November 5, 2014 (Dallas, TX) – On Saturday, November 1, Against The Grain Productions held its 6th Annual Fashion for a Passion charity event at Three Three Three First Avenue. In a sold-out show that beat all event records, the event hosted 450 guests and raised more than $35K in funds to go to ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs.
“I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the local community as well as the incredible time, talent and effort from our team who helped make this our best event yet,” said ATG President and Co-Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “It was truly an unforgettable night whose tremendous impact will be felt by those we support through our causes.”
Lee reminded the audience of the purpose for the night by showcasing a fresh PSA video, produced by Trevor Hyslop of Roll With It, which introduced the new #beCAUSE campaign, encouraging everyone to find daily ways to do good in the world by any measure they can.
Total ticket sales, live and silent auction bids, donations, raffle ticket sales and twenty percent of proceeds from the sale of ATG-branded and other Cykochik vegan bags exceeded the event goal, raising more than $35K. Each designer donated two items for live auction down the runway in addition to their ATG t-shirt design challenge entries, with a few surprise spontaneous additions based on popular audience demand. Other live auction items included pieces by past presenting designers Jolynn, Lucy Dang and Nha Khanh. The highest-ticket item for the night was the “Daniela” wedding gown by presenting designer Watters, Watters’ Against The Grain t-shirt challenge design gown, Becky Hollands’ “Sommer” dress and the Nha Khanh “Shaylynne” dress. Art exhibit and auction items included the work of Asian American artists Tam Nguyen, Kelly Jackson Brownlee, LeUyen Pham, Elaine Wang and ATG Scholarship Winners Catherine Mai, Sarah Sullivan, Dalena Tran and Calvin Tran, with the highest bid for Tam Nguyen’s “Breanna”.
Other silent auction and raffle contributors included A+ Salon, Becks Prime, Ben E Keith, Billy Jealousy, Brandy Pham Jewelry, California Pizza Kichen, Chic Saw Custom Furniture, Courtney Engle Photography, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Cykochik Custom Handbags, Dallas Affaires Cake Company, Dallas Center for Architecture, the Dallas Zoo, Dolly Pearl, Essensuals London, Galleria Dallas, Griffin & Grace, Sylvia Komatsu, NAAAP-DFW, Ova Skin Care, Paradise Bakery, Pho is for Lovers, Riviera Spa, Rodan + Fields, artist Keri Ruediger, Saigon Block, Scribble Linens, Sewell Cadillac of Grapevine, the Texas Rangers, Uber, Uptown Yoga and Wink Eye Care.
Prior to the fashion show, guests enjoyed delicious bites from Royal Catering, gourmet popcorn from HotPoppin’, sips by Ben E. Keith & Fuji, music from DJ Super T and cars from Audi Dallas. Musical performances by Heart & Hero, Jonavi and Andrew Yun kicked off the show. ATG Director of Community Outreach Julianne Nguyen along with 2010 ATG Artistic Scholarship winner and SMU graduate Monika Hoang introduced a touching thank you reel from all 2014 ATG Artistic Scholarship winners, followed by the first dance performer at Fashion for a Passion by 2014 ATG Artistic Scholarship winner Lizzy Tan.
In an event first, each designer’s runway presentation began with a video showcasing behind-the-scenes moments and commentary from the designers themselves, produced by Toan Tran of The Fold Creative Group. The fashion show coordinators were stylist Carlos Alonso Parada and 6-time FFAP veteran show coordinator Keisha Murrell. In the pre-show, models clad in all-black showed off the elegant and modern jewelry of designer Brandy Pham. Watters officially opened the show with the event’s first bridal collection and several memorable moments created by adorable flower girls. Other presenting designers included Becky Hollands, Mai Pham, d.p.c by Dora Yim, Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses and Hue Tran of Lizzi London.
“Every show I have participated in, I see the immense growth of the team involved,” said veteran and finale presenting designer Hue Tran of Lizzi London, who flew in from Virginia, where she recently debuted her latest collection. “Witnessing the craftsmanship behind the stage and in front of the house, it was a blessing to see the purpose of why we do what we love. To have a voice and share it with others.”
First-time presenting designer and this year’s Little Black Dress competition winner Mai Pham felt close to the cause.
“I feel very blessed to be a part of an organization with such a great cause. To be able to sell my pieces is one thing, but to contribute is much more,” she said. “It meant so much to present my work. All the stitches, the all nighters, the hard work are for moments like these.”
“This year’s event was such an amazing experience!” enthused third-time presenting designer and Art Institute graduate Jerry Matthews from Nine Muses. “It was great to be with like-minded passionate people who are all working together to help an amazing cause. Francesca [Nine Muses partner] and I were thrilled to help in any way we could, while doing what we love.”
