Empowering Diversity and Fashion Forwardness: Unveiling The Kouturè Experience

Step into the world where fashion meets philanthropy at The Kouturè Experience, an extraordinary charity event curated by the Dr. Gerald Deas Achievement Foundation. Inspired by a commitment to community service and a keen recognition of a diversity gap in the fashion realm, this event aims to provide a platform for emerging designers while introducing innovative programming to the vibrant community of New York City. Explore the profound impact on the Kappa League, a mentoring program for young black males, and anticipate a night of cutting-edge fashion, networking, and a shared purpose. Join us on this journey where awareness meets style, making a lasting positive impact on the fashion community and beyond.

What inspired you to organize this charity event?

The Dr. Gerald Deas Achievement Foundation operates as the philanthropic arm of the Queens Alumni (NY) chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity Inc. Throughout Kappa Alpha Psi’s history since its establishment in 1911, the organization has consistently emphasized a dedication to community service. In my role as a fashion photographer and fraternity member, I’ve recognized a diversity gap that presents an invaluable opportunity for emerging designers seeking a platform to showcase their talents. Realizing the potential for a perfect match, I aim to 1) establish a new platform benefiting qualified diverse designers and 2) leverage our location in NYC to introduce innovative programming to our community.

Can you tell us about the cause or organization that this event supports?

One of the primary initiatives that will receive support from this event is our chapter’s Kappa League, established in 1969. The Kappa League stands as one of the oldest and largest mentoring programs for black males in the United States. The program comprises seven distinct phases:

  • Self-Identity/Purpose, Discipline, Assurance, Awareness, and Appearance
  • Training — Academic, Career-Choice, Preparation, and Organization
  • Competition — Politics, Career Advancement, and Sports
  • Social — Religion, The Arts, Entertainment, Conversation Communication, and Etiquette/Manners
  • Health Education — Physical Fitness, Sex Education, Drugs, Health, and Safety
  • Economic Empowerment & Education — Stock Market, Fundamentals of Banking, Earning, Saving, Spending, Cash vs. Credit
  • College & Career — Academic Readiness, High School & Beyond, Career Day, College Admissions, Financial Aid Workshops, Survival Skills

This program aims to provide comprehensive mentorship and guidance to young black males in various aspects of their personal development, education, and career preparation.

What are some of the highlights or unique aspects of this charity event that attendees can look forward to?

An enjoyable experience awaits, filled with beautiful individuals, cutting-edge fashion, and networking opportunities. However, the most significant aspect is relishing the evening in the company of like-minded individuals, all united by a common purpose.

How do you hope this event will make a positive impact on the community or cause it supports?

Through effectively raising awareness of the aforementioned disparities, our aspiration is that designers utilizing this platform will appeal to individuals who are not only fashion-conscious but also socially conscious. It all commences with heightened awareness.

How can people get involved or support the event, even if they are unable to attend?

If you cannot attend but would still like to contribute to this initiative, you can make your donation by visiting www.kouture2024.com and selecting the “Donate” tab.

Are there any specific goals or targets you have set for this event in terms of funds raised or awareness generated?

This year, our objective is to modestly raise $150,000 for our initiatives. However, of greater significance is our aim to elevate awareness regarding the profound impact diverse designers have on the fashion community. Bridging the substantial gap between spending in the fashion industry by people of color and accessibility to diverse designers is our primary focus.

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