GoodHeart | New Wave’s Celebrity Closet washes Alpha School of Music with love
The MINI Jamaica Showroom in Kingston was transformed into a thrift shopping experience like no other last Saturday when New Wave took over for the fifth staging of Celebrity Closet which raised donations for the Alpha School of Music.
From as early as 9 o’clock, patrons poured into the venue, going through racks and bundles of donations from celebrities, influencers, and other donors who want to not only support the concept of sustainability, but also do their part in spreading love and charity. With prices as low as $100, it was no wonder that the shelves and displays looked sparse by evening, indicating a successful event. Speaking with GoodHeart, New Wave co-director Alysia Francis confirmed this.
“We were set up from last night, got ready, and guests were coming in from eight, if not a little before that. By 9 o’clock, everyone was ready to go. So, turnout-wise, I feel like we always get such a great turnout from our New Wave community. It really is very heart-warming, and we are super grateful for that. People are always enthusiastic about the event because I think people really enjoy the thrifting culture, sustainability, doing well for our environment and our community, giving back, all of those things while really enjoying a good social experience,” Francis shared.
“It is always amazing to see how people rally around Celebrity Closet, and the thing is, I feel like at first people had a misconception that it was just celebrities, but any and everybody can donate. So, we have things for men, women, kids and everything in between. It is always so amazing to see how people really show out. Even up until the night before the event, we were still getting big bags to sort through, and we are super grateful for that,” she continued.
Celebrity Closet was conceptualised and started in 2017. It fuses fashion, entertainment, and, most importantly, giving back. Local celebrities such as Agent Sasco, Jesse Royal, Sean Paul, Buju Banton, Lila Iké, Koffee, Protoje, Bootleg Rocstar, Kaci Fennell, Denyque and Yendi Philipps have supported the event over the years through their donations. This year, New Wave joined forces with Kaboom Nation, a local entertainment consultancy agency, to garner support from their extensive line-up of artistes, presenters, hosts, disc jockeys and entertainers within their network.
While the garments available for purchase were undoubtedly value for a dollar, it is not the sales that make the event spectacular. Part proceeds from the event benefit a particular charity every year. For 2022, the New Wave Team decided that Alpha Music School was the perfect beneficiary. Yannick Reid of Very Culture, New Wave’s parent company, said that it aligned perfectly with what the community represents.
“Alpha is a relationship that we have been building from about 2020. We have a good relationship with the people who work over there, and we just think Alpha’s initiatives align with what New Wave is about. Music is one of the core things that we promote and encourage, and Alpha Music School has a rich tapestry of previous artistes and talent who have gone there, and up till now, there are still nurturing talents of music. That is a worthwhile charity to help and to continue to put a light on Jamaicans not only taking a traditional path, but a path that is worthwhile. A part of the proceeds will go to Alpha, and they will use that to pay tuition and school fees,” Reid explained.
“We look at Celebrity Closet not just as a thrift day, but as a fun day. Somewhere where if you have kids, bring your kids, bring your mom, all family members. It is an experience for everybody. We are grateful that we had so many sponsors interested in an event like this. We had Blueprint helping with set up and Chilitos helping with volunteers, we have Lynk who helped with payments, we have Worthy Park and Tropicana who helped with drinks, we had Kaboom Nation, who also helped with donations,” Reid shared.
Joshua Chamberlain, the publicity officer at the Alpha Institute, expressed his gratitude for New Wave’s support.
“The Celebrity Closet was a special event. Not only were there amazing clothing and accessories to be found, but the community of support was really encouraging. New Wave is at the forefront of music and culture in Jamaica, and the Alpha School of Music is fortunate for the opportunity to partner with New Wave and especially for our students, like Luke Davis Elliott, to gain valuable experiences as a result. The Celebrity Closet donation will support critical instrument and technology training for Alpha students. Being a musician today requires an understanding of both, and we are so grateful to work with New Wave, with whom we share a commitment to modern music training,” he said.
Last year’s beneficiary, The Angelic Ladies Society — a group focused on the holistic care, development and empowerment of young women in Jamaica’s state facilities — received $400,000 from the initiative.