashion Week to become a staple in Rockland County that not only showcases clothing designers, but becomes a full-time employer and a training school for models,” said Wade.
“I want to build a factory so that designers, especially those of color, have a facility to manufacture their clothing. I would love to give a scholarship annually to an emerging designer – with no age limit. It would also be fun to create a fashion talk show and a shopping network.”
Why Nyack, and why Rockland as the place to pursue her dreams? Wade’s answer: “Nyack reminds me of Port Royal in Kingston, Jamaica where I grew up. Nyack is a town with special charm. The riverfront – and the people – are beautiful.”
Participating fashion industry artists include:
Fredlyne Burns – Le Painture
Lorraine Freeman – Customly Yours*
Cor Du Roi
LaTeffaney – Kurvacious*
Time To Clothes*
Sandra Szpicek Leylegian-The Things I Love*
Annmarie Jameson- Elite Repeat*
Hope Wade Designs*
*From Rockland County
LINKS TO FASHION WEEK INFO:
MORE ABOUT HOPE WADE:
Celebrity designer Hope Wade has made a name for herself on the international runway, gracing catwalks at New York Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and Caribbean Fashion Week. She designed the gold sequined gown worn by Miss Jamaica at the 2018 Miss World Pageant in China. Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Darlene Love (a Rockland resident) wore Wade’s red flute gown on the David Letterman Show.
How did Wade become a fashion designer? Here’s how she tells it: “About 30 years ago, I was planning to attend a New Year’s Eve event that required formal attire. I didn’t have a proper dress. So I made one, drawing on my arts education, which I was fortunate to get at Cooper Union in New York City. All my friends loved the dress and started ordering their own. The rest of the story is still unfolding.”