The worlds of fashion, sports and entertainment collided for an evening as some of Cleveland’s finest massed within Tenk West Bank for an exceptional cause.
Christian Kirksey, linebacker for the Cleveland Browns is just as compassionate as he is athletically gifted for he founded KirkoLand, an organization built to give back to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. This organization also encourages the youth to embrace the totality of themselves without feeling the need to fit under just one label for he, himself, is multifaceted. “Live Out Loud” is how he summed it out and hence the Live Out Loud Fashion Show came into fruition.
This was my experience.
First, the venue.
Let me start off by saying this was my first time visiting Tenk West Bank and it pleasantly appealed to my affinity for industrial themed spaces. A large open space with multiple large windows, exposed brick, pipes, the whole nine and somehow it flowed perfectly with the high-class decor that was assembled for the show.
I was amongst the first photographers to arrive which allowed me ample time to feel out the space and test my camera with the lighting of the venue. This never takes more than a couple of minutes so for the next few hours up until the show commenced, I did what I do best, network and make connections (give or take half an hour for the time I spent at their open bar eating and trying as many non-alcoholic drinks as I could).
Who you know, in my eyes, always takes a higher slot than what you know. Building connections within your field of interest should be equally prioritized as educating yourself on said field (future blog post alert). A renowned athlete orchestrated the event so I knew the caliber of people attending the event would on average, be no less. Models, athletes, photographers, videographers/cinematographers, designers, radio personalities, marketers, directors and more filled the space and to say my network expanded a great deal would be an understatement. However, my favorite takeaway from the night is that I built a few extremely valuable friendships.
I’ll more than likely touch on those people in another post but now let’s get to the actual show.
Six clothing lines native to the Cleveland area were represented and they are as follows:
As someone who loves vintage clothing, unique patterns, and anything involving thrifting, this was easily my favorite line for it encompasses all these aspects.
It’s fairly rare that you find a clothing line where there’s just as much a variety with their men’s line as with their women’s line and Brigade nailed that perfectly.
Vibrant colors and bold prints give this line its edge. Their clothes blend glam and urban together flawlessly.
Another men’s line. The formality and class of this line is what I love and it’s no wonder it’s deemed as “the shop for the modern-day gentleman.”
SCOUT & MOLLY’S BOUTIQUE – Hudson Location
Another favorite, this women’s boutique had a more formal tone but the cut and flow of the designs gave it a more modern edge which I loved.
One of Cleveland’s most popular urban lines and with good reason. They offer exclusive pieces from the most popular brands and make streetwear look as if it’s high fashion.
For full gallery of the show, please click here
Hosted by social media mogul, Karen Civil and Kirksey himself, the show was everything but mundane. Kirksey had three outfit changes of his own and frequently showed that his swift moves extended beyond the football field. The atmosphere was more that of a party than your typical fashion show.
All funds gained from ticket sales went toward Christian’s foundation as well as sales from the raffle where one could win an autographed football, jersey, or a luxury car (for the weekend).
All the best to Christian and his organization. For more information regarding his mission, click here