Fashionable Life: Did Pink Jams Rock?

Just as D.C. Week draws to a close, the city’s hipster pack crammed into the Longview Gallery for a runway show to benefit Pink Jams, a D.C. based breast cancer awareness charity.

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John Allen, lead singer for Charm City Devils, rocks out at the Longview Gallery

John Allen, lead singer for Charm City Devils, rocks out at the Longview Gallery. (photo Alfredo Flores)

As and introduced 14 local designers who showcased original pink creations to be auctioned off for Pink Jams, the Baltimore-based band, Charm City Devils jumped into one of their signature rock tunes. Rock and fashion have always gone together. But this night, some just seemed out of tune.

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19 Responses

  1. Mike says:

    a couple of thoughts…
    1) i am pretty sure the event planners had adequate space for the “ticketed” personnel. i think the effect of over-crowding came from the crashers… i just don’t think it’s possible to accurately account for people who loose sight of the fact that it is a “fundraiser”.
    2) at first the crowd got on my nerves, but the energy was super high… my $.02 is that if people are foaming at the bit and lying there way into an event, it’s because the planners did something right, not wrong.
    3) i may be speaking out of turn here, but i am pretty sure miss johnson didn’t give advanced notice that she wasn’t coming… so much of the event was planned well, that it reeked more of personal let down than poor-planning.
    4) i think this event, (even noting your misgivings), can only help the local community…

  2. Janice says:

    The event was what DC needed. So many in DC feel that they know fashion but they really don’t they are more concerned about being seen! then supporting the fashion design talent and use them for entertainment. This event really showcased the DC local fashion designers. You received a snapshot of their work for a great cause but more importantly you are able to get in touch with them to help keep them in business by purchasing their garments or becoming a client. The program was excellent! Instead you blog about what was out of the event planners control of the crashers then talking about the great work and quality designers that participated in the show. DC is 100% there with the design talent if you will just focus on writing about the great work of these designers. That is how you will help the designers become known. Showcase them instead of writing about how crowded it was and how much press was present. That is a good thing not a bad thing!!!!!

  3. Janet says:

    This Event was a Fund Raiser for Breast Cancer. They raised over $20,000 for the cause, nothing negative should have beeen written. We were all there for that purpose, what were you there for? To have a event that was crashed by people who didn’t want to pay to get in the event are the ones that caused the problem. Security was great!!! Keeping the crashers at bay!! Thank Pink Jams and the local fashion designers for their contributions. People like this doesn’t desearve your negative feedback. I loved the event,!!!

  4. Jamie says:

    I attended this event and donated to Pink Jams as well. Now I feel I have been taken by a fraudulent charity. An aspect that is missing in this discussion is that Pink Jams is not a 501 c 3 charity. On the web page it states that it raises funds for Avon…but in the literature Avon was listed as a separate recipient of funds from Pink Jams. What exactly is Pink Jams? A company, a front, I have no idea and there is no attempt to clarify this. Also, proceeds from the event went to the Greater Washington DC Fashion Chamber of Commerce…what do they do for cancer awareness?!?! What did Pink Jams do with the 20 K raised? Their site states “net” proceeds go to their stated cause. This is a huge red flag and statements like this usually mask fraudulent accounting practices. Where is the accountability? Is anyone else miffed that their contributions are not tax deductible? Does anyone else see red flags here? and why are there pictures of the founder plastered all over the internet walking down the runway instead of documented accountability as to where these funds are going?!? And why if you wanted to write a check, you were instructed to make it out to GWFCC?!?! If Pink Jams is really about helping, why don’t they put in for a 501 c 3 status?!?! Until a detailed documented account of where these funds are going are released…I am believing this is a big sham…PLEASE prove me wrong!!!

  5. Shelly says:

    This is what the founder of Pink Jams writes about Katherine Delmonicom author of this review on her facebook page:

    “some catty socialite who wanted to be negative…some bratty socialite who thinks she is important complaining etc…Some chic who hasnt done one ounce of good in the world complaining and pretending she has “personal” knowledge of details. Maybe she should roll up her sleeves and try to make a difference.”

    I think the article pointed out more positives and gave constructive criticism on how to improve from last year and this is how she responds!?! This woman sounds a bit ego-driven crazy in my opinion. And what is this about Pink Jams not being a 501 c 3? Is this true?

  6. Attendee says:

    I have to agree with almost everything the author posted — this kind of event is NOT what DC fashion needs to be taken seriously. It was poorly planned in some essential aspects (seating, ticketing, projecting the video) and overly planned in others (huge stage for the band, excessive security that still somehow managed to let in too many people). For one, if you’re selling tickets to an event, then it’s your responsibility to take care of the people who are giving you money, and make sure that “crashers” don’t ruin their experience by taking their seats, etc — that’s YOUR JOB. Second, don’t just let anyone who calls themselves a “designer” be in your show — if the clothes are bad, say no. And third, don’t let those so-called “designers” turn a charity event into an opportunity for them to showboat. I have great hope in the DC fashion scene, but it’s these kind of shoddy, trying-too-hard “VIP” events that give us a bad name.

  7. Christa says:

    As the Founder of Pink Jams, I decided to respond to the posts here that misrepresent me.

