South Loop nonprofit hosts Red Line fashion show – The Columbia Chronicle
My Block models My Hood from the My City’s Red Line, Railways fashion show used a train as track, walking between seated guests. Hip-hop was playing while the mannequins were dancing on the moving train.
My Block, My Hood, My City, also known as M3, organized the event on two Red Line train cars on Saturday May 22, to organize a fashion show to promote their new summer merchandise. One car out of the two cars the train served as a cloakroom for the models to prepare and the other as a runway step.
M3 is a Chicago South Loop-based nonprofit that focuses on uplifting and connecting people in vulnerable communities.
The show started at Howard Station in Rogers Park and ended at 95th / Dan Ryan station in the Roseland neighborhood. Jahmal Cole, CEO and Founder of M3; Nathaniel Viets-Vanlear, Senior Program Director; Léon Peatry, operations coordinator; and Devonta Boston, community organizer, kicked off the event with speeches and oral poetry.
Lady Sanders, M3 program coordinator, said having a red line fashion show has been Cole’s dream for over two years.
M3 has chosen the Red Line because it is the most accessible train for residents of the South Side of Chicago.
“On the red line, you see all types of communities. You see the good, you see the bad and you see the future, ”Sanders said. “Get on the red line from the Howard stops and goes to 95th, you just see transitions from [ways of life throughout the city].
The clothes were designed by Boston with the help of a graphic designer. He imagined a graffiti for the M3 logo. Boston said it took inspiration from Juneteenth and used Pan-African colors in clothing designs.
In bold print, the words “MY BLOCK MY HOOD MY CITY” have been written on T-shirts, jackets, joggers and masks. The Chicago flag was displayed on each coin. The clothes were mint green, black, white and orange, and the lettering was done in white, black and blue.
Boston began designing for the show during M3 spring clothes released in April after Cole brought up the idea for the fashion show in December.
Tickets for the show were $ 100 and the proceeds were donated to M3’s Explorers program, their youth development program and other activities throughout the year, said Ernesto Gonzalez, M3 Marketing Director.
“Since COVID restrictions were lifted and vaccines have been [being distributed more]it was a great time to give it a try, ”Boston said.
M3 opened a sign-up sheet for all the schools they partnered with, hoping to find role models for young people. Twelve students from Collins Academy High School, North Lawndale College Prep and DRW College Prep walked through the event, said Chloe Graham, Columbia Marketing Alum and Youth Program Coordinator at M3.
Meya student model Garrett, a junior at Collins Academy High School, had never been in a fashion show before the M3 event.
Garrett said she had fun being a model because she met new people from different schools.
“I learned to trust new people and around large groups of people, ”Garrett said. “I learned to model walking, I learned to pose.”
Between Howard and 95th / Dan Ryan stations, the train made stops so high school kids who modeled for the show could switch between the train cars.
Brianna Hamilton, senior at Collins Academy High School, said modeling was a new experience for her as well.
“It was a little crazy,” Hamilton said. “We were trying to get comfortable with each other and learn to invent a dance or a walk in the fashion show. It was quite fun at the same time.
Graham said she liked to see the students happy.
“I always knew they were talented, but seeing them shine and going through something like that was awesome,” Graham said.