Tampa Connect Fashion Week highlights local fashion designers

TAMPA, Fla. — “I think it’s a really big deal, and I think it’s unique,” said Fatima Elkott, co-founder of Conscious Community Connector.

During a sunny downtown Tampa afternoon, local fashion designers and models walked a runway outside of Visit Tampa Bay.

It’s part of an effort to showcase these artists ahead of a bigger fashion show coming up in March with Tampa Connect.

“There are so many designers that do not get a chance to really showcase their style in Tampa,” said local designer Stephanie Jackson.

Tampa Connect Fashion Week is a fundraiser for the Tampa Junior Heights Civic Association, a grassroots nonprofit that helps provide after-school care, summer programs and more to kids in the area.

For Naya Young, seeing this preview really showcases Tampa Bay’s creatives.

“It’s so beautiful. It’s like a melting pot of so many different people, cultures, personalities. Today, we are doing a downtown activation fashion pop-up event. Some of the designers actually have some of their designs out on display,” said Young, executive director of the THJCA.

The fashion show is full of designers trying to get their start in the industry.

“We have servers, digital designers. I think it’s a conglomerate of a lot of different experiences, ages, backgrounds. That’s what makes it so awesome,” said Elkott.
 
“For me, I can see something like a tablecloth, and it will tell me it doesn’t want to be a tablecloth,” Jackson said. “What I’m wearing today is a tablecloth, but it wanted to be a dress. So I made it into a dress.”
 
The Fashion Week kicks off on March 8 and goes all weekend long with three events across the Tampa Bay area. You can find out more by clicking here.

“I think it’s just that sense of community being with people who are interested in the same thing. Having that safe space creates that community I think Tampa and everywhere needs,” said Elkott.

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