For this new Rainbow Fashion Week in New York, we met the founder of this amazing event, Jaguard Beckford.
What was the reason that motivated you to launch Rainbow Fashion Week (RFW)?
I’d like to say thank you for your interest in Rainbow Fashion Week. My motivation for starting RFW was after I saw all the hard work the people behind the scenes put into making the show happen. Although I was the designer, and I was the one to get to walk out and wave and receive applause, I said wouldn’t it be great for the audience to experience the show, I’d witnessed backstage.
What differentiates your event from other (conventional) fashion weeks?
Firstly, RFW is « Not Your Average Fashion Shows. » From the Make-Up artistry to the Celebrity Stylist. Our audience gets to experience first hands what these behind the scene creatives do and « the art of the fashion show. »
Secondly, we are the very first « Carbon Neutral Fashion Week. »
Thridly, while everyone is getting all glammed up on the outside and getting ready for all the festivities of New York City Pride, as an official Pride Event, we want to make sure you are beautiful and well on the inside. So we engage Health and Wellness who help us to deliver social messaging and to be on hand in the event someone is in crisis.
The 2016 installment of RFW is very engaged in sustainability, environmentalism (going green). Did you encounter any obstacles in the process of setting it all up?
Not at all, my team and I were tasked with researching strategic partners such as Gem Pawn Brokers, whose mission was to rebrand the manner in which people perceived recycled jewelry. » Why place more demand upon mining when there were so many shops that could satisfy that consumers needs. Or research about dog waste composting for our Rainbow Pets Fashion Show, and creating a petition for the City of New York to create legislation that makes this a law. Or which companies to build our portable solar generators so we sought consultation with Viridian representatives one of the largest solar energy providers, and then we found a company on ETSY, that not only builds the generators but 10% of the proceeds from our purchases goes to providing solar panels and generators for Solar Africa, what can be more awesome than that.
Do you have other projects in the work connected to the LGBTQ community?
Yes, we will be launching Rainbow Fashion Week Dream Academy. Our first initiative is a Women’s Economic Empowerment Program that will connect our local LGBTQ+ community with those in London, Mexico, Honduras, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana and Mozambique. These are places I’ve already built relationships from my travel across the globe. We will be taking young designers and creative’s to work on factory productions for our designers within RFW. We will be sending and receiving models from across the globe giving our LGBTQ+ talent international exposure and experience.
Anything else you would like to add?
Just excited to spread the word about the global water crisis and that RFW is dedicated to make their change to the world one model, designer, creative and show at a time.
Rainbow Fashion Week. June 17-24, 2016