The Leadership Institute had a night of fashion and music during its Project Kean fashion show Wednesday, April 10 in the Miron Student Center Little Theatre to raise money for the Children's Specialized Hospital.
The Children’s Specialized Hospital is the nation’s leading provider of inpatient and outpatient care for children from birth to 21 years of age facing special health challenges.
The fashion show featured clothing brands from Big Sexy Inc., Remain Infinite, garments from the Barnes and Noble bookstore, Idiomatic and Love Your Melon. The show also featured performances from the Kean Gospel Choir, Alex Brito, Nikeo and Kean Musical Movements.
Hosted by Kiana Ayala and Joe Laurino, two members of the Silver Leadership group, fashion show began with Kean's Gospel Choir, who released their single "Behold Him" last fall. After a harmonious performance, the fashion show began with clothing from Big Sexy, Inc. Their message that everyone deserves to feel sexy radiated off each model who came out on stage, and it was plain to see that they felt sexy not only on the outside, but on the inside as well.
Following that, there was a performance by Alex Brito, a Spanish rap and R&B artist based in New Jersey. His energetic performance was the perfect segway into the next clothing brand, Remain Infinite. Based out of New Brunswick, this clothing brand was founded by a few friends while they were in high school worrying about what they were going to do when they got older. The important message of this brand was for people to push through all obstacles life throws their way and to remain true to themselves.
The next clothing brand to grace the stage was our very own Kean Barnes & Noble bookstore, featuring a very special guest. Leah, a patient from the Children's Specialized Hospital, attended the event with her family and was invited on stage to model with the Silver Leadership students. Kean's Barnes & Noble has two locations: one store on Green Lane on the first floor and one smaller store in Miron Student Center on the first floor as well. Be sure to stop by one of their locations for exclusive Kean University apparel and clothes from brands such as Champion, Nike, Under Armour and many more!
After a short intermission with events such as a bake sale and a meet and greet with founding members of each clothing brand, the event continued with the clothing brand Idiomatic, a brand that promotes uniqueness, personality and individuality. Although it was their first fashion show, they blew the audience away with eccentric pieces inspired by fairies and geishas.
Next up on the Little Theatre stage was a "worshiphop" group called Nikeo, comprised of members Akida, Tyne, AP and ISH. Their performance of their song "We In Here" reminded everyone present to never let anyone bring them down. Their single is available on iTunes and Amazon Music. After a raffle for various gift baskets, Kean's Musical Movements dance group performed, keeping the same upbeat energy that Nikeo brought just moments before.
The final brand of the fashion show was Love Your Melon, a student-run business that started 2012, and specializes in selling beanies and headbands to raise money and awareness to stop pediatric cancer. For every beanie bought, one gets donated to a child with pediatric cancer. This brand has four superhero mascots: Ella, whose strength in leadership brings assurance to all and whose special color is blue; Otto, whose strength is in being responsible and bringing reason to situations, thus keeping people safe all while sporting the color green; Finn, who brings joy to all in a bubbly, jokester-like manner, has the ability to freeze time, and wears the color yellow; and Nina, wearing red, is the heart of the group that specializes in moral maturity which helps her heal those with physical and emotional pain.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for people to get involved," co-host Laurino said about the event. "I think it's really rewarding that we can do so much for such a great organization."
For the past few years, Kean's Leadership Institute has held events such as this fashion show, including Kean's Dance Marathon (KDM) and the Color Run to raise money and awareness for the Children's Specialized Hospital. After a night of empowerment and fun, event raised a grand total of $1,182.59 to help families like Leah's who receive care at the Children's Specialized Hospital.