When you think of fashion capitols of the world you may think of Los Angeles, New York or Paris. Phoenix may not be on your radar, but look out! Phoenix is becoming fashion-forward, and not just for fun. There is a growing trend in the greater Phoenix area, combining fashion with a greater cause.
The Gateway Academy in Phoenix is putting on a special fashion show to raise awareness for Autism. April is Autism Awareness month, so the students and teachers at Gateway decided to participate with a Spring fashion show, dedicated to the cause. Students are behind all of the designs featured in the show and twenty six students participated this year. This cause is near and dear to those at Gateway, as it is a school specifically for those with Asperger’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. For more information on the Gateway Academy, please visit https://www.gatewayacademy.us/
Just last month in March, a local non-profit, The Garment League hosted its second annual “On Central” event raising funds for underprivileged youth to obtain scholarships to Fashion and Art schools. Last years event raised awareness and donations for the Amanda Hope Rainbow Angels who supply hospitalized children with garments that open to expose ports and allow for blood draw without the child having to undress. Amanda Hope was a 12 year old child who battled cancer twice. She dreamed of being a fashion designer, and came up with the idea of garments that keep the dignity of the children in treatment. She disliked having to expose her body in the cold and sterile hospital environment and wanted to create a solution to this. After Amanda’s passing, her mother Lorraine Tallman continued to carry on her mission. Amanda’s garments are now distributed to children’s hospitals at no cost.
Founder of The Garment League, Tricee Thomas is on a mission to raise awareness and funds for people in need. Besides her “On Central” event, she hosts other charity events to supply youth with Fashion scholarships. She also heads the “Doll House” education for children who want to learn modeling and design skills. Various local companies sponsor these kids in their endeavors and attendance in “Doll House”.
Thomas is a local designer herself, and owns a boutique in Central Phoenix. Along with her husband Ken and best friend Cynthia, as well of a host of volunteers, Thomas is providing a large platform for models and designers to showcase themselves on the runway. “On Central” not only raises awareness for different causes but provides a platform for models and designers alike to get amazing photos, build a reputation in the fashion community and get future work. She is very well known not just for her design work, but for her leadership in giving back. To learn more, or to donate to The Garment League, please visit http://www.thegarmentleague.org