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TMCF Announces Open Call for Minority Designers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                        Media Contact:  Lesia R. Bullock, 301-741-1278



Talented Designers Encouraged to Apply Online for 2009 Anniversary Weekend Show in New York

New York, NY – May 19, 2009 – The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has opened it’s annual search for emerging minority designers to showcase their 2009 collections during the 4th Annual Front Row Fashion Show on Saturday, October 24, 2009. Designers from the African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian American communities are encouraged to apply for the opportunity to showcase their designs during one of the most exciting weekends in the Big Apple.

A total of 10 up-and-coming and established designers will be featured at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. The show serves as the kickoff event for TMCF’s 22nd Anniversary Weekend that is expected to raise millions of dollars to benefit the 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The application deadline for designers is midnight on July 10, 2009.

“The Front Row Fashion Show is a unique event because it strikes a balance between showcasing the icons who have advanced and influenced African American fashion and style, while also creating a special forum for young and talented minority designers who have the drive necessary to become the future of fashion, said Dwayne Ashley, President and CEO of TMCF.

Last year’s Anniversary Weekend raised $3.9 million, and more than 2,000 attendees saw the 3rd Annual Front Row Fashion Show. Featured designers included: Douglas Says, Edward Wilkerson for Lafayette 148, Kevan Hall, SIXXfoota, Stephen Burrows, Steven Cutting, Tracy Reese, Johnny Vincent, Sean John and Xiomara.

The 4th Annual Front Row Fashion Show will also honor the contributions of fashion industry trailblazers and innovators who embody the leadership, commitment and legacy of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. The 2008 Fashion Icon honorees included:

§         Tyson Beckford, Supermodel/Actor

§         Ross Burton, International Make-up Artist, and Oprah Winfrey’s personal make-up artist

§         Oscar James, Celebrity Hairstylist

§         Beverly Johnson, Supermodel/actress

§         Keith Major, Famed Fashion Photographer

§         Ashley Stewart, Full-figured Specialty Retailer

§         Audrey Smaltz, Former model and Ebony Fashion Fair Hostess, and CEO of the “Ground Crew”

Designers selected to participate in the 4th Annual Front Row Fashion Show must meet the following criteria, and agree to the following terms:

  • Collection must include 12 different cohesive looks (10 will be used in the show).

  • Complete collection must arrive in NYC by Thursday, October 22nd

  • Designers or designee encouraged to attend model casting in NYC (Date and Time TBD).

  • Designers or designee must be present for the model fittings in NYC on Thursday, October 22nd and Friday, October 23rd.

  • Designers must provide own transportation and lodging to and from NYC.

  • Designers must be present the night of the show, or have a designated representative present.

  • A $200 nonrefundable participation fee is required upon notification of acceptance to hold position.

  • Submission of URL to designers’ online portfolio or website containing photographs of collection and 3 sample images (JPEG) showcasing work.

The application for designers is available by visiting the website at All designers will be notified no later than July 24, 2009.



About the Thurgood Marshall College Fund:

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 6 Law Schools located in 22 states with a population of well over 250,000 students. It is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public HBCUs. Over the last 21 years, TMCF has awarded more than $100 million in leadership development, programmatic and capacity support, and scholarships enabling more than 7,500 students to attend public HBCU. TMCF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMCF is a 501(c) 3, tax-exempt organization.


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