by Kathy Chouteau
The first-of-its-kind “All Included Fashion Show” drew a rousing crowd of about 200 to Richmond’s Bridge Storage and ArtSpace Saturday afternoon, hosted by onsite business R&R Coffee.
In a departure from the prototypical New York-Paris-Milan-style fashion show featuring tall, rain-thin models, “All Included’s” incarnation was refreshingly glorious in its diversity and authenticity, with models of all sizes, genders, ages and races strutting down the runway.
For the occasion, R&R Coffee owner Phillip Mitchell teamed up with Edith Mariscal to transform Bridge’s Art Gallery space into a floor-level “runway” surrounded by a seated audience and an additional crowd that flowed out the doors.
“We want to be able to define what we think beauty is—we don’t want society to define what beauty is for us,” said Mitchell at the event. “Our first model is a young boy with Downs Syndrome. So we wanted all body types, all body styles, all looks, different colors and everything—we wanted it to be all included.”
The event kicked off with a greeting from emcee Ruby Gorrostieta and some moving, spoken-word poetry from the talented Leilani Rose, who was also an artist vendor at the event.
Approximately 30 models took turns on the runway, showcasing a vibrant array of urban designs from local designers—including Safadi’s Customs and TRST. Clothing Co.—all to the sounds of DJ Genaro of Big G. Premium Beats Musical Entertainment. While all of the clothing on display was eye-catching, the models that stole the show that day were the younger set, particularly one preschool-aged girl donning a black tutu and an up-do. (See event flier for a listing of all of the designers, brands, models and more).
According to Mariscal, who served as the fashion show’s director, the show’s designers ranged “from my mom to people I met in class to people I met along the way…a lot of the brands are also designers…I wanted to bring all these talented people out.”
Before and after the fashion show, art vendors—including Keyana Cox, Wage Art and AIR Assembled in Richmond—were selling their creations, while kiddos in attendance enjoyed face painting by Sandra and a fun hands-on craft table.
Proceeds from all food sales from R&R Coffee’s kiosk during the event will be donated to the Multicultural Children’s Bookstore at the Hilltop Mall.
“It’s all about uniting for a good cause and for people to have a good time,” said Mariscal.