EVENT RECAP: The Jarmal Harris Project Fashion Show
Last Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend The Jarmal Harris Project “Once Upon A Time” Fashion Show and I loved every minute of it!
The Jarmal Harris Project is a 501 (3)(c) non-profit organization providing learning opportunities for youth in Wards 1-8. Each year, the organization employs youth, through the D.C. Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP); the youth work on every facet of a fashion show, from developing choreography, modeling and creating the show’s elaborate sets.
The evening started with a VIP reception for guest to enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, mingle, meet Jarmal Harris and take pictures. I missed the reception, but arrived just in time to interview Jarmal about becoming a stylist, fashion advice he’d give to women and what inspired him to start The Jarmal Harris Project.
On how he got started in the styling business:
I am a go-getter!
…If you do good work and get a photographer to take good images, more people will start to reach out to you. So from there, I started to pick up clients. I had the opportunity to style for the Grammys. And so when you start to get recognizable names [clients], then people start to say, ok, well I want them in my clothes…a lot of people are star struck.
One piece of fashion advice you would give to women:
Own the outfit. Whenever you walk out the house, whatever you are wearing you should own it. If you have to second guess it, you shouldn’t be wearing it. So own it!
The inspiration behind The Jarmal Harris Project:
I was in a non-profit organization when I was in high school and that’s where I met my mentor. My mentor pushed me to start my own non-profit. I didn’t know anything about starting a non-profit. She really pushed me; she told me to do it. She even gave me the funds to start it. So I went and I did it and from there I just took off with it. As I started to learn more about my non-profit and actually understand what I wanted to do, it became more sincere to me because it was like my baby. Like I was saying earlier, to see the looks on these kids faces, to hear the stories on how I’ve inspired them and how the program has inspired them, it pushes me; it makes me want to keep doing it over and over again. It’s priceless.
Following the reception and brief interview, we all took our seats to enjoy the “Once Upon A Time” Fashion Show. I was quite impressed; the youth did a great job putting together the show! As someone who spent over 14 years dancing, I really loved the infusion of dance with fashion. Some scenes started with a dance sequence followed by models coming down the runway. Other scenes included a dance performance while the models were walking on the catwalk. The show featured eight designers: Cesar Galindo, Andrew Harris, Koko Nanga, Rich Kim, Jeri Wood, Ty Scott, Austin Paul and Jarmal Harris.
Never stop dreaming. Anything that you dream or anything that you want so bad, you can make it happen. The world is your oyster. Go out there and get it. Shoot for the moon. - Jarmal Harris
I really enjoyed the evening at the fashion show and look forward to attending again in the future. A special thank you to Yvonne Pearson for inviting me to attend!
Photos by Brittany Oliver of B Chique Photography