Blush Magazine was invited to an event in the ever-hipster neighborhood of East Williamsburg to celebrate the female race, design and philanthropy with four of FIT’s very own alumna. The day after Valentines is often considered the end of a dating period and to some a mourning period of a love they never had. However, for Design Circle NYC, February 15th was a day about celebrating the love that we have for womankind and how crucial it is for us to give back to and support each other.
Design Circle NYC is a philanthropic fashion design collective founded by leader Leah Gossart and five other FIT ’14 alumna, Yuko Kanai and four others. It was Gossart who first came to the future team with the idea to have a creative fashion event that has a meaning bigger than the designers and their designs. When we asked Gossart why she chose to host an event instead of just selling the clothes online, she replied, “If there’s feedback from what you’re giving, then you’re more willing to give.” She wanted to create an event that would allow donors to see the cause they were giving to. The organization’s profits from the event went towards My Sister’s Place, an organization in White Plains that works to support and rebuild human trafficking survivors, Sanctuary for Families, a domestic violence support center, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, the Alzheimer’s Association and Hollaback.
After the group found their cause and picked their sources of motivation, they set out to find a space to host their fantastic event idea. Whether by fate or coincidence, a creative space had just opened up in Gossart’s neighborhood called “The New Woman’s Space.” Created by Melissa Wong and Sandy Hong, the space acts as an event space and donation center for all self-identified woman’s causes and events. Gossart considered the finding a sign, and decided to give the collaboration a shot. “I know the name of the event and the name of the event are confusingly similar but it felt like a good space.”
Blush Magazine arrived at the scene fashionably late, and the party was well into full swing. The location was split into two floors. The first floor was host to the kombucha bar, the sponsor tables and both Gossart’s and Kanai’s collections. The leading lady was even wearing one of her pieces at the event that she explained stood for “breaking away from the chains of the patriarchy and emerging stronger than ever.”
Downstairs was even more of a treat. It played host to the majority of the designer’s collections and posters that highlight and explained the organizations that the profits of the events were going. The music was popping, and the crowd was lovely, engaged and excited. Although the clothes the designers displayed were beautiful, some attendees also stole the show in true NYFW fashion.
All in all, for Gossart this event was more about the support woman can gain from another woman than her designs or Fashion Week at all. Gossart informed us that even though she graduated from FIT, she no longer works in the fashion industry. “I hated it,” said Gossart, “It just wasn’t for me. It wasn’t fulfilling.” She now works in textile authentication for Entrupy, a company where they use microscopic imagery to authenticate luxury goods. Having a job outside of the fashion industry gives her more time to focus on her passion, helping women and promoting the feminist message wherever she can be of help. When asked about feminism, Gossart explained, “Feminism to me is just free. Feeling good in my own skin and creating environments where everyone feels comfortable.”