The first Calgary Kids Fashion Week produced by Filipino Canadians Limuel Vilela and Alvin Francia was a huge success.
The sold-out event saw 52 children from various cultures and backgrounds walk the runway for the first time.
"We actually have quite a few shows but this year is much bigger, much grander, focusing on the kids... We're hoping that this will be an annual event," Francia said.
The producers explained that the event is not only about glamour, but a way to help children develop self-confidence, learn social skills, and face their fears.
With the theme 'Bloom,' the show aims to encourage kids to flourish through self-love, self-discovery, acceptance, and resilience.
"The Calgary Kids Fashion Week is very memorable for me because when I'm thinking blue, it's always about the challenges. Because before I moved to Canada, I experienced a lot of struggles, a lot of challenges, a lot of rejection, but today, no more rejection. Because today, every kid deserves the spotlight and every kid will have his own story," Vilela noted.
The producers added that this will help children create new experiences and build friendships while having fun. Vilela pointed out that 'this is not only a Filipino community event. This is an event for everyone in Canada. This is an event for Filipino Canadians and all backgrounds and cultures."
The children who took part in the show also shared their experiences. "Experience is very fun. Everyone is so nice. I don't think we should be scared. There is nothing to be scared [of]. Let’s just have fun," Nicole Magnucki said.
As for model Jhana Villanueva, she said "this is really a big opportunity for me, so I’m really excited for this."
Outfits worn by the models were a collaboration from Filipino and US designers and reflected the theme of the event.
Part of the proceeds were donated to Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta and Grain of Hope (Butil ng Pag-asa) in the Philippines.