Behind the Scenes of Pretty For Prom

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IADT_Pretty-For-Prom_

Pretty For Prom Fashion Show Runway – Designers & High School Girls
Photo Credit: Mona Shield Payne

 

FFW takes our commitment to our clients seriously.  Case in point:  Pretty for Prom, a program we created for International Academy of Design & Technology (now Sanford-Brown College) in which fashion design students design and create custom prom dresses for at-risk CCSD high school students. I had both the pleasure and the opportunity to serve as the program coordinator – working with both sets of students – to ensure a successful program.  It was a job I took seriously and loved!

To sum up Pretty For Prom in one word?  It’s fabulous.  The perfect word that describes the program, designers, high school students, IADT instructors, prom dresses and the Fashion Show runway finale.

Pretty For Prom is a program that helps underprivileged high school girls attend prom, who may not have initially been able to go. All the girls who participated in the program have gone through difficulties in their lives, overcome them and are now role models both in their school and the community.

Once the high school girls were picked and the designers were committed, the program was underway. The program ran from January to March which allowed the high school girls and designers to become very close; establishing a connection between them was vital so that the designer could make the girls the perfect prom dress that would match their character. By the time the fashion show arrived at the end of March, the designers and girls had bonded to the point where they could  share snippets of their everyday lives. The result of the program? Each designer and high school girl were not only ecstatic about their one-of-a-kind, exclusively made dress, but the memories that were going to be made because of it.

Being “behind the scenes” of Pretty For Prom allowed me to connect with the designers, each high school girl and their families. Connecting with their families was just as important to me as connecting with the girls and their designers; after all, I was entrusted to make each of their daughters happy about the process and their prom dresses. By the time the fashion show came in March, I felt as if I had become a part of each family and a big sister to each one of the girls. I had gained the trust of the families and the girls and made them feel comfortable coming to me about any issues inside and outside of the program.

Just like the designers, I was able to get to know each of the girls: their personalities, where they work, what they like to do for fun, what programs they may be involved with, what they want to do after high school, who their significant others were and even their favorite foods. I had come to learn how unique and special each one of the girls was.

This three-month program started off as an opportunity I was given to take on, but it became so much more than that. It turned into friendships, lasting jokes (mostly at my expense) and memories that I will never forget. Seeing the girls walk down the runway so happy, with giant smiles on their faces, was worth every second of effort I put into this event.

I can’t wait to see their pictures from prom!

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