Madonna said it first: “Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it.”
She’s mostly right – there’s nothing to striking a pose and being confident in yourself. For the models at the 9th annual Shortstack Fashion Show on June 27, their inner confidence illuminated the runway.
In 2006, 15 year old Olivia Mignone saw a need for drastic change within the fashion and modeling industry and took matters into her own hands, creating Shortstack Modeling Agency under the organization, Windows of Opportunity, Inc. run by Hal Eisenberg. Her vision became a reality not just for herself, but for many young women who wanted to be models but didn’t fit the criteria of 6 feet tall and 100 pounds. Those diverse young women proved that breaking the rules is truly a powerful thing.
Hal Eisenberg said of the evening:
“I was so amazed by the amount of positive energy and love at the show. My gratitude towards our Special Events Coordinator Tracy Mignone and our volunteers who choreographed a breathtaking evening is endless. Our message was heard with every step each model took on the runway. They were flawless.”
The models – all different body types and heights – donned clothing provided by sponsors of Shortstack Modeling Agency. These sponsors included House of Correia (a brand from NYC which specializes in trendy pieces), Operation Prom (a not for profit that donates prom dresses and tuxedos), The Original Antique Boutique (a vintage store in NYC that sells fast-forward clothing), Hot Topic (an American retail chain that specializes in alternative pieces) and Yvonne Jewnell Designs (a NYC based company that celebrates the diversity of women). The sponsorship of Shortstack Modeling Agency by these companies really brings to light how community forms unbreakable bonds.
Each year during their fashion show Shortstack raises awareness for a different charity. This year’s event supported The American Heart Association, a charity that raises awareness about heart disease. This was incorporated into the show by the models passing out red roses to each other as they walked the runway. This isn’t just heartwarming, but it also shows something that’s not commonly seen. The models brought both a freshness and a bond that was formed from 8 months of hard work – working on themselves as models and young women capable of taking on the industry.
Shortstack model Denay Richards captures the spirit of the fashion show and the sisterhood best:
“Over the past 8 months I’ve gained more than a killer strut and a confident personality – I’ve gained a family. The connections that the directors and models have made allowed us to witness each individuals’ transformation – a transformation that was truly manifested at Saturday’s show. Even though I’ll be leaving for college soon, the love and memories of my Shortstack family will remain with me indefinitely.”
More of the modeling industry and more of society should aspire to be like Shortstack, breaking the rules and setting new standards. What this fashion show was indicative of is the power of self-love, of the celebration of all kinds of women, and the power of change.More of the modeling industry and society should aspire to be like Shortstack: Breaking the rules and setting new standards. This fashion show was indicative of the power of self-love, the celebration of diversity and the power of change.
If you want to support a movement that promotes self-esteem, sisterhood, and consumer awareness, go fund Shortstack here.