Freedom and Fashion’s Ceremony Runway Show

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Convivial Gentleman’s Giovanny Panginda

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Convivial Gentleman’s Michael Fances and girlfriend, Andreina Herrera.

Freedom and Fashion‘s (FnF) Ceremony Runway Show was a night about celebrating hope and redemption, and the organization has a lot to celebrate! Now in its fourth year, Freedom and Fashion has grown to over 50+ volunteers, has 4 fully produced fashion shows under its belt, and has put on several smaller events during the year (including the Gallant Suits Launch Party during Fall 2012 LA Fashion Week). More importantly, its name is reaching across fashion and entertainment circles, as well as non-profit and activist sectors as well. The American public can’t help but talk about the grave issue of modern-day slavery because it is a hot topic in movies like End of Watch  and TV shows like Law and Order: SVU, as well as Obama’s recent proclamation to end human trafficking.

The runway is one of Freedom and Fashion’s answer to end slavery! Inspiring positive change, 400+ guests were treated to several ethically made and fair trade clothing lines on the runway, which included looks from Feliks + AdrikRadiant CosmeticsJataloDellaSevenlyA-ThreadThe Brave CollectionSenhoa, and Indigenous. After the show, guests took their purchasing power to the open vendor market just outside of the fashion show space, where they purchased clothes, accessories, and items from these Freedom and Fashion-approved brands.

Fellow Convivial Gentleman (CG) Michael Fances attended the show accompanied by his girlfriend. CG contributors Preston Sam was also in attendance, while Kenny Gulley took photos of the event for his company KenGulley Photos, while Bronson Lobato and I volunteered at the show.

For me, Freedom and Fashion’s Ceremony was a bittersweet moment. After working with FnF since 2009, Ceremony also marked my departure as I close one chapter in my life and continue on with another: my Master’s degree. I will never forget what I learned from FnF. The organization allowed me to develop my leadership skills as I ran my marketing and social media team. Through my work with FnF, one thing I can never forget are the faces and the stories of the survivors of human trafficking. I can never walk into a clothing store or look through fashion magazines the same way again. Of course, despite leaving, I will continue to spread awareness about modern-day slavery with a renewed hope that we can all make a difference. It doesn’t have to be something grand; it can start small. And the small choices that we make, such as choosing a fair trade brand to give the worker fair wages, can make ripple effects and eventually waves! That is one aspect of Freedom and Fashion’s “freedom with love.”

**If you’d like to make a difference and join Freedom and Fashion, apply to be part of the team. More information can be found here.**

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Actress Stephanie Drapeau

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The VIP Section

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Freedom and Fashion’s Angelina Valdez getting interviewed.

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The Senhoa Collection

(Images via Kenneth Gulley of KenGulley Photos)

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