BY: Jamil Khan
JOHANNESBURG – Every year United Colors Of Fashion (UCOF) chooses an intern as the Top Intern of the Year. This intern is usually an outstanding fashion hopeful that has been learning all they can through our Fashion Education Program and working hard behind the scenes of UCOF.
The intern we’re honoring today takes hard work to a different level and therefore we are naming Sade Solomon our Achiever of the Year. This phenomenal young lady hails from South Bronx in New York, where graduating from high school is deemed nothing short of a miracle. Having faced insurmountable odds, Sade refused to accept the script circumstance handed her to live her life by. After graduating from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, she accepted a job as a caseworker for a New York City foster care agency. Being exposed to the sad reality of childhood dynamics for New York children, Sade decided her role as a caseworker was stifling her ability to do the best she could for her juvenile clients.
Sade then answered her calling to pursue fashion design and has since graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. She has become a mentor and Creative Arts teacher at her community youth center and has been working relentlessly behind the scenes at UCOF. In addition to all of this, Sade has interned for designer Paul Carroll and luxury brand Proenza Schouler with a passion that can only be called electric. Having realized her passion, Sade has vowed to use fashion as a means to uplift and improve the lives of those much like the children she felt hindered in helping.
Sade intends to start her own business in which she can use fashion and philanthropy to encourage the youth and empower them to fulfill their dreams and passions as she has done.
“I want to touch lives and provide others with the opportunities that were afforded to me”, says Solomon.
Being chosen as Achiever of the Year means that she will design a number of pieces for the “Hope Beyond Horizons” Exhibition where UCOF will present an avant-garde collection from February 14th until March 2nd, 2013 at Rockefeller Center. She will also travel, all expenses paid, with the UCOF team to South Africa in March to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg and intern with local top designers, stylists and industry professionals. This will allow her to understand African and international fashion in a way that enriches her existing interpretation with a fresh style. The trip UCOF will make to South Africa also concludes a cycle of fundraising for Soweto Hospice, which cares for people with HIV/AIDS and children in the community at the associated Mapetla Day Care Center. This visit is the culmination of our Charity Care drive, which has been running its second cycle since the inception of UCOF.
UCOF would like to thank Sade Solomon for her selfless contribution to our mission. More importantly, we would like to express our sincere gratitude for her beautiful character that has brought her vision to us and afforded us the opportunity to help her develop her vision.
Sade we salute you!
Jamil Khan is a Psychology graduate from Stellenbosch University with a keen interest in fashion, social upliftment and research. He is a United Colors Of Fashion press intern, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.