Fashion 4 a cause

Image by Darren Watley

It happened!! On the 4th November of this year, we in association with Lotus Event management got to host our first fashion showcase- DOnation UK: Fashion for a cause. A 2 part event comprising of a business seminar networking event and a runway show.

Model behaviour: The female models for the event with our creative director, Paulinah (centre) L-R: Tavesha, Sachae, Tanya, Savannah, Elena and Molly.Image by Darren Watley

Black and gold: Paulinah with model Savannah

Following, the story of a childhoods friend journey to source a suitable donor for a kidney transplant, the DOnation UK project was initially born by our creative directors desire to use her creative platform to do something for this cause and raise awareness for this specific health issue – the huge shortage of registered donors within the black and ethnic minority community. The event was held at the beautiful Canalside; a modern event space situated in The Cube, part of the super hip Mailbox complex, Birmingham.

Fortunately for Paulinah her desire to bring the idea to life was made possible through the collaboration with Lotus Event management– owned by Janet Eboh-Sampson- the brain child behind the event and sister to Paulinah.

Our 7 years, in the fashion industry meant we’ve accumulated a wealth of fashion contacts within the Midlands and were able to harness the assistance of some of the local Fashion elite to support and visualize the night.

We selected 6 of Birmingham’s current ‘designers of the moment’ to showcase alongside us, consisting of this years Midland fashion awards winners: Dionne Reeves menswear, Kashane Swaby, Meraki Menswear by Sofia Clarke. Along with 2016 emerging designer runner up, Rosie Billington, FDC radical designer 2017 Alxzandria Chantiluke and recent graduate Latisha Augustine with her brilliant women’s sports luxe collection.

The Magnificent 7! The designers whose creativity made this event possible. L-R: Alxzandria Chantiluke, Sofia Clarke, our Creative director, Paulinah Eboh-Sampson, Rosie Billington, Dionne Reeves and Deleisha Swaby. Image by Darren Watley

A barrage of hiccups along the way of varying sizes, threatened to completely derail the whole event. But, as the all familiar saying would have it the show had to go on and although, extremely stressful, it was a blast! With our backstage photographer, Darren Watley not failing to disappoint; capturing every moment of the event shenanigans with his candid shots of the excursions backstage. Photographer Antony Taylor and official event photographer, Davina James (Lensi Photography) captured the main runway snaps.

The finest hand picked models- Molly Davidson, Tavesha Campbell, Sachae Richardson, Paris Allen, Tanya Mihailovic, Savannah Smith, Elena Luziac, Leo Kuttaz, Yussaf Kassam, Matta Adcock, Dan Edwards, Orson Nurse and Ryan Wilkinson- with runways walks that spared no mercy on our LED light runway, graced our catwalk and brought our designers creativity to life.

Image by Antony Taylor Model Tavesha repping Dolls of Decadence

We have done our marathon of thankyou’s to all involved; directly from Paulinah, through her personal Facebook page, but we couldn’t end this post without thanking them again. Forever, grateful to the amazing people who got behind our cause to make it happen! THANKYOU! With another little special mention to: Lotus event Management who worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of all aspects, as well as Sid Bailey owner of SamsScents who went above and beyond to deliver her beautiful handmade wax soy melts for our goody bags. Again, thank you also to our headline sponsor Canalside and all other sponsors: Beauty by Marra, KG Artistry, Chelsea Moore and Make up creation by Sylvia.

A candid moment captured by Darren Watley of the two founders of the DOnation UK projects, sisters Paulinah (Dolls of Decadence) and Janet (Lotus event management) with host comedian Mr Cee.

We aimed to bring about a dynamic level of appreciation to all the creatives, who gave their time and expertise to make the event a resounding success; promoting them, their expertise and their role on the day because the whole concept was all about giving back and ultimately to come together as a ‘nation‘- a light very fashionable nation- of people to DO something positive for two phenomenal charities, The Rik Basra Leukemia campaign and The ACLT (African Caribbean leukemia trust) who dedicate their time to raising awareness and funds for people facing these health issues. DO-nation. Learn more about the project here.

As part of our #Fashion4acause,  we are pleased to donate £300 to the African Caribbean Leukemia trust (ACLT) and The Rik Basra Leukemia campaign. 7 people provided a cheek swab and signed up to the stem cell donor register with ACLT during event and 3 people also signed up on the night for stem cell donation with the Rik Basra Leukemia campaign.

Have fun, having a mooch through some of the hot-to-trot shots from the night and keep an eye out for more footage from the night, which has been and will be making its way across social media over the weeks.

Fashion 4 a cause 2018?- who knows what the future holds?!

Dionne Reeves menswear. Image by Darren Watley

Deuces. Fashion designer Alxzandria with her collection SWAMP 81, Modelled by (L-R) Yussuf, Orson, Ryan and Leo. Image by Darren Watley

Image by Darren Watley. Snapchat crazy- our backstage manager, Jaimal Mistry capturing Dionne Reeves as she adds the final dress finishes to the models

Latisha Augustine- The full line up. Image by Antony Taylor

Image by Darren Watley . The DOnation UK: Fashion for a cause showcase was supported by the Birmingham Chambers of Commerce

Credits: Darren Watley photography

Antony Taylor photography