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NYC fashion show includes Black culture in honor of Black History Month

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Fashion Week is often all about glamour, expensive clothes few can afford, and super skinny models who never crack a smile. 

But it does not have to be that way. Welcome to designer Elie Balleh’s world this fashion week. 

It is filled with happy models, flowers, bling, Swarovski crystals, and diversity. 

“Most of my models are of color,” Elie Balleh, the fashion designer, told PIX11 News. “I want to give them the opportunity to kickstart a career,” he added. 

For many of the 170 models on the runway downstairs at Dom NYC Nightclub, this is a first-time experience for them, while others keep coming back. 

“It’s Black History Month and he’s definitely been including black culture in his brand, and we appreciate it,” Mimi Caperton, a model of color, told PIX11 News. “I’m wearing an Elie red jacket, little gems on it, red shoes,” she added. 

Some are wearing couture that were specifically designed for them. 

“I’m wearing a personalized jean jacket from Elie Balleh, and on the back of the jacket, it says love,” Lauren Witherspoon,” another model of color, told PIX11 News. “I’m full of love and each piece is unique and this one’s meant for me,” she added. 

There is a lot of whimsy in an Elie Balleh show, including the four-legged kind. 

“Dolly Missy is wearing a butterfly dress couture,” Melissa Billie Clark, Dolly’s owner, told PIX 11 News. “She loves being in this show. Can’t you tell,” she added with a laugh. 

But there is also a serious side to an Elie Balleh show. This one is all about raising awareness about pediatric cancer through a new solving kids’ cancer campaign. 

“We have a campaign “lace up for kids” which is about gold shoelaces in September,” Deborah Hughes, a spokesperson for the Lace Up for Kids Campaign, told PIX11 News. “All the kids change their laces to gold ones to raise awareness for childhood cancer,” she added. 

If you would like to go and learn more about the Lace Up for Kids Campaign, click here.