First-time jewelry presenting designer Brandy Pham had this to say: “I was overwhelmed with graditute when I saw the video of the scholars who received this years scholarship. That was my favorite part. It really hit home. I went to art school on a full-ride scholarship, but when I was graduating, there weren’t many scholarships offered for the creative field. I remember the stress and frustation I experienced. I searched far and wide and applied to dozens and dozens of scholarships, so it was wonderful to see the faces of the talented and deserving scholars. Also, I was amazed and overjoyed when I saw Tammy’s heartfelt video about Operation Babylift and the ATG organization. She is an amazing individual and such a great example. ATG is a wonderful orginization and I’m proud to have been a presenting designer this year. Thank you so much for having me!”
Lizzy Tan, a freshman dance major at UT Austin, had nothing but great things to say about Fashion for a Passion: “I was incredibly impressed by the event as a whole. Not only was it run by volunteers who all contribute so much of their time and effort to the foundation, it was also an exceptional showcase of different arts: film, music, fashion, dance and studio art…Dancing for a community of those who are passionate about art was encouraging and uplifting. It was exciting to be the first dancer of hopefully many more to come!”
Singer Tex Siriswat of Heart & Hero “sung” the praises of Fashion for a Passion, too.
“It was a great event as always, and we were happy to be a part of the cause,” he said. “It was an honor to be selected again…we feel even closer to the Asian American community. Hopefully, they will remember us ‘cause we have more things to come.”
“Throughout the whole night, I couldn’t help but feel blessed to provide musical entertainment for an organization that is so excited to support Asian Americans in the entertainment and fashion industry,” said first-time performer Jonavi. “To be one of the performers at an event hosted by an organization so sincere in its actions was humbling and inspiring. I cannot wait to see how ATG continues to pursue their passion, and I look forward to using my passion to give a voice to Asian American artists everywhere.”
Actress/spokesmodel LeeAnne Locken and CBS 11 Morning News Reporter Elizabeth Dinh once again entertained the audience with their fun and lively banter as the evening’s emcees, with pitchman Sam Liu providing additional narration. Page Parkes Management, Dragonfly Agency and The Clutts Agency provided this year’s models. The gorgeous bouquets that adorned the venue and later presented to the designers were provided by Luxe Petals.
Many thanks to our Year-around Sponsors: (Museum Partner) The Crow Collection of Asian Art; (Producer) Asian American Forum, Dr. & Mrs. Paul Cho; (Director) Watters; (Star) Dallas Women’s Foundation, Lam Facial Plastics/Ova Skin Care, Pho is for Lovers, Saigon Block, Cindi’s NY Delicatessen, Engvest Realty/DFW iRealty, The Law Office of John Ting, Glazed Cafe and Copy HQ; plus Event Sponsors (Couture) Audi Dallas, Page Parkes Management, The Clutts Agency, Dragonfly Agency, Royal Catering, Ben E. Keith and HotPoppin’ Gourmet Popcorn; (Glamorous) Color Me Safe; (Vogue) Fuji Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and Luxe Petals; (Service Sponsors) Essensuals London, DJ Super T, Heart & Hero, Roll With It Pictures, The Fold Creative, David Loi Studios, Saru Photography, ShutterQube, Durmoye Realty, Carlos Alonso Parada and revXmarketing; (Venue Partners) Three Three Three First Avenue and SISU Uptown; (Community Partners) NAAAP-DFW, Kollaboration Dallas, Asian Film Festival of Dallas; (Individual Donors) Dr. and Mrs. Paul and Young Cho, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce and Pat McRae, Mr. and Mrs. Tam and Aileen Nguyen and Ms. Cynthia Yung; and (Media Partners) CBS DFW-11, KTXA-21, DFW Style Daily and Asia World Media.
ABOUT AGAINST THE GRAIN PRODUCTIONS
ATG Against The Grain Productions, Inc., a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an innovative resource that creates educational, cultural and artistic opportunities for Asians and Asian Americans through films, media, programs and events; promotes awareness and unity of Asian American culture, artistry and identity; and gives voice to significant, relevant and untold stories in our community. Inspired by the stories from producing/director her award-winning feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, President Tammy Nguyen Lee co-founded ATG in 2008 to help raise funds for orphanages in Asia. Continually reaching out and helping those in need, ATG soon after expanded its philanthropy to include scholarships for impressive Asian American high school, college and graduate artists and leaders, awards to help Asian American adoptees attend heritage and culture camps across the U.S. and host event that provide mentorship and leadership to the community. ATG is made up 100% of volunteers – no one is paid, except in hugs and smiles. Administration and marketing costs are kept to an absolute minimum so nearly 100% of donations can be given away.
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