“Reviving Fashion’s Future: High Point Fashion Week’s Eco-Chic Kickoff with the Goodwill Upcycle Challenge”

“Reviving Fashion’s Future: High Point Fashion Week’s Eco-Chic Kickoff with the Goodwill Upcycle Challenge”

High Point, renowned as the Home Furnishings Capital of the World, is not only a hub for extraordinary furniture but also the birthplace of High Point Fashion Week (HPFW). This year, HPFW kicked off with a thrilling twist—the Goodwill Upcycle Challenge. Set to conclude in October 2023, the challenge will crown the winner who will take home the prestigious title Fashion Wars: Upcycle Challenge Competition Winner. As a privileged fashion stylist collaborating with HPFW founders Shay Johnson and Geovanni Hood, I had the extraordinary opportunity to work closely with a talented group of designers. They were handpicked to highlight their skills by transforming preloved garments sourced from Goodwill. Together, let us embark on this captivating journey into the realm of sustainable fashion, were creativity flourishes alongside environmental consciousness.

The unique challenge:

Designers were given a budget of only $50 to contribute to their line. It was undoubtedly a challenging task, but one that sparked their creativity and resourcefulness. As the fashion stylist on set, my first task was to gather information about each designer and understand their vision and add to their findings. I helped pull potential assets for the designer’s collection. The atmosphere was filled with endless ideas. A lampshade, for instance, could be repurposed into a stunning headpiece, while a vintage Christmas quilt might find new life as a unique jacket. The possibilities were endless, and it was incredibly rewarding to see how these unexpected finds could contribute to the designers’ collections in unexpected and extraordinary ways.  To make this day even more memorable, we had the talented videographer Courtney Yellock capturing the entire experience. Courtney’s expertise ensured that every special moment and behind-the-scenes action was captured on film.

After collecting all the materials from Goodwill, we headed over to Splashworks—It was a dream house for artists and designers alike, filled with inspiration and creativity. Designers were interviewed by photographer Kairon Crump to gain more insight into their process and vision. Once the interviews were completed, it was time to get down to work. Each designer had their own designated station, allowing them to focus on bringing their visions to life. As the fashion stylist, I continued to interact with the designers, asking detailed questions about their techniques, inspirations, and design choices. It was a collaborative and supportive environment.

Unveiling the Designer’s Vision  

One of the questions I posed to the designers was regarding the messages and impacts they hoped their upcycled designs would convey to the audience. We explored the depths of their motivations, the stories they aimed to tell, and the transformative power of sustainable fashion. By sharing their visions, these designers demonstrated their commitment to raising awareness and inspiring change through their innovative creations. 

Techniques and Methods:

Intrigued by the transformation process, I delved into the specific techniques and methods employed by the designers to breathe new life into the garments. From innovative cutting and draping techniques to fabric manipulation and embellishment, each designer brought their unique skills to the table. By understanding their methods, we gained insights into the intricate craftsmanship and ingenuity behind their upcycled designs.

Personal Style and Design Philosophy 

In the realm of upcycling, personal style and design philosophy play a pivotal role. I had the privilege of exploring how each designer incorporated their distinct aesthetic sensibilities and creative philosophies into their upcycled designs. By infusing their personal styles, they transformed pre-loved garments into unique and expressive pieces that represented their individuality and resonated with their design ethos.

Style and Design Advice

As a fashion stylist, my role extended beyond observation and inquiry. I had the honor of offering style and design advice to these talented individuals. From discussing color palettes and fabric choices to exploring innovative ways of styling and presenting their creations, I aimed to assist them in maximizing their visual impact and cohesiveness of their upcycled collections. This collaborative process fostered growth and innovation, elevating the final presentations. 

HPFW Goodwill Upcycle Challenge will provide an extraordinary platform for designers to highlight their talent and creativity while promoting sustainability in the fashion industry. With the completion of their collections, showing in October 2023 designers will be judged, a moment of anticipation and excitement as their hard work and creativity would be highlighted to a wider audience.  As the fashion stylist collaborating with Shay Johnson and Geovanni Hood, I witnessed the passion, dedication, and ingenuity displayed by these remarkable individuals. Through thought-provoking messages, innovative techniques, and personal artistic expressions, they succeeded in demonstrating the transformative power of upcycled designs.

Credits to 

Location 1:

Goodwill Industries, 2012 N Main Street, High Point, NC

Location 2:

Splashworks, 515 W English Rd, High Point, NC

Organization: High Point Fashion Week

Handle: @highpointfashionweek

Photographer: Kairon Crump-Handle: @ishotwithpanda

Videographer: Courtney Yellock-Handle: @cyproductions


Tessie Luck Ponton| Swynette Stone| Natilie Lucas & Mike Foley| Bria Hopkins|  Anndrea Robinson| Aquila Benjamin| Julionne Long| Tamara McKinney

Founders of High Point Fashion Week 

Shay Johnson |Geovanni Hood 

(Em): [email protected] www.fashionweekhighpoint.com

Donda B