Jersey City Fashion Week announces Face of Fashion Week!!!! Models have an opportunity to compete to be featured all year on our website via this page and be a JCFW spokesperson for the year!!! One of the major components of our fashion week is charity and some of the proceeds go to help many charitable causes. In order to chooses the winners we considered those models who answered our three questions, had a great background in giving to the community, advertised our week and themselves in an appropriate manner and how many tickets they sold to raise money for the charity.
Our 2016 winners are the fabulous Cara Poalillo and Victoria Branker!!!!
2016 JCFW Face of Fashion week and Spokesmodel
Hey there! My name is Cara Poalillo, I am a Jersey girl from my roots, and have always had a love for the life along the Hudson. I grew up in Maywood, New Jersey, spending summers at the Jersey shore, falling in love with the sand and the ocean by day, and gallivanting the boardwalk by night. Growing up in New York City’s backyard, I learned a love for adventure and have always had big dreams and motivations.
As a child, I was always extremely imaginative, and never truly outgrew my love for the world unseen. While growing up, I became even more fascinated with art, color, and photography. Models in photos were pieces of living art to me. I would spend hours secretly posing in mirrors, analyzing magazine images, and practicing what I considered to be human art. During my teenage years, I struggled with having a healthy body image, a struggle that is shared amongst many young women, and being confident in my own uniqueness. I thought that my beauty was dependent on how skinny I was, and I didn’t realize that my true gorgeous self was in who I was as a person, and that everything about my features and self was beautiful just as I was. Because everything in my world was visual, it came as no surprise that I also became completely fascinated with American Sign Language.
In high school, I met Deaf friends who taught me about their language and culture. My passion for the Deaf community led me to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where I attended North Central University and majored in American Sign Language Interpreting. Although I had immersed myself in studying sign language, my love for art and fashion continued to flourish. I modeled in my first runway show for Aveda Institute in Minneapolis in 2009. I was constantly working to improve my look, poses, and my personal art. To me, art, modeling, and communicating in ASL were all a part of my visual language and self-expression.
I recently turned twenty-seven, and have been working as a professional ASL Interpreter in NYC and NJ for almost 5 years. I can proudly say that I am a confident person and strive to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit and want to share that bold spirit with others. I have realized I could never be satisfied unless I continue to pursue all of my dreams and passions. That is why I regularly embrace my own imagination by modeling, singing, dancing, painting, and spoken word poetry. At Seek Church NYC, I lead a group called Create, in which I guide people in exercises to encourage them to discover their own unique ways to release their personal art. Additionally, I volunteer teaching fitness classes for youth at Hope and Future, a non-profit fitness and community center in West New York, NJ. I love helping students grow in their abilities and am moved by their transformations. Through all of these venues, I am able to encourage people in their own beauty and creativity and help people to be proud of themselves, have a healthy body image, and live a full life.
I was ecstatic when I was casted for Jersey City Fashion Week, and enjoyed every minute of the adventure with the JCFW team as we prepped and put on the shows during fashion week. The more time I spent with everyone from JCFW, the more it felt like family. As a model, a learned valuable lessons for my runway walk, my look, and how to work as a model on and off camera. I was motivated to become even more a part of the community and learned a lot about networking and working together in to make a fashion show a success.
Winning the Face of Fashion is an honor, and I am thrilled to partner with Give to Live Foundation in their work to see Jersey City thrive. I feel honored to be a forerunner in revitalizing the community. As the Face of Fashion, I want to be a fearless inspiration for others in beauty, strength, and creativity. I want to give back to the community by using this platform to encourage people, especially women and girls, to believe in themselves and find the amazing value that they hold. As the Face of Fashion, I hope to be able to become a more affluent model, advocate for the Deaf community and the arts, and be an inspiration to women. It is my desire to meld my worlds of modeling, art, and the Deaf community together. I want to shed light on the art and beauty already happening in the community and encourage it to continue to flourish.
2016 JCFW Face of Fashion week and Spokesmodel
Victoria Branker is a 7 Year old resident if Jersey City, NJ. She is an honor roll student and excels in mathematics. Victoria states she will be a veterinarian when she is an adult.
Victoria began entering natural pageants at the age of 4. Her first year she won Best Interview, and was the youngest in her age group. In 2015, at the age of 6, she was crowned NJ Miss American Coed (MAC) Princess. In November 2015 she competed in MAC Nationals in Orlando,Florida in Disney World. The following February,2016, she competed in the National Garden Miss Pageant. There she won and us currently the reigning 2016 NGM Princess.
Victoria loves the charity Toys for Tots, and did a Halloween toy drive , with the help of her family, in 2015. She has also participated in Breast Cancer and Arthritis Foundation walks. She, on her own charging, gives back to her community whenever she hears about the opportunity to do so. She will ask for cans for Food Drives and take money out of her piggy bank for charity collections.
Victoria enjoys taking ballet,tap,hip-hop, and gymnastics classes at Kennedy Dance School, and participates every year in the annual dance recital. She also enjoys modeling and has appeared in JC FASHION WEEK, ATLANTIC CITY FASHION WEEK, and FASHION FOR ALL SEASONS.
Victoria has appeared in an Independent film “The World is Not For Me” which was shown at the Harlem Film Festival and will also be shown at the NY Jazz Film Festival. She recently worked on a project for Sesame Studios for their YouTube channel. Victoria enjoys being in front of the camera and looks forward to doing print work.
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