A four-week mentorship between homeless youth and designers from the holdings company PVH culminated in a fashion show at Judson Memorial Church.CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times
On Thursday, the first official night of New York Fashion Week, while the industry and its disciples kiss-kissed at Calvin Klein and Kim Shui, nine very young, very new designers walked their creations in the fifth annual Project Streetwork Fashion Show.
The event, staged in the sanctuary of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, was the culmination of a four-week mentorship between designers from PVH, the global clothing company that owns Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, and homeless youth from Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project, which operates two drop-in centers and an overnight shelter.
A bracing alternative to the stoic runways at Skylight Clarkson Sq, the show was also a burst of joy from an increasingly vulnerable population.
“For young adults and teens, there are so many barriers to stable permanent housing,” Liz Roberts, the deputy C.E.O. of Safe Horizon, said in a phone interview. “They don’t have experience living on their own. They don’t have the life skills to navigate a lease and a landlord. They typically have limited work experience. They’re homeless because of a history of abuse and neglect from their families, and they need a lot of support. There’s a need for housing options that are different.”