Sitting at Village Deli in May 2008 waiting in anticipation for Mor Aframian and Jamie Powell, I never could have imagined what Redress Raleigh would become. From a burgeoning idea at a green building conference I attended (Greenbuild, an incredibly inspiring and fun time), to an actual idea shared with ladies of tremendous talent and networking abilities, to an idea come to fruition at the first Redress Raleigh on March 14, 2009, I love the community that Redress Raleigh is becoming.
I still, three years later, am so grateful for the roundabout paths that led me to find Mor and Jamie. Jamie’s prowess for vintage clothing and finding killer designs (not to mention creating them herself) and reassuring manner combined with Mor’s contagious enthusiasm and fashion show planning know-how are what made Redress Raleigh more than just a vague idea.
From the beginning, we wanted Redress Raleigh to have a philanthropic angle in the community, and part of the proceeds from all ticket sales go to MorLove - a non-profit founded by Mor while a student at NCSU. MorLove works to 1) create a learning environment for designers, craftsmen and artisans and, 2) to support children in poverty with little means to live an enriched life. We felt that the refashioned textiles aspect of MorLove fit well with Redress Raleigh's focus on eco-fashion and we are continuously looking for ways to enrich this partnership.
We started the first year having absolutely no idea if we would have any interest in eco-fashion in Raleigh, NC. Would anyone know how to design something other than burlap sacks and unattractive garments? Would anyone actually come to see this new fashion revolution? We partnered that year with Hillsborough Street Renaissance, a festival to get everyone excited about the planned construction on that road. While Mother Nature tested our last-minute planning abilities and ability to handle massive stress, we moved the show inside to avoid 40 degree temps and rain and actually had to turn away a number of people who had hoped to attend.
Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response to Redress Raleigh 2009 and lessons learned by unpredictable Spring weather, we set out in 2010 to find a larger indoor space. The clean modern aesthetics of Flanders Art Gallery led us to settle on holding the show at their beautiful gallery. This year, we started our current partnership with Planet Earth Celebration. On April 17, 2010, we showcased 15 designers to an again sold out crowd. (See pictures from 2010 HERE.)
2010 also saw the beginning of 'pre-events' and 'post-events' including a successful Benefit show at Pour House (thanks to Mikey Perros!) to raise funds for Redress Raleigh 2010, and a May gallery event hosted by Triangle Emerging Professionals (the young professionals/student commitee of the US Green Building Council), at Golden Belt in Durham, showcasing sketches and photos from the 2010 show.
In 2011, we expanded even more with a venue seating up to 450 people (thank you Edenton Street United Methodist church!), more committee members, and a growing web presence. In addition, we continued broadening our pre-events, holding another successful Benefit show (thanks again Mikey Perros!) - this time at Kings Barcade, a clothes swap, and a screen-printing/screening party.
We got many compliments after this year’s show, and could never have done it without help from numerous volunteers and supporters – the major players in the behind-the-scenes action are listed on our YouTube video (below).
2012 will continue our journey to grow and analyze the mission of Redress Raleigh, from just an eco-fashion show to a resource for education and great designs that continue to question how fashion can do better and be better for the environment.
Thank YOU to those of you who have been with us from the beginning, and WELCOME to the revolution to those of you just joining us!
Redress Raleigh Co-producer