Fashion show in Allerton celebrates diversity in the Bronx, aims to squash prejudices
The nonprofit “Not On My Watch” held a diversity fashion show on Sunday in Allerton.
They said it was an effort to educate the community on the different cultures that make up the Bronx.
Models who participated in the first Strike a Pose for your Community Fashion Show got to pay homage to their roots.
The show featured representations from Pakistan to India, from the Caribbean Islands and more.
Not On My Watch executive director and New York native Pamela Damon spearheaded the idea to celebrate different cultures.
"If we started understanding each other's background, then maybe we could limit a lot of the prejudices, a lot of the hate, a lot of the violence," Damon said.
Wearing her mother's pearls and carrying her Bible, Damon paid tribute to her family tradition by dressing in her Sunday best.
"Our tradition is rooted in the gospel and in the church, so every Sunday, we had to be dressed in our Sunday best," Damon explained. She said who people are today is rooted in where they came from.
"This is my heritage, this is my tradition, and we take it so for granted," Damon added.
But it was not just about the clothes. Shalu Malik and Chetna Sharma shared their culture through henna, which is symbolic to India.
"It brings good luck to you, that's why we do it. It's very pure, it's the sign of love. When we get married, everyone has to do henna," Sharma said.
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson sat in the front row seat to the show as she represented her home of Trinidad and Tobago.
"Our greatest diversity, our greatest resources, is the differences that we have, but it brings us all together," Gibson said.
While everyone on the runway may have come from different backgrounds, Damon said they are all a part of the same Bronx community.
"If we could just start sharing the culture and appreciating others, I think it'll make a big difference," Damon said.