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Friday, June 21, 2024
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Buffalo Fashion Runway: the blueprint for Buffalo’s artistic revival

Founded in 2023, Buffalo Fashion Runway continues to communicate and celebrate through art

<p>Buffalo Fashion Runway performers pose. | Courtesy of Buffalo Fashion Runway, Chad Williams and Eman Wajed.&nbsp;</p>

Buffalo Fashion Runway performers pose. | Courtesy of Buffalo Fashion Runway, Chad Williams and Eman Wajed. 

Buffalo Fashion Runway (BFR) is a culture of cultivation that shines a light on local artists in Western New York region, ranging from designers and models to poets and performing artists. 

Chad Williams and Eman Wajed, the two co-founders of BFR, met while Wajed was interning at the Buffalo-Niagara Medical Campus. 

Williams previously founded another organization, dooProcess, as a senior in college after being wrongfully arrested in 2019. 15% of all proceeds are donated to organizations dedicated to fighting inequality. 

After months of preparation, the art initiative’s first event, titled “A Confluence of the Arts,” was held last September in Buffalo’s Larkinville neighborhood.

“It was basically cold DM-ing and cold emailing designers and brands, trying to put the word out there,” Wajed said of the planning process.

The support of sponsors strengthened the kind of community that BFR wants to create . 

“For them to come in and support something that hasn’t happened before, it just shows how much you’re seen,” Williams said.

BFR is more than just a way to express creativity; it allows for emotional expression and the chance to connect with others. As a Buffalo native, Wajed has always had a love for art and fashion growing up, and was heavily influenced by his family and environment. 

“I feel as if creativity is the only way of life,” he said. “Even from a religious standpoint, people believe in creators outside of themselves and outside of this world, who created the world.I feel as if we are our own creators. Anything we put our minds to can be created into fruition — into this reality and into this dimension.” 

With a strong team of believers and sponsors, it wasn’t hard to stay motivated. During the months of preparation, the team stayed positive and continued to support each other. 

“We have positive energy. It is the only way to move things forward,” Wajed said. “If there’s so much negativity in the world, there has to be someone who caters to that imbalance. I feel as if that’s the only thing you should be, because I’ve known people who have passed away, and I’m just happy to wake up in the morning and take a deep breath.”

On Feb. 24, BFR hosted an event at Buffalo’s AKG Museum called “Black Carpet,” paying homage to Black History Month. Just in March, members traveled to Eagle University in the Bronx to spread the word about entrepreneurship, and also traveled to host Fredonia University’s fashions show — their first time hosting an event. Their next official event is planned for September, but they plan to celebrate the one-year anniversary of BFR before then. 

The arts desk can be reached at arts@ubspectrum.com 

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