Thanks to Flora Montes, The Bronx has its own biannual Fashion Week, which coincides with New York Fashion Week. Although the Bronx native doesn’t have a background in fashion, as a 15-year marketing veteran and executive chef, she had the necessary skills to get the borough’s Fashion Week off the ground last year. “Bronx Fashion Week was born from an idea I had after going to a fashion show in Manhattan,” she told me recently. “When I tell you I absolutely fell in love, I did.” Montes left that fashion show and started planning and making contacts immediately.
According to Montes, The Bronx’s fashion market has been dead for years. “I learned of that after calling over 70 designers when I started this journey and finding out from a few that they were no longer in the business of design.” She expects Bronx Fashion Week –– now both a fashion house and company –– to open doors and bring fashion design back to The Bronx.
“I have had so many young girls email me to say how happy they are that they can now have the opportunity to model where they were born and raised,” she said. What’s more, many of Bronx Fashion Week’s designers were born and bred locally.
Besides helping fellow Bronxites, Montes aims to prove the naysayers wrong in their negative thoughts about The Bronx, and provide a way to show others all the beauty and talent in the borough. BFW has connected many people already, and Montes is just getting started. “We are here to stay,” she commented. “This has become my legacy that is going to live on forever. I am so proud.”
Bronx Fashion Week will take place on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more info, visit the website.
Tracy Kaler is our ground reporter covering the Bronx.