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The Battalion

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BVFW makes philanthropy fashionable

Models+display+clothing+by+local+and+visiting+fashion+designers+this+past+weekend+at+Brazos+Valley+Fashion+Week.
Photo by Photo by: Leah Kappyil

Models display clothing by local and visiting fashion designers this past weekend at Brazos Valley Fashion Week.

Local businesses teamed up with visiting designers and models this past weekend to present their clothing at the first Brazos Valley Fashion Week.
The charity event raised money for the Fun for All Park, a park planned to be the first playground that is accessible to children and adults with disabilities in College Station. In a speech Saturday night, Judy LeUnes, co-director of BVFW and Class of 1976, told the audience it is important to donate to the park, because it will benefit many people across the community who have disabilities.
“We have veterans coming back from war that may benefit from this park,” LeUnes said. “As I get older this is the type of park I’d like to come to.”
Becky Simpson went to the show with her two daughters Marie Claire and Ella to support the charity. Ella, age 8, has down syndrome, and her family is deeply involved in the down-syndrome community.
“It’s definitely a need that I wish we would’ve had when Ella was younger — just to be able to access slides and ladders are hard and stairs are hard — even sometimes a swing without a back on it is hard,” Simpson said. “But everyone wants to hang out with friends. It’s a common need for every child and adult, and it would be so wonderful if we could make that accessible to everyone to be a kid or be an adult that can play with their kid.”
Dorothy Zavitz said she came to see her granddaughter model for the event. Zavitz said the charity also impacts her other grandchildren.
“I have a daughter that lives here that has two boys who have autism,” Zavitz said. “So I think it’s a fabulous effort to build this park for these children to use.”
Blinn team sophomore Yasmin Pajouhafsar said she heard about the event through MSC OPAS and was excited about how affordable the event was.
“I try to go to Houston’s Fashion Week and the prices are really high, so when I realized it was a $40 ticket, I thought this is such a good deal here,” Pajouhafsar said. “The fact they are using the money to benefit something is even better.”
The opening show featured special-needs children partnered with other models, who led them down the aisle to strike a pose for photographers. Nikki Pederson, model coordinator, said she was very impressed with all the models and their performance.
“The whole event is for the kids, and I got to meet each one of them — they came into the studio, and I got to meet them,” Pederson said. “The kids came four hours before the show and they had so much enthusiasm coming out.”
The event showcased a variety of fashion trends from geometric, brightly-colored patterns to simple pastel prints. Kate Pankoke, BVFW designer and former contestant on Project Runway, said she enjoyed the local feel of the show, including what the local boutiques and a few high-school designers had to offer.
“I thought it was incredible,” Pankoke said. “I was most impressed by the high-schoolers. I couldn’t believe they came out with that many pieces for a fashion show — a full collection.”
BVFW contributed to the $4 million price tag on the park, which will be located at the Stephen C. Central Park once built. LeUnes said she thought the overall inaugural event was a success.
“This was fantastic,” LeUnes said. “Everyone who came enjoyed it — the kids were unbelievable — it was great, and we raised a lot of money. We raised a lot of awareness for the community about the park, and everybody seemed to love the fashion.”

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