BATON ROUGE (FOX44) — Catwalks in Baton Rouge will light up this week as the Oneofakind Baton Rouge Fashion Week makes its debut. The capital city's most stylish week will promote the up and coming fashion community in Baton Rouge by networking local models, designers, buyers and community leaders, all to assist in helping raise money for charity.
Also making their debut at OBRFW will be 55 models and 15 designers spanning the Baton Rouge metropolitan area and neighboring states. Men, women and children of all sizes and ages strutted the runway in early January, hoping to make the cut to showcase the spring/summer fashion lines and accessories by local talented designers.
"We want to open doors to more opportunity for people in the fashion industry to take notice of Baton Rouge," said OBRFW founder Brandon D. Campbell. Campbell is a fashion, entertainment and live events producer who founded Little Rock Fashion Week. The success of the LRFW has encouraged him to bring his entertainment expertise to the Red Stick.
In addition to the runway opportunity, the models are also vying for the Model of the Year award, which promises a modeling contract and cash prize furnished by Campbell's talent agency, Oneofakind Talent, Inc. The winner will be announced after OBRFW.
Local hair stylists and makeup artists will also be featured in the "Oneofakind" production.
"It's about learning and coming together from all walks in life in the Baton Rouge area, to make a great production," Campbell said.
OBRFW's mission is to showcase local trendsetters within the community and those who have impacted the fashion industry on a national level. Plus size model, host and Baton Rouge native Chenese Lewis is slated to host the main event, OBRFW's Big Night on Feb. 15. Campbell said to expect Lewis to bring a "unique energy" and to "lighten things up" during her hosting role for the event.
While it will be a homecoming for Lewis, local fashion figure Erin Rolfs won't have to travel far to receive the OBRFW Fashion Icon Award, which is given to a recognized hero of fashion and is a person who has paved the way for fashion within the community.
Garments by the designers won't be the only clothing that will benefit from the high fashion event. A portion of the proceeds from OBRFW's Big Night ticket sales will go to the Louisiana Museum Foundation, the non-profit organization that runs the Capitol Park Museum, located at 660 N. 4th Street. Funds are planned to conserve a rare War of 1812 military uniform, set to be highlighted in an exhibit later this year.
“The Baton Rouge Fashion Week provided a unique opportunity to host an event of contemporary relevance while helping to preserve an object from a pivotal event in the history of Louisiana and the nation," said Bill Stark, Director of the Capitol Park Museum.
For Campbell, who first visited the Baton Rouge area while working as a writer and producer for World Wrestling Entertainment, it is an honor to work with a recognizable community organization.
“They believed in it from the beginning. It’s a great way to benefit the organization and the community,” Campbell said about Capitol Park Museum which is the presenting sponsor of the Big Night.
OBRFW will kick off this week. Events include a mix and mingle scheduled for Feb. 13 at Restaurant IPO, 421 Third Street in Baton Rouge. The event is open to the public and is no charge to mingle with OBRFW crew, models and other event participants. The festivities will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Also on the agenda is the For Kids by Kids fashion show set for Feb. 14. The children’s fashion show will take place at the Shaw Center for the Arts, located 100 Lafayette Street in Baton Rouge, at 7 p.m. The event will feature clothes from popular children stores - Oh Baby! and B Kids. Tickets are on sale in advance for $15 but will be available at the door for $20. Proceeds from this event will benefit Louisiana State University Museum of Art.
The grand finale is the Big Night at Capitol Park Museum. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the fashion show starts at 8 p.m. It will highlight creations by JuJu's Baton Rouge, Christopher Youngstar (Dallas), iME (Little Rock), Love R.O.C.S. (Conway, Ark), Ms Smitty (Maumelle, Ark.) and ten current and recent fashion design graduates from LSU's textiles, apparel design & merchandising department.
Tickets are available on OBRFW’s website for all fashion events, www.batonrougefashionweek.com; JuJu's Baton Rouge Boutique and at the Capitol Park Museum. The $40 advanced ticket price for the Big Night will gain fashionistas a VIP bag, appetizer and complimentary drink at the black-and-white attire gala.
“This is just the beginning. We are giving a little introduction of where we want to take this. The future is limitless,” Campbell said.