DALLAS, TX – Non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions hosted its annual charity event Fashion for a Passion No. 5 on Saturday, Oct. 12th at The Dallas Contemporary Museum in the Dallas Design District. The show was attended by 365 guests who helped to raise $35k, which will go toward for ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and year-round outreach programs.
Entering the Dallas Contemporary, guests got to enjoy the ambiance set by Lumiere Lighting & Drapery and music by DJs Super T, tasty bites by Royal Catering, sips by Ben E Keith and dessert by Sugarbee Sweets Bakery. Hung from the rafters with red rope hangers were the eight designers’ t-shirt design pieces. The work of eight Exhibiting Artists – Jody Pham, Trung Vuong, Kathy Tran, Cameron Lee Phan and ATG Artistic Scholarship winners DJ Wang, Grace Kwon, Xiaoye Jiang and Catherine ‘Kit’ Zauhar’s were displayed, flanked by tables of fabulous silent auction packages. Pre-show Musical Performers from ATG’s community partner Kollaboration Dallas included Kassy Levels, Mijee Park, J.O and Y.O!, as well as a special performance by ATG Artistic Scholarship winner Kendyl Ito. The show kicked off with a surprise ensemble performance. As guests took their seats, President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee, Community Outreach Directors Jared Rehberg and Hue Dao Miner and 2012 Artistic Scholarship winner Thoa Nguyen honored the two 2013 Artistic Scholarship winners who were present at the event, showing videos of gratitude from the ones who were unable to be present in person.
“It was a special, emotional and wonderful milestone night, and we could not have done it without the efforts of so many who were willing to devote the necessary money, time and talent to making this event happen,” said President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “It is no small feat that an organization like ours can continue to pull off an event of this caliber and magnitude consistently year after year. I’m tremendously proud of our team and sincerely grateful to all who have helped our cause.”
First time attendee and 2013 Kollaboration Dallas winner Kassy Levels gave it her all, staged a fantastic set and enjoyed every minute of FFAP. “It was definitely a classy event! The scene was an incredible display of art, talent and fashion,” said Levels. “I am proud to say I was part of FFAP No. 5 not just because of the event, but more importantly, the organization that directly benefits the event.”
Musical entertainers and exhibiting artists shared their love and support to ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee and the Board for all their hard work to get FFAP where it is today.
Kendyl Ito expressed her thanks to ATG for recognizing her as a scholarship winner and musical performer. “Thanks so much ATG! It truly is an honor to be an Artistic Scholarship winner, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a member of the ATG community now. You all inspire me everyday and give me the extra push to continue in my artistic endeavors! Be bold and always live life ‘against the grain.’”
“As a musician and artist myself, I’ve done my fair share of performances. Still, FFAP was a more precious experience than most; in that it was an event supporting aspiring artists follow their dreams. I’ve never felt more blessed and honored to be part of an event,” performer Mijee Park said. “Seeing people come out to not only socialize but support so many different artists, communities and causes were amazing. It shows that ATG is being proactive which is something that we desperately need in this world, in order to better ourselves and do better onto others.”
Exhibiting Artist Kathy Tran attended the event and realized how much effort and opportunities ATG has provided for audience and volunteers to mingle. “I was exhilarated to be a part of the event with other artists of all forms. I had the opportunity to connect with quality people of the Asian community in Dallas…I was home!”
The evening was emceed by actress/model LeeAnne Locken and CBS 11 Morning News Reporter Elizabeth Dinh, who engaged the audience from the start with lively banter and humor. In honor of the anniversary, even the catwalk was shaped in a “5.” Beautiful models from Page Parkes Management, Dragonfly Agency and Campbell-Wagner Runway strutted off the diverse collections of eight Presenting Designers, including Nikki Duong Koenig of Cykochik Custom Handbags paired with Vera Wang’s Viviona swimwear, Kim Pham, Becky Hollands, Danh Ta, Cac Lam of Cac DeMode, Texas Next Top Designer winner Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang and Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses.
Returning designers expressed their appreciation to the show for helping getting them positive label exposure, as it has for FFAP success story Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh.
