Break Free Presents NYFW SS23 Designer Showcase

    September 10, 2022 all-day
    Break Free Presents NYFW SS23 Designer Showcase
    Open to the Public

    Break Free NYFW is an immersive designer showcase featuring fashion and social issues. The designer showcase will be held during New York Fashion Week on Saturday, September 10th, 2022 at 7 pm ET.

    6 pm: Doors open to the venue, and mocktail hour begins
    7 pm: The fashion show begins

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    Break Free NYFW is a runway show with a cause, leading the discussion on mental health and substance use disorders within the fashion industry. We have invited mental health and addiction rights activists to not only walk in this show as models but to be featured designers showcasing their collections for the New York elite to immerse themselves within their brands’ core mission of shining a light on this pressing issue.

    The Break Free NYFW Designer Showcase will be held on Saturday, September 10th, which is World Suicide Prevention Day, a day to raise awareness of suicidal behaviors and how to effectively prevent them. September is also National Recovery Month, a month to celebrate those who have sought recovery from a substance use disorder and to encourage others to seek ways to gain sobriety and live a sober lifestyle, as well as National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

    A portion of the proceeds from this show will go towards the Break Free Foundation, which serves as the scholarship oversight committee whose purpose is to provide scholarships to assist those seeking treatment for a substance use disorder through attending a rehabilitation center.



    Break Free is excited to have the following designers on the runway this season: RCA Public Label by Renee Cafaro, Helen Castillo, and VALT by Ashley Alt.

    RCA Public Label is the debut ready-to-wear brand by Renee Cafaro Atelier. Cafaro is best known to the plus-size fashion world as the US Editor for the premier print media for curvy women, SLiNK Magazine, and as an influencer formerly known as FoxyRoxyFashion on Instagram. As a fashion expert, journalist, and consumer, Renee is all too aware of the pitfalls in the industry which is why she has committed to providing high-quality items with a focus on fit and functionality for sizes 16-32.

    Renee creates as she lives – with purpose. RCA Public Label is NYC-made from patterns to production, by her and a collection of BIPOC New Yorkers from materials purchased locally in hopes to revitalize the Garment District one dollar at a time.

    About Renee Cafaro

    Renee Cafaro is a freelance writer who has written articles on a myriad of topics, from politics to travel. Her work has been published in the New York Post, Yahoo! Travel, and many online outlets. Cafaro serves as the US editor of premier plus-size fashion magazine SLiNK, available at Barnes & Noble and retailers in 18 countries.

    Her more than 12 years of experience as a former political strategist as well as her subsequent career change led her to become a contributor to Mind of a Mentor, a podcast that highlights struggle-to-success stories to inspire women in the workforce.

    Renee has spent a lifetime fighting for the underdog and social justice, and despite many thinking her transition from the government is odd, she actually feels that size inclusivity is a political issue. She is very passionate about all aspects of her life and seamlessly interweaves them.

    Cafaro is a woman with many projects but never one to skimp on quality. She hopes that her life’s success and the recent integration of her diverse creative and professional experience will inspire the next generation of women to go after their dreams and reach their full potential.

    About Helen Castillo

    Beginning her fashion studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology at age 13, Helen Castillo continued to pursue her career in fashion fulfilling four years at FIT and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors Degree in Special Occasion design/Couture studies. After numerous internships, some of which included Vera Wang Bridal House and Vivienne Westwood (London, UK) ambition took her on to bigger opportunities with becoming a finalist on back-to-back seasons of Project Runway Season 12 and Project Runway All Stars Season 4 and more recently Project Runway All Starts Season 6. Having designed Mary Lambert’s 54th Grammy performance and red carpet gowns working with Madonna’s stylist B. Akerlund to compliment her performance look. The exposure launched her career and she was personally recruited by Zac Posen to work for him as a designer after PRAS Season 4. Lifetime reached out to Helen again for PRAS Season 6 as a ‘Veteran’ designer to compete and rank as the last standing female designer.

    Most recently she developed the entire curriculum and teaching program for Mood Fabrics ‘MoodU’ University during the 2020 pandemic. Having reached 665 students internationally from 2020 to spring of 2022 by instructing pattern making, custom draping, and garment development, and creating countless patterns for free download via the Mood ‘Sewciety’ blog ranging in sizes 0-30. Teaching within her hometown community of Union City, she recently was employed by the Board of Education to write the updated curriculum for the high school’s Career and Technical Education department FashionDesign and Apparel Design curriculum and lesson plans that will be used for future academic school years. Completing a Masters in Education via New Jersey City University in the Spring of 2022 she was a mentor not only to her colleagues but to her aspiring fashion design students.

    About VALT

    VALT is a luxury clothing brand made for the socialite. Built on the foundation of positive mental health, VALT’s mission is to dress women in jaw-dropping, sophisticated styles so they can lead a life of elegance and fabulousness. Working only with sustainable fabrics, each collection of robes and jumpsuits is a limited edition to ensure style exclusivity.

    About Ashley Alt

    VALT’s designer, Ashley Alt, is a Connecticut-based writer and stylist looking to raise awareness of the positive impact dressing up has on our mindset. She started her clothing line — a vibrant collection of one-piece-wonders — upon the realization that getting dressed again got her mind right again. After battling postpartum depression when her son was born, Ashley has since made it her mission to enlighten new moms and women on the power that getting dressed holds, which she intends to portray through her playful-yet-elegant pieces.



    Break Free NYFW – September 10th, 2022 from 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm ET

    LOCATION: The Grand Hall in the Lower East Side

    Entrance is not guaranteed if you arrive late as space is limited.

    Get to know our Models, Designers, Influencers, & the Break Free NYFW team as we celebrate another successful season. Mocktails will be served for all.


    Press Passes are available upon request and will admit you free access to the runway show and after party. You will need to prove your credentials to qualify for a press pass to this event.

    Contact Eve at with your name, publication, and samples of your work for consideration to be issued a press pass.
    Show Schedule (Include Designer Names, Times, Locations if Applicable):
    440 Grand Street NYC, NY 10002

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