On Saturday April 29, 2023, NEW-WBC hosted the 5th Fashion Event and Pitch Competition at the Radisson Hotel Chatsworth. Led by Program Director Ruth Garcia-Corrales, Fashion Manager Maria Rangel and the team at NEW-WBC, under-resourced women and women of color designers and fashion hopefuls were invited to pitch their products and share their stories for a chance to win $500 and other valuable prizes. More than 25 fashion designers heeded the call showcasing their unique, novel, and innovative products. In a packed room of almost 100 people and amidst the liveliness exerted by both contestants and audience, Shannon Kehrer
(Hidey) won the coveted 1st prize award which consisted of $500, courtesy of CEO Tamara Gurney of Mission Valley Bank, and the opportunity to be featured in Heart of Hollywood Magazine, courtesy of publication owner Giovanna Salas. Moreover, the unending claps and cheer for all contestants truly conveyed the high energy in the room, as Vanessa Gavin-Headen (Medele by Dr. Vanessa), Melissa Scott (Modefywear), Stella Park (MISENVER) and Teresa Campbell (1sts Class Lady Boutique) were also recognized and awarded prizes for their creations and ideas. Congratulations to the winners and all who participated! A big thank you goes to our esteemed judges Africa De Broeck (Lazuli Consulting Inc.), Lorainne D’Alessio (D’Alessio Law Group), Ilse Metchek (California Fashion Association) and Donovan Jacobs (TV, Entertainment & Script Consultant) for accepting the challenging role of judging on so many beautiful and original fashion products.
A heartfelt thank you also goes to our inspiring speakers – keynote speaker Johana Hernandez (Glaudi Collection) for sharing her animated story on the colorful power suit, Ann Huebner for enlightening us on the many fashion industry trends, and last but not least, Nita Marquez (OnTheMarq) for sharing her story of adversity turned promise of a second new start.
To further support the dreams of our under-resourced women fashion designers, we welcomed our financial and government partners. Thank you to our Fashion Business Dream panelists, Lisa Stevens (JP Morgan Chase Bank), Daniel Fernandez (TMC Capital Community), Paula Bahamon (Mission Valley Bank) and Ken Crawford (U.S. Small Business Administration) for sharing your financial expertise and resources with our audience.
On the note of dreams, we ended the Fashion Event by recognizing our clients that are Dream Fund recipients. Thank you Asemblyman Jesse Gabriel for presenting the certificates to our elated clients.