Monday, December 15, 2014

EDITOR'S LETTER: December 2014

During the Thanksgiving Holiday, on my visit back home, my brother introduced me to the greatness of the HBO series, Orange is the New Black. Whenever I come home to visit my family, my brother and I have time to catch up with each other by binge watching television series I am too busy to pay attention to with my normal busy schedule. When he mentioned he wanted me to watch the critically acclaimed show, I had my assumptions that the only reason my 17 year old brother was watching the show was because of the plethora of women’s locker room scenes, but I found myself utterly captivated and amused by the show and I stayed up till 5 o’clock in the morning watching the entire first season, well after my brother had decided to go to bed. In my fashion, “Orange is the New Black” is genius! 

Dress for Success Personal Shoppers assist clients with wardrobe attire for their new positions. Women who are referred to DFS go through a program where they get 1 initial suiting for their interview. If they are hired, they then get an additional 5 outfits to go towards their 1st work week and beginning of a more independent lifestyle.

For the past two months, I have been volunteering with the non-profit organization, Dress for Success of Central Virginia. If you are unfamiliar with the organization I suggest you check IMFblog later in the next few days to read the article I wrote for my company’s community newsletter on behalf of the Accessory Drive I conducted at my job for Dress for Success. Dress for Success’ main mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Having volunteered as personal shopper for the past two months, I am so proud to be affiliated with an organization that really speaks to the power of clothes, and the social responsibility of the fashion industry to use fashion for its finest purpose. Providing confidence! 

Considering, this is considered the season for giving I feel even better about assisting Dress for Success because it’s the holiday season and funds are looking a little funny in the gift buying department, so holding an Accessory Drive where I made a call for donations of dress shoes and heels, jewelry, handbags, and new hosiery was a really fitting for the time because in the two weeks I was able to collect over 750 items to stock the Dress for Success Boutique, as well as prepare us for our Dress For Success Fashion Show we are holding on April 17, 2015 at the Canal Club in Richmond, Virginia. There is no other satisfaction than being able to help someone get dressed and gain confidence to be able to forward their quality of life. In 2015, we are really looking to assist women who will be exiting correctional facilities to assist them with transitioning back into the public to start building a better life for themselves, so it was a coincidence for me when my brother had me watch “Orange is the New Black”, because now I have a new understanding and perspective on the lives of women in prison. 

I love the show because they will have a theme for what is going on in the episode, but on top of that they will show the back story of one of the women who correlates very closely with that theme for the episode, explaining why that particular women is in jail. Most women who are incarcerated are admitted because of self-defense or taking the fall for the crimes of another accomplice (i.e. brother, father, boy/girlfriend). Even though the women deserve time for their wrongdoing in most situations, the circumstances behind their actions is interesting to delve into. 

In my fashion, instead of receiving this season, giving to ones community can be just as fulfilling as receiving a Larson & Jennings chain metal watch (aside: on my wishlist), or the Hilfiger Collection shearling-lined army-green parka I have had an eye for since it was photographed in the October 2014 issue of Vogue. Thinking back to Audrey Hepburn, I have been inspired by how she contributed to UNICEF, giving her energy and notoriety to a noble cause. I am glad an organization such as Dress for Success exists and to have a great new project to be a part of in 2015.

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