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Youth Shine In New Designs At Imani’s 6th Annual Fashion & Talent Show

Mount Vernon — The community came out to support the youth and young adults in Imani’s 6th Annual Fashion & Talent Show at the Steamhouse Restaurant & Lounge, located at 128 Gramatan Avenue, Saturday. The Mistress of Ceremony, Tiffini Thrower entertained the crowd while DJ Web provided the soundtrack of the event on the one’s and two’s. Imani McKinley is the granddaughter of Steamhouse owner Carol Middleton. While this is the sixth year of the fashion show, this is the first year Imani McKinley’s fashion line Mone’t was featured in the show.

Models Imani McKinnley, Maliya McKinley, Zanyah Allen, Janelle Knowles, Kayla Green, Nya Graham, Paige Smith, Shanice Roberts, Miori Rouson, Honesti Ellis, Janiya Fresella, Joshua Cruz, Evinn Campbell, Kelyse Hall, Saige Chambers, Kaitlyn Smith, Amiya Carter, Anarsia Mullins, Deja Griffith, Mackenzee Ganpat, Tevon Hughley all rocked the runway each in casual, formal and cultural wear. Besides Imani’s line, models hit the runway in Designs by Meech and Designs by Mugsy.

Elected officials County Legislator Lyndon Williams, State Senate Candidate Edward Mulraine, Council President Marcus A. Griffith (whose daughters Deja Griffith and Mackenzee Ganpat walked the runway), each gave welcome remarks. The prayer and blessings was given by Reverend Jeffrey Wheeler, Pastor of Mt. Calvary CME “The Promise Church”.

d869b915-2f9c-4fdd-bcfd-5914db5b9f5fClaudette Gyles of Essence Of Beauty Hair Salon and Brenda L. Crump introduced, Donna Smallings, a single mom who resides North Mount Vernon. She came to US from Barton District, St. Elizabeth, Jamaica in 2010. A mother of five boys, her sons names are Paul, Romario Bablington, Keli, Zacki and Tahbane Henderson. She works from 2:00 A.M until 10:00 A.M. as a house keeper. She has literacy challenges but that hasn’t stopped her from ensuring her children get an education. She wants to further her education by learning how to read. She was selected for a full makeover, honoring her for Mother’s Day.

Trayvon Hughley, was called up to the stage and acknowledged for selling the most tickets for the event.

Imani’s Fashion & Talent Show was developed in 2011 and started simply as a fashion show. The founder Imani McKinley, along with a group of mothers and supporters decided that now is a critical time to support their mission to provide educational help and programs, promoting character and coping skills, and ultimately expand to beyond. Oddly enough the interest in doing another show lead to what is now quickly becoming a place for young boys and girls to show their creativity and build social relationship with others who have the same interest.


About AJ Woodson (2369 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale,,, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.
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