By Natalie Benoit
Fashion, business, and music all walked the runway at Ron Saintval’s first-ever Couture Fashion Music. The local event in Somerville launched the debut of the designer’s two brands, Majesty 22 and First Empress. It was the first time he was on the production side of a fashion show.
“I wanted this night to be about inclusion, and I also wanted to showcase that people in Boston do like fashion,” Saintval said. “The market needs more strong designers, people that are serious about their craft. So I wanted to bring awareness to my brand.”
The evening highlighted couture fashion to chic street designs and much more. Local and national designers came together to debut their newest pieces in handbags, sunglasses, headwear, and clothing. Aja Jackson launched her fashion line, Luxe Noire La Vie in 2018, ranging from luxury to street-chic outfits and dresses. House of Culture is a Boston-based clothing store that also showcased its unique, elegant pieces. Their clothes are intended for black-tie parties, galas, and any other high-end appearance in need of a real show stopper.
But many of the guests were there for the grand finale, as one woman made clear after telling the MCs she was there for “Majesty 22.” Majesty 22 is Saintval’s line for menswear while First Empress is his line for women’s fashion.
“[First Empress] displays elegance, evening wear and it’s more like a gala look. The menswear is Majesty 22, so what we hope to accomplish is to get men to dress better… It’s powerful, in the sense that you’re making a subtle statement, but it’s a statement piece,” explained Saintval. The two brands came together to close the first fashion show the designer has ever produced.
The evening also featured upcoming entrepreneurs selling their own products to the audience. Guests could purchase new, colorful handbags showcased on the runway from Michelle V Designs, “specializing in pieces you didn’t even know you were missing.” Men had the option of upping their shoe closet and diversifying their accessory collection with creations by Jonathan Cambel and his brand Mandujour.
Jewelry and accessories dazzled at Shereen Russell’s table for her business Whisper. Russell says she was excited to represent her brand because of the exposure Whisper would gain in the presence of fashion merchandisers.
“I want to create pieces that people can reflect who they are inside. I’m a person who likes to wear a lot of like black and grey and so I try to make colorful things and incorporate black… I also like things that sparkle,” added Russell.
There were also two live musical performances by violinist Hilsis Reyes Haché. The musician played electrical and classical violin renditions of modern pop songs, including the Latin hit “Despacito.”
Guests laughed alongside the comedic pairing of Lakisha Renee and Mayor Thomas. The dynamic duo was the fashion show’s MCs. Renee and Thomas kept the audience entertained with their provocative jokes and mini runway contests with guests.
Cheryl Jean from Regi James Productions, helped Saintval make the idea of Couture Fashion Music into a reality. “There’s a lot of talent. There’s a lot of people that are designers, that are doing so well, so I do see the future really, really, really big with the things we do in Boston.”