Marissa Kappus, Public Relations Coordinator
Couture & Community: Local Fashion Designer Partners with Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County
FORT PIERCE, FL: Surrounded by custom gowns and couture clothing, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County Club member, Jamauya, smiled ear to ear as she clutched her brand new pair of heels. The teen and 19 of her Club peers had taken a trip to Maison de Kallee Jackson to tour the studio and learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. There, Jackson herself gifted the shoes and invited the teens to her 5th Annual Kallee Jackson Couture Fashion Runway Show taking place on Saturday, October 8th in the Treasure Coast Lexus Showroom.
Already planning the outfits they’ll wear to the annual event, the Workforce Readiness teens excitedly questioned Jackson about her journey in fashion and how they, themselves, can get started. “You have so many resources and people like your Boys & Girls Clubs staff to help you, so you can become whoever you want to become,” Jackson said. “Don’t just dream. Dream and work hard while surrounding yourself with good people. Don’t ever give up, there’s no such thing.”
Making her way to the Treasure Coast from Jamaica in 2003, Kallee Jackson was inspired by American fashion and eager to make her mark. “I remember stepping out of the airport in Miami and seeing women in heels and jackets, and saying to myself, ‘I am going to take up space, I am going to take up good space.’” She explained to the young visitors that her goal to take up good space meant putting in hard work to do good for her community.
When asked about her decision to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs and provide fashion opportunities, such as internships, to Club members, Jackson said, “Kids need to have direction and support, and I think Boys & Girls Clubs does just that. I hope to have something like that one day in Jamaica.” She elaborated by saying, “[In fashion], there is no limit, and you can break as many rules as you want to, so why not put youth in a space where they can break rules and create magic.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County offers programs for teens that focus on personal development, career exploration, and hands-on learning with the goal of providing real-world experiences, shadow opportunities, and access to community mentors. The partnership with Kallee Jackson is no exception as she plans to offer internships to Club members and work with Boys & Girls Clubs to further educate interested members on the world of fashion.