The sold-out “Hot Summer Nights” fashion shows for Fashion Week of Rochester take place this weekend. This year, there are two fashion shows to make up for a cancelled show during the height of the pandemic.
In partnership with The Center For Youth, the events are about more than just style. Meghan Mundy, founder of Fashion Week of Rochester, said the goal is to be both inclusive and give back to the community.
“We include all shapes and sizes. We do local designers, boutiques, firefighters, EMT workers. So, just everybody that makes the community of Rochester such a special place,” Mundy said.
Once costs are covered, all proceeds from the show go to The Center for Youth which provides housing, shelters and resources for youth in the community.
Elaine Spaull, The Center for Youth executive director and Fashion Week founder, said this weekend will raise $120,000 for the organization.
“Fashion week from the very beginning, more than 10 years ago, is all about raising money for homelessness, for anti-violence and for equity,” said Spaull.
Designer Liam Kane said being able to design while also helping the community is uplifting.
“Being able to participate in something that gives back to the community just kind of feels good,” Kane said.
Kane has worked on his collection since before the pandemic. Some of his pieces have taken hundreds of hours to complete.
“If you’re counting some of the embroidery pieces maybe two years even,” Kane said. “The one that Malcolm is wearing, it’s just a big cloud and that’s just little knots over and over again. It took me maybe, I don’t know like 200-300 hours.”
Kane’s models will be on roller skates and a few have just learned how to skate in January. Malcolm Rieck, a model in the show, said when Kane asked him to model he had only been skating for a short time.
“We had only been roller skating for a few months, so we knew we had to step up our roller skating progress to make it in the fashion show,” Rieck said.
Allegra Whiting is another model and Rieck’s fiancé. She learned to skate alongside Rieck and said she’s looking forward to the show.
“I think it’s great, it’s awesome. Any form of art that gives back to the community [is] amazing,” Whiting said.
Mundy said the event is for everyone and is excited to see a packed parking lot.
“Where most fashion weeks are you’ve got to be a socialite or a movie star, we want the whole community, we want everyone to feel like a VIP,” said Mundy.