NEW YORK — Brooklyn has become a haven for budding designers, and now the borough will have its first fashion weekend, a three-day event to spotlight local talent.
Planned for May 5-7 in a former warehouse in the DUMBO neighborhood, the event was conceived and organized by BK Style Foundation, a two-year-old nonprofit created to nurture the talent of Brooklyn youths who want careers in fashion.
“There is so much fashion happening now in Brooklyn, and we wanted to do something to showcase all the talent here,” said Rick Davy, co-founder of BK Style Foundation.
Cybele Sandy, the other co-founder, said, “We want to give Brooklyn designers the support and opportunities that designers in Manhattan have.”
About 17 designers have signed on to show their creations, including Zulema Griffin, who was a contestant on the most recent edition of “Project Runway.” The group is still looking at portfolios and may add more designers to the mix, Sandy said.
BK Style Foundation will provide models and hair and makeup services, as well as all production services. It has set up a Web site, at bkfashionwkend.com with information.
The invitation-only shows will be in the evening to take advantage of the scenic surroundings. The venue, Empire Fulton Park’s Tobacco Warehouse, is at New Dock and Water Streets in the area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
“There is so much undiscovered talent in Brooklyn, and not everything happens on the island of Manhattan,” said Griffin, who was born in Brooklyn and now lives in Manhattan’s East Village.
Griffin said she plans to show about 18 looks on the runway, including jackets and ready-to-wear, as well as a few sportswear items such as jeans and T-shirts.
“I am launching a collection and I thought would be a great way to introduce it,” she said. “I am looking for backers.”
Davy said the group is seeking sponsors to defray costs. The New York Water Taxi, a sponsor, will ferry people from Manhattan to the Fulton Ferry Landing in DUMBO. Another sponsor, Two Trees Management, will hold a kickoff cocktail party for participants on May 4. In addition to the runway, there will be performances by local musicians before the shows, which are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.