This season as NYFW stomped out across New York City, socially distancing itself from Spring Studios to Battery Park, Supermodels Unlimited Magazine(SU) decided to take a stand to social injustice. The Diversity Rocks runway event was created to give emerging designers of diverse backgrounds a moment to shine, no matter their skin color or neighborhood.
The event proudly focused on helping to provide resources, media support, and new opportunities through the SU – Diversity in Design Scholarship being announced here on Fashion Week Online.
The winner of the $4,000 scholarship is Shenika Walker; she was chosen by the participating designers, who send their hearty congratulations to Ms.Walker.
THE WINNER OF THE $4,000 SCHOLARSHIP IS SHENIKA WALKER
Headlining the DIVERSITY ROCKS runway show was Google’s Lifestyle Icon of the Week, and USA Today’s Top 10 Entrepreneur, Justin Haynes. Haynes is the owner and designer of JUS10H, a fashion forward lifestyle brand known for its intricate patchwork details that flow effortlessly from street to chic. Joining Haynes were designers Kelly Dempsey from Project Runway, and Andrea Vasquez from Pinkapple Dresses. The show featured a live street art installation was painted live on the runway, by acclaimed graffiti street artist Lesn101.
The crowd went wild, when in a surprise move to the audience, Christian ‘King’ Combs emerged from a secret stairwell at the center of the Diversity Rocks Runway and took the stage in front of Lesn101’s artwork. He brought the crowd to their feet performing his hit songs live at the event, while showing off his serious new dance moves.
“My favorite part of the night is the energy in the room,” said Christian ‘King’ Combs. “We have all these beautiful ladies here, and a lot of dope clothes!”
The event was hosted by Jordan Kimball from The Bachelorette, & Bachelor in Paradise, along with beauty influencer Lisa Opie and the runway shows featured Kasey Cohen from Below Deck, and Laura Kirkpatrick from America’s Next Top Model.
“Diversity in fashion is a celebration of talents and design amongst a community of representation that allows every person to see someone like them have a big moment while showing strength in coming together, to display the beauty in all types of individuals. Diversity is key to true worldly influence and connection,” says Jordan Kimball from The Bachelorette, & Bachelor in Paradise. “The stage should always mirror the audience.”
SU curated a collective group of strong designer voices to inspire and motivate the industry, encouraging this generation to stand up to social injustice and make choices that matter. “In a world that’s rapidly changing, I think we need to stand together with love, respect and compassion. We hope to accomplish a show that signifies diversity and humanity while admiring the art, fashion and music that unite us as a community. I want our future generation to know that it’s okay to be different.
Being unique is cool. Let’s put aside our judgements and turn our differences into a celebration,” says Kimberly Clark, publisher and editor-in-chief of Supermodels Unlimited Magazine. “Let’s spread this imperative message … diversity rocks!”