SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. - Cameras flashed, poses were struck, and for a brief moment Ramapo Senior High School had all the glitz and glamour of New York Fashion Week.
Over 400 people attended the Runway Paparazzi spring fashion showcase event, a collaboration between the high school's Fashion Club, the Class of 2018, and the Fashion House of London, which was founded by Ramapo alumnus Vershawn London.
The event was also overseen by Class of 2018 advisor Karen Hunt and helped raise $800 for the class. Production of the event began back in February for the May 20 event.
"For me, I just get excited because I have the opportunity to try to get these young people to have their self esteem and confidence raised through this medium," London said of the event, a tradition over the last few years.
Roughly 35 of the 55 models and half of the 40-person production crew involved were students.
The fashion show is a chance for London to give back to his district. In bringing an awareness of pop culture aspects, such as the paparazzi that pursue celebrities, London make students feel glamorous, as if they were at a premiere or were being chased by the independent photographers. With social media everything is about capturing the moment, London said.
Part of the fulfillment comes the day of the event, after the clothes arrive and hair and makeup is complete, as London watches the students enjoy the finished product that seemed abstract to them only months ago. Their hard work comes full circle, London said.
Pieces from local designers like Nime Jamal of New City and V. Hanely Collections of Rockland were featured along with a litany of others including the Fashion House of London.
London's fashion background spans decades, dating back to 1992 when he produced his first show, "The Night The Stars Will Shine" with the intention of providing a platform for people in the community who wanted to express themselves through fashion and entertainment.
Originally called London Stars but renamed in 2004, the Fashion House of London boasts 25 members made up primarily of models. London graduated from Ramapo in 1986.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.