If you grew up outside of Manhattan, which is like 75% of us, than you used to shop at the mall. If you live in the suburbs than you definitely shop at the mall. If you live in a rural area than the mall is probably your weekend getaway. I am a Jersey native so I was for sure a mall rat if there ever was one (Thank you Kevin Smith for giving us a name). And if you were in the mall, you saw the signs for Simon, even if, like me, you didn't know who Simon was.
(vine by @socialcandi)
Well, Simon is actually Simon Property Group, and they put on a weekend of fashion at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Long Island this past Friday and Saturday. It was held under the Simon Fashion Now program and was presented by Winthrop University Hospital Breast Health Center. I trekked to Long Island to catch some of the festivities which consisted of a long list of activities from runway shows, fashion competitions, to giveaways. A pretty exciting weekend for mall shoppers if you think about it. Especially if they weren't expecting so much activity. Initially, because the sponsor's name was so prominent, I thought this was for breast cancer research. But actually, it was all for another noble cause called SAME SKY.
SAME SKY is a fair trade initiative that offers trade skills to women living with HIV/AIDS such as hand-crochet and jewelry making so that they are able to earn decent wages. All of the proceeds from the sale of SAME SKY jewelry go to help the survivors of the Rwandan genocide. Fashion for a cause. #loveit
My time was very limited, so unfortunately I wasn't able to catch everything, but I did get to see the runway show put on by J.C. Penney. What a nice change to see a show with normal sized women with big happy smiles. Not the sour-faced, willowy creatures I'm used to seeing on the runway. Not only that, these were regular clothes that most American's can relate to. Sometimes living in a fashion bubble in the Republic of New York, you can forget that many people can't wrap their minds around, say, a Jeremy Scott creation, until it's reinterpreted for the mass market. So for my friends that constantly hound me with, 'who would wear that' statements. This show was for you.
Of course, a visit to the mall isn't complete unless you do a little trawling. Which I did. And had bonus fun identifying a few of the runway looks on the store mannequins. Hey, if ain't broke...you know.
Scroll down to see some of my favorite looks from the show. And make sure you check out SAME SKY. It's pretty incredible.