Fashion INK, an alternative fashion show showcasing models with tattoos and edgy style will take place this Saturday, October 11, 2014 in downtown El Paso. The outdoor show will be held on Mills Street between Kansas and Stanton, starting at 8:30 p.m.
The event created and organized by Gracie Cain, owner of Emajj, a marketing company, hopes to ingrain an idea that successful style isn’t just the latest trends but the honest expression of an individual.
“In the past, while being involved in fashion shows I would see a lot of beautiful models being turned away because of their tattoos. So, I flipped the script and chose to have a [fashion] show that showcases them and their tattoos as much as the fashion,” she said, adding, “Tattoo models carry a stigma. I not only wanted it to be ok that they’re in a show but encourage them to be exactly who they are.”
Cain, 28, a native El Pasoan, always had an interest in fashion as a child – not surprisingly, her mother worked as a designer for a manufacturing company in Juarez, Mexico. “She would design and make custom clothes for my Barbie dolls, so I think fashion has always been there,” she said.
As a youth, Cain cut her teeth by producing fashion shows in both high school and college, raising funds for her senior class as the President of the Parkland Pride club and the International Business Association in college. Fashion shows seemed to be the natural way to not only raise money but express herself. Eventually the El Paso Times contracted Cain to organize fashion photo-shoots in an attempt to advertise for clients in a more creative way.
Cain’s marketing company, Emajj is based in downtown El Paso, “This is my neighborhood now. I spend most of my time here working on my livelihood. We wanted to showcase businesses in an area of downtown that typically isn’t spotlighted,” she said.
The corridor where the show will be held is normally a hub of business activity with an assortment of banking institutions and office spaces sprawling upward into concrete spires. Within the area a collection of fertile restaurants feed the community. Among these are Leo’s Mexican Restaurant and Cantina as well as The Network, both on Mills. Leo’s will be selling street tacos and drinks at the show while the after party will be held at The Network.
Prior to the fashion show will be a hair, makeup and nails show. “We really seek to celebrate the beauty industry and art,” said Cain.
“I think everyone has fashion, even if you say you don’t. From the choices you make, like the shirt you wear, the way you comb your hair or the style of glasses you select, we all have a unique style,” she said.
“Even within the tattoo culture, there are so many styles and fashions. These styles can bleed into the artwork on their skin and those styles influence others,” she said.
In all of this, Cain emphasizes the importance of partnerships and working with others, “Fostering strong relationships with the people around me are how great things happen.”
For more information Fashion INK