The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Jamaica Fashion Show Highlights Homegrown Style

 Event will highlight Jamaica as a fashion and shopping destination.
Jamaica Fashion Show
View Full Caption

QUEENS — Jamaica is rolling out the red carpet.

A fashion show organized by the The Jamaica Center BID is hoping to put the bustling neighborhood on the fashion map next month — featuring designs from local fashionistas and clothing stores and showcasing the area as a shopping destination.

Laurel Brown, executive director of the BID, called the neighborhood, with its numerous apparel businesses, one of the biggest hotbeds for fashion in the city.

“We want to get that message out there,” said Brown, whose group organized a similar event for the first time last year, attracting more than 200 attendees.

This year, models in The Jamaica Collections will wear clothes from designers, some of whom have ties to the neighborhood. They will include Onyx Noir, a celebrity couturier who, according to his website, has dressed Kate Moss, Mary J. Blige and David Bowie; and Aneesa, who grew up in Queens and designs evening and cocktail dresses, the organizers said.

There will also be a preview of the upcoming trends and outfit styles that will be sold at the stores located along Jamaica Avenue, including K&G Fashion, Gap Outlet, Nine West, Strawberry, Ashley Stewart and Marshalls.

Noir, 48, who was raised in the neighborhood, said he is looking forward to his Jamaica homecoming.

“This is where I come from and I’m very proud of it,” said Noir, who went Jamaica High School before attending Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan.

He said that after losing his parents at age 11 he had a difficult time, but was committed to succeeding. “Everything that I have achieved I accomplished because of my perseverance and determination,” he said.

Aneesa moved to Queens at the age of 15, went to Bayside HS and then Queens College, according to organizers.

She worked for Ann Taylor and Banana Republic before launching the "Aneesa Hamid Collection" in 2012.

The makeup crew for the show will be provided by Vera Moore Cosmetics. There will also be food tastings featuring dishes from local restaurants.

The event aims to help change the perception of Jamaica, which is often seen as struggling with crime and poverty, the organizers said.

“We really want to celebrate the diversity of this fabulous place that Jamaica is,” said Pearline Horne from Nomad Marketing Group, who is producing the show. “It’s a great place with rich history and culture.”

Laurel Brown of The Jamaica Center BID said that last year her organization conducted a survey among attendees, in which 84 percent of participants said that because of the show they wanted to shop more often on Jamaica Avenue.

This year, the organizers are expecting between 350 and 400 people to come to the fashion show.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center at 153-10 Jamaica Ave. The event is free, but attendees must RSVP. To RSVP, go here.