There are many talented fashion professionals throughout the state of North Carolina that work hard at perfecting their craft to excel in their specialization. That is why Antoinne Duane Jones, Creative Director and Owner of Swank Fashion Magazine, and lead concept photographer of Duane Jones Photography, used his professional connections and creativity to plan and organize the Cape Fear Regional Fashion Awards (CFRFA).
With so many talented individuals across the region, the CFRFA was a way to bring everyone together and honor those whose work made a lasting impression in the independent fashion industry for this fiscal year. The event was held on Saturday August 2nd at the J.W. Seabrooks Auditorium of Fayetteville State University within Jones’ hometown of Fayetteville, NC. Out of 25 distinct categories, 160 fashion professionals were nominated. Such categories included ‘Model of the Year’, ’Wardrobe Designer of the Year’, and Jones’ personal favorite the ‘Rising Star’ categories.
“Getting an award at such an early age of your career can catapult you,” said Jones, “Even a nomination lets people know that you’ve got the skills to be the best.”
Lead guitarist Dizi Johnson of the band LOUD showed off his skills with improvised solos over smooth jazz as the nominees and their supporters flowed into the auditorium to take their seats. Once settled, it wasn’t too long before the ceremony began with Antoinne Duane Jones hosting along side internationally recognized high fashion model, Angelina Hamber. After announcing the winners of the People’s Choice awards which were determined by online voting, the generous hosts announced that there would be shoe giveaways throughout the night courtesy of In2uitive Couture. The awards based on an independent panel out of the Charlotte area were presented in four quarters with entertainment between each section. Acts such as nationally acclaimed poet El’ Ja graced the stage as well as dance quartet IMperfect and local singer Yazmine Williams of Fayetteville State University.
The trending topic for the recipients of the awards was about support, and how talented people should not look at each other as competition, but rather as opportunity. Award winning Body Painter and Graphic Artist of the Year, Thesis Williams of Zombie Lyfe Apparel, made it a point to mention how investing in independent businesses can result in economic growth and prosperity.
“The urban community is already rich…our spending power dictates what products and entertainment is cool,” said the multi-facet artist, “[Big businesses] are making money off of our essence and are selling it back to us…while we squabble…the urban community is its own downfall, so it will be the solution.”
As the award ceremony came to an end, Antoinne Jones assured the audience that Swank Fashion Magazine will be doing more fashion events, and is currently in the works to put together a fashion week for Fayetteville. Jones has plans to expand his effort to areas outside of the Cape Fear region in due time.