“Against The Grain’s FFAP was a successful event not only to help me launch my career as a designer, but also to spread support for education in Asian American communities and to provide funding for orphanages in Asia,” designer Danh Ta said. “This is why I chose to return and participate as a veteran designer. ATG has been a true inspiration pushing me to accomplish more as a designer while in turn helping to raise awareness for those who are less fortunate.”
Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses closed the show and said, “FFAP is always a highlight of the year for me. It’s so great to work with such passionate people while doing something we love and giving back to a great cause. The event itself was so fabulous, it seems like ATG somehow make every year a unique experience that is way different than their previous shows. I can’t wait for next year.”
First time presenting designers expressed humble gratitude for being selected to showcase their work for Fashion for a Passion and awe at the show’s production value.
Becky Hollands has been eager to participate in her first Fashion for a Passion and has made the goal to return again in the future. “This year marked my first year and I am so grateful and honored for the opportunity to chase my dream and in doing so, utilizing my time and talent to celebrate the Asian American community alongside artists and musicians to promote opportunities for scholarships, funds and raise money for orphanages in Asia. ATG has given me the opportunity, the voice and the extra push in taking the plunge to pursue my dream as a fashion designer and launching my own label.”
“ATG put together a great pack of designers,” said Vera Wang. “All the designs were strong and refreshing…Viviona Swimwear is proud to be part of it.”
Each presenting designer donated at least 2 pieces to be auctioned for charity live. Additional auction pieces were given by FFAP veteran Nha Khanh, Dora Yim, Ann Hoang by Ann Hoang, Le Dragon d’Or and Watters. The night’s top bids were for a black racer back wool peplum top with embellishments and black wool flared pant by Nha Khanh, a 18K White Gold with Diamonds “Handcuff Necklace” from The Bound Collection by Le Dragon d’Or and a “Vega” ivory textured organza wedding gown by Watters.
The non-profit will launch a $10k social media holiday fundraising campaign starting November 1st, to help reach its annual goal and a record of $50k raised in one year, 100% of which will go towards the next year’s giving budget for orphanage aid, scholarship funds and outreach programs.
ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. In addition to giving out an annual scholarship to exemplary Asian American students pursuing a degree in the arts, they also produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at over a dozen film festivals nationwide and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.
on oct 16, 2013 in heather’s diary
This year, ATG rounded up an impressive roster of eight local Asian American designers. They included Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, Texas Next Top Designer 2013 and winner of Belk’s Southern Designer Showcase, as well as Jerry Matthews of DFW Style Daily favorite, Nine Muses. In addition to showcasing looks from their lines on the runway, each designer donated at least two garments to be auctioned live during the show.
True, the clothes were simply incredible. But the aspect of this community event that is even more important to remember is that ATG is 100% non-profit. The nearly $100,000 they have raised to date through this effort has been utilized in its entirety to further its cause. No one, from the production team to the models to ATG’s board members, is paid. Each donates his or her time and talents, and the result is one hell of a production.
Over the years, I’ve come to know most everyone involved in Fashion For A Passion. Tammy Nguyen Lee, ATG President and Founder, is one of the kindest, most hardworking individuals you could ever hope to meet. Beautiful actress and model LeeAnne Locken has emceed the event for past four years, bringing her signature brand of excitement and fun. The designers, again donating their time and beloved creations, continue to impress and inspire. These are my friends, and I’m proud of them. I love this event because of what it stands for. It isn’t about segregating our community, but about bringing us together so that we can be proud of our neighbors and share in their successes.
All photos, credit Heather Lettieri for DFW Style Daily.
DALLAS, TX – As Madonna said, “Music makes the people come together.” Non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions presents more than just art and fashion at this year’s 5th annual Fashion for a Passion. There will be four exciting new musical talents set to take the stage and perform a variety of genres, all while supporting a cause that is dear to their hearts. The charity event will take place on Saturday, October 12th from 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM at the Dallas Contemporary and will feature music by Kollaboration Dallas finalists Mijee Park, J.O. and Y.O.!, Kassy Levels (Kollaboration Dallas Winner) and Kendyl Ito (one of this year’s ATG Artistic Scholarship winners), along with a fashion runway show, live auction, art exhibit and more.
