Local Christian Fashion Week offers a variety of events for inaugural year | Journal-news

MARTINSBURG — A week celebrating fashion, faith, creativity and philanthropy has been re-established in Martinsburg.

Christian Fashion Week, which originated in Tampa, Florida, began Monday and runs through Saturday’s main event — a fashion show at The Purple Iris starting at 6 p.m.

The decision to revive the fashion event came eight years after the last event was held in Florida. According to Mayra Gomez, a former model and one of the founders of Christian Fashion Week, the event faltered as a result of unforeseen circumstances, leaving her unable to continue presenting the event.

The revival of the event began after Gomez met Miss Uganda 1997 Lillian (Acorn) McClung. Gomez had a modeling ministry called Model4Jesus, and McClung worked as a model through that ministry.

“I had a ministry called Model4Jesus, and I would organize fashion shows as fundraisers for organizations that help women,” Gomez said. “Lillian called me when I was doing it, and that’s how she and I got to know each other.”

After the two became friends, McClung asked to bring Christian Fashion Week back to life in the Eastern Panhandle. She offered to take on the ownership role for the event but wanted to keep Gomez involved in the event. At first, Gomez was surprised that her friend wanted to host the event in West Virginia, but after meeting with community members, she agreed to help host the event in Martinsburg.

McClung and Gomez share a love and desire to transform women’s lives through faith and fashion. They have created their mission to change the way individuals think about faith, fashion, and wellness through events that empower, support, and demonstrate healthy self-esteem, self-expression, diversity, and overall well-being, while giving back to the community.

This year, Christian Fashion Week will serve as a way to benefit the Eastern Panhandle Empowerment Center.

On Monday, organizers celebrated the International Day of Prayer for Art and Fashion. The official launch was held Tuesday at The Garage on King, which sponsored the event. Guests are invited to dress up in their favorite fashion space and enjoy dinner, live music, and a wide selection of artwork by local artist Devin Bosley.

A fashion forum was held Wednesday at Airborne Church for a frank discussion of the question “What is Christian Fashion?”

“We want to talk about contextual humility and first impressions,” Gomez said of the event. “We might do something a little fun which is ‘dressing up’ instead of ‘styling’. It would be a fun event.”

For those participants looking to find their own fashion, Gomez said they have arranged a “ladies’ evening to sip, shop and network.” From 6 to 8 p.m. today, organizers will host The Style Lab at Savannah Grace Boutique. Guests will enjoy a mini fashion show at the 144 N. Queen St. location. Space is limited for this free event. To register, visit https://www.christianfw.com/registration.

There are two ticketed events in the final days of Christian Fashion Week, but one is reserved exclusively for those with VIP tickets.

On Friday, those with VIP tickets are invited to the VIP Soiree at the HUB, located at 126 E. Burke St. From 6 to 8 p.m., participants are invited to dress up for a private meet and greet with models, designers and photographers. And members of the media. Tickets are set at $60, which also includes front row seats to the fashion show, a swag bag and refreshments.

General admission for Christian Fashion Week’s main event fashion show on Saturday is set at $35. Doors to the event will open at 6 p.m. at The Purple Iris, 1956 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg.

To learn more about Christian Fashion Week, or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.christianfw.com.

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