Break Free NYFW, an Immersive Runway Experience is the Merging of Mental Health & Fashion

Break Free NYFW, an Immersive Runway Experience is the Merging of Mental Health & Fashion

Break Free NYFW, A Runway Show with a cause, announces their New York Fashion debut for Monday, February 14th, 2022.

Is it too big a stretch to merge the conversation of mental health and recovery with fashion? Alexandra Nyman, LadyCat, a designer whose premiere collection was a line called Therapy inspired by her brother’s struggle with Bi-polar Disorder, doesn’t seem to think so.

Photos: Sebastian Barbera

LadyCat and her mission are now going on to spearhead a show during New York Fashion Week called Break Free. It is being described as an immersive runway experience of art, design and fashion dedicated to raising awareness around two very pressing social issues: Mental Health and Addiction. Nyman is bringing this conversation to the runway and she is excited to be sharing it with five other extraordinary designers: Zephyr, Jacqueline City Apparel, Love Disorder, Wu-Sah, and Adorn Your Clothes.

Kelsey, the creative mind behind the brand Zephyr, is a proudly queer, disabled, multi-talented artist, designer, and advocate who creates magic in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past year she has focused on healing from cptsd, including how to cope with her dissociative disorder. she started making self care products and wearable art to express herself and heal. Now she hopes to use the healing skills and values she has developed to help others express themselves.

Jacqueline City is a 24 year old disabled fashion designer and CEO of Jacqueline City Apparel. City suffers from dysautonomia and POTS as well as heart disease and PTSD. City has no professional training and has never taken a design class, but she has been an artist her entire life. Jacqueline taught herself to sew at just 6 years old and even went as a fashion designer to her 2nd grade “career day.” Despite her health challenges, Jacqueline City continued to pursue her art and created Jacqueline City Apparel – a sustainable, vegan clothing line with inclusive sizing and affordable prices, which she deems “the new approach to fashion.”

Inclusivity is important to City; her initial launch included women’s, men’s, unisex, kids and plus sizes up to a 5X. Since JCA’s launch in 2019, City has since gone on to be featured in New York Fashion Week and British Vogue. City was recently honored by Marquis “Who’s Who in America” list for 2021-2022 for her dedication to the future of fashion and her charitable works advocating for the disabled community. Jacqueline City’s greatest passion lies in mentoring young women to go after their dreams. She’s also passionate about sharing her story of hope and recovery to inspire others going through their own struggles.

Love Disorder LLC is a clothing Company based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Love Disorder LLC was established 6/6/19. Every product we create is attached with love. Our designers focus on the consumers wearing each piece and how they feel in our products. Spreading the message about loving disorders and appreciating who we truly are is the primary motive fulling our brand.

Svetlana Chernienko is a Canadian-American Mental Health advocate, activist, TV news contributor, and sits at the head of Welcome To My Everyday – A Mental Health non-profit organization founded by herself. She is also the CEO and founder of WU-SAH, her latest project. As of this year, Svetlana will be working on her eco-sustainable line, WU-SAH, publishing her books around mental health, and striving to reach a bigger audience to shed as much light on Mental Health Awareness as she possibly can.

Adorn Your Clothes© is a place that allows you to love and adorn your clothes however you like. We hope as you adorn and reinvent your clothes, you will cherish it in your wardrobe longer, send less clothes to landfills, and stop global warming together.

A portion of the proceeds for this showcase will go to the nonprofit organization, 10,000 Beds, which was founded in 2014 by Jean Krisle. Jean has worked diligently and outside of the recovery community to develop long-standing relationships with corporate partners, event sponsors, individual donors, and leaders across the for-profit and non-profit worlds.

Like Nyman’s first showcase, Therapy, Break Free has garnered the support of many influencers. Returning to the runway is YouTuber Gabi DeMartino, as well as Gabby Fe. And stepping onto the runway in support of this showcase is breast cancer survivor Christine Handy, disabilities activist and real catwalk model Janira Obregon, sober model Jenn Ancelin, and founder of Out Loud Recovery, Martha Duke.

Break Free NYFW will be held on Monday, February 14th at 7pm ET at Ideal Glass Studios located at 9 West 8th Street in the West Villiage.


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