“Although the event is named Fashion for a Passion, don’t be fooled. It’s really a three-ring circus,” said President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “We wanted to bring together a diversity of Asian American artists, and music is an important component. We’re excited to have participation from our community partner, Kollaboration Dallas, as well as have the opportunity to showcase our very own Artistic Scholarship winner.” Proceeds from the evening go to benefit ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, outreach programs and scholarship fund.
Beauty, brains and talent is what people should think of when we mention Kendyl Ito, an 18-year-old from Sacramento, CA and one of the five ATG Artistic Scholarship Winners. She is currently a freshman studying musical theatre at Pace in New York City. When Kendyl came across ATG’s scholarship, she related to the organization from the ground up. Less than 5′ tall, petite Japanese American Kendyl is redefining color-blind casting, landing leading roles as Elle Woods in “Legally Blonde,” Sandy in “Grease,” Eve in “Children of Eden” and most recently Rosemary in “How To Succeed In Business.”
“Simply put, it is truly an honor to perform at ATG’s Fashion For A Passion event this year! It’s one thing to perform amongst an amazing group of talented artists, but to perform for a beautiful cause like this is truly heartwarming.” – Kendyl Ito
At only 17 years-old, Kassy Levels is not just an amazing vocalist (with a range of three octaves), but a very gifted songwriter and musician from McKinney, TX. She strives to bring back the authenticity of music, with inspirations such as Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Jessie J. Her vocals have often been compared to several of her inspirations but after hearing her sing, her distinct, well-controlled vocals sets her apart from the rest. Half Filipina and half African-American, she made her debut in 2009 in the Dallas music scene and quickly established a name for herself among North Texas natives. She released her first album, “Storyteller,” in 2011. With her musical blend of Pop/R&B accentuated with her vocals, she has captivated her audiences by blowing away listeners not expecting such power and confident stage presence from this young a performer. She was recently honored as this year’s Kollaboration Dallas winner and is in the process of recording her sophomore album. Follow her music vlog “Street Corner Spotlight” on www.youtube.com/kassylevels.
“As a musician, I can appreciate when people give me the opportunity to share my gift with other people. I love the fact that ATG is providing an outlet for Asian fashion designers to showcase their work, all while giving back to the community! Fashion and compassion, is my kind of combination! I know that there are people who will be inspired by the Fashion for a Passion event and what they stand for!” – Kassy Levels
J.O and Y.O.! form an amazing duo with their opposing styles and relentless energy. Josh is an indie pop artist who has been roaming the streets and venues of Dallas with his acoustic pop project, “The Josh Osgood Band.” Anthony Young aka Y.O.! (who is half Thai and half African American), is an up and coming hip hop artist who regularly performs at Dallas clubs such as Plush and Aqua Lounge. He also produces for VK studios and performs regularly on local radio stations. After meeting through rather auspicious means, the two decided to combine their flavors into something special.
“J.O and YO! are always down to support the young crowd, kids that aren’t as privileged as us. We always enjoy being apart of something greater than our selves, if it be through music, art, fashion so be it. If there’s a difference to be made, we’ll make it” – J.O. and Y.O.!
Mijee Park is a Korean American singer-songwriter based out of Richardson, Texas. With a mother who played piano and a father who played guitar, it only made sense for Mijee to pick up and learn from her parents. As a little girl, she sang and jammed out with her parents, started writing her own music and performing at her church choir. At 15, Mijee started working with producer Sang Ham at UG Productions, eventually performing alongside artists such as Joseph Vincent and Decipher. Outside of music, she is working on a nursing degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I feel so honored and blessed to be able to share my music through Fashion for a Passion. It’s awesome to know that there is honest support for local Asian American artists here in Dallas.”- Mijee Park
Tickets to Fashion for a Passion range from $50 to $100 and are on sale exclusively online at the FFAP Event Page.
For more press/media information on the event, please contact Elizabeth Dinh or Annie Tran at email@example.com.
ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. In addition to giving out annual scholarships to exemplary Asian American student leaders and those pursuing a degree in the arts, they also produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at over a dozen film festivals nationwide and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.