BRONX — In 2012, Mott Haven native Flora Montes got a gig catering a Manhattan event for Latin Fashion Week. As she served food, Montes’ attention was drawn toward the runway, the models and the clothing.
“I fell in love,” she said.
Then she wondered why the Bronx didn’t have a similar event—so she set out to make one happen.
The fashion industry “wasn’t as inclusive as it should have been at that time,” she said. “I heard a lot of stories from models that were rejected because of their hair. Because it was curly. Bronx Fashion Week’s mission for me at that time was instant.”
In 2014, Montes created Bronx Fashion NYC, which aims to foster better representation in an industry that often limits access for people of color or of limited means—or who happen to come from the Bronx.
Montes has lately focused on another dream, collaborating with Here to Here, another Bronx nonprofit, to create a fashion program at the South Bronx Community Charter High School.