A girls night in with a few vendors started out small, but eventually grew into Fashion 4 Purpose, an organization that has made history as the first to create and host Long Island’s first fashion awards.
“My whole thing is to help and empower people,” said Fashion 4 Purpose Founder Carmen Smith. “Everyone really puts their love into this organization, and I said we should start honoring these people.”
“During our last fashion show, we honored people who have been part of the organization for a while, but it took up a big chunk of time,” explained Kristen For, who is the head of Public Relations for Fashion 4 Purpose. “So, we decided to make it its own separate event.”
Hence the Long Island Fashion Awards was born
One of the organization’s ride-or-dies and honorees was stylist Alesandra Walton, who has dressed many as a stylist for Amazon and has clients that include Actor Brett Gray from the Netflix original series “On My Block.”
Host and producer Tiana Heath, also known as Ms. Tee Talk, has been involved with the organization since 2016, and also felt the same appreciation that night. After putting in long hours filming and editing Fashion 4 Purpose’s monthly event L.I.F.E., and hosting their fashion show, the organization decided to highlight the hardworking creative.
“I’m honored to be honored,” said Ms. Tee, who has been able to build strong connections thanks to Fashion 4 Purpose. “If it wasn’t for Carmen and Jarrad, I don’t even know where I’d be.”
Jarrad Cohen, Smith’s husband who helps Fashion 4 Purpose on the operational side, said the goal of the awards was to let creatives on Long Island like Ms. Tee Talk and Walton know they are just as talented and important as those who reside in one of the world’s fashion capitals.
“A lot of people just relate fashion to New York City, and forget about this little island that’s next to New York City,” said Cohen. “There are so many young up and coming models, designers and stylists that normally wouldn’t get the platform on Long Island, so it’s nice that Carmen and I have been able to provide that.”
Designer JC Brillant, who was dressed to impress in his custom-made suit and shiny silver shoes, said he was
“I met Carmen when she did a fashion show, and I ended up doing a pop-up there,” said Brillant who is the chief creative designer of the clothing company Be Brillant NYC. “I started selling my t-shirts, and it just took off. Two years later I was in her fashion show. Fast-forward again and now I’m receiving an award at Fashion 4 Purpose’s first annual fashion awards. It’s amazing!”
Smith and Cohen are going to continue to help those interested in fashion on Long Island by opening up the Long Island Fashion Academy, a nonprofit that will teach models, designers, stylists and photographers everything they need to know about the fashion industry.
“Everyone is like thank you
Look below for the full list of honorees:
PRESS HONOREES: OMFTV Tiana Heath “TeeTalk” Grev T. Scott Photography Takhim Pierre (BlkAgraFiXxX Photography)
DESIGNER HONOREES: C. Jackson LI (Cynthia Jackson) Reel 2 Reel Kustoms (Rashad Lawson & Shawn Diming) Be Brillant NYC (J.C. Brillant)
MODEL HONOREES: Michell Jackson Ty Gilbert Tyr’k Lamar Lewis Andrea Davis
INFLUENTIAL ORGANIZATION HONOREES: Got Checked- Vice President, Linda Bonanno & Donna Cioffi #PinknSexy Events- Venice Richards Grown Girls NYC Founder Yolanda Braithwate Brittnay “Bebe” Flythe
ARTIST HONOREESJemelle “MrMeLee” JosephJulien ‘Sir Jewlz’ JosephDerick “ItsBizkit” Lawrence
STYLIST HONOREES: Tamara Mckie Owner of “Passion & Pursuit Salon” Diana Delgado “Professional Make-up Artist” Alesandra Thomas-Walton “Wardrobe Stylist/Personal Shopper”