    First, Pink Jams is a project created because I participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, which is clearly stated on the website. Money raised, (after event expenses such as chairs, staging, and food ((HENCE NET PROCEEDS)), have been donated to Avon. For the record, I am a volunteer, take NO salary, pay for my own expenses, etc. I have spent quite a bit of my own savings to tell Jen’s story after her death. The donation link on the Pink Jams website goes directly to the Avon Walk. I also have the signed letter from Avon authorizing me to raise money for my participation in the Walk. The website, nor any literature I have ever produced, has never claimed that it is its own charity.

    If further clarification is necessary, the other volunteers and I have already begun the long process of applying for a 501(c)(3), and the process can take up to six months. It’s incredibly disrespectful and irresponsible to accuse anyone of fradulent accounting practices. I would have happily provided any detailed explanation necessary.

    The author of the post fails to acknowledge that the DC Fashion Foundation, run by the GWFCC, is a 501(c)(3) that works with students, provides scholarships, and works to promote fashion in Washington, DC. The Pink Fashion Rocks event was designed to give the DC fashion community the opportunity to showcase its work, and donate their time and talent to breast cancer awareness. A portion of the proceeds from the event will rightfully go to the DC Fashion Foundation, a public charity, to support their work. Every ounce of publicity around this event stated that.

    On a personal note, the comments posted on my Facebook page were NOT directed in any way towards the author this article. That is just simply not true. I appreciated Kate’s words about my speech and my efforts to tell Jen’s story. I have spoken personally to the woman who felt it necessary to publicly discuss people’s weight, and who falsely claimed to have inside knowledge of event details. She has since removed her false remarks. It had absolutely nothing to do with the Washington Life piece.

    Once again, it would have been helpful and much more respectful for someone to get their facts straight before jumping to incorrect conclusions and falsely accusing people. Thanks.

  8. Rowland says:

    I had the pleasure of being at this event last Wednesday, and I’m truly shocked at some of the comments to this post. I had a wonderful time – and frankly – I haven’t been to an event in DC in a long time that has been as high-energy. The fashion was fabulous, the music was thumping, and everyone there was having a great time. On top of all of this, thousands of dollars were raised for respected charities like the Avon Walk for breast cancer and the DC Fashion Foundation.

    To my knowledge, this is the first time this event has occurred. I hope to see it happen again and again, and I for one look forward to it in the future. If this is the first year, I can’t imagine how much better it will be in years to come.

    Out of all the positive that should be coming from this event (and events like it), I think some of the people posting comments here should be ashamed of themselves. Posting supporting and encouraging comments is what the people who worked hard to make this event possible should be receiving.

    Is it even too much to ask that people could refrain from making baseless accusations about fraudulent activity? I hesitate to respond to some of the comments, but it’s just a shame that some people cannot see past themselves for a moment and realize what a truly special event this was.

    The musicians, designers, models (some of whom are breast cancer survivors), volunteers, sponsors, and many other individuals that made this event a success should be very proud of themselves. Anyone who thinks that models or designers participated in this event to “showboat” or strut truly didn’t take the time to understand what Pink Fashion Rocks was all about.

    Unlike some of the people commenting here, I actually have taken the time to read the Pink Jams! website. I was moved by the story and reason why Ms. Floresca has devoted her time and energy to this cause. It’s rare to find someone that’s dedicated to a family member or spouse the way she has dedicated herself to a friend. We should all be so lucky to have friends like that.

    Thank you to Pink Jams and the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber for putting this event together! I look forward to the next one!

  9. Jamie says:

    Christa – I don’t know you and your event was the first exposure I had to your organization. I did not mis-represent you in any way. I stated facts (that you did not dispute) and raised questions that anyone would under the circumstances of your organization.

    It’s suspicious when a charity is not 501 c 3 (the IRS guides us to NOT donate to such organizations). It’s suspicious when checks are to be made out to an organization unrelated to the cause of the event. It’s suspicious when there is no record of where raised monies are going. It’s suspicious when total donated funds to Avon as listed in your donation page is barely over $1,000 (reference your donation page: http://walk.avonfoundation.org/site/TRpg=personal&fr_id=1910&px=4367260)

    and total stated monies raised was $20,000.

    It’s suspicious that I can’t find out what type of organization is Pink Jams – is it a company? An umbrella organization?

    And to be frank, you claim Pink Jams is its own identity by posting signs at the event that say proceeds benefit Pink Jams AND Avon.

    I don’t think taking a defensive stance and not addressing these issues is a good play here. And I really hope I’m wrong here and you’ll clarify this – the best way to do this is to show us an updated link to the Pink Jams Avon Donation site that represents the 20 K raised – do this and I will apologize publicly on this board and make a substantial donation of my own…

  10. Walter says:

    I don’t even know how to react to the comments I’m seeing here, but I will try nonetheless because the event deserves it. I was there front and center and saw everything unfold that the general public experienced. Here are some counter points:

    – I do agree that the venue could have been bigger and better and more suited for a fashion show. And they could have certainly used more volunteers to help with the audience. But I can almost guarantee you that nobody expected that type of crowd for this event. With DC Fashion Week being held the week before and the weather being as crazy as it has been, there is no way you could have predicted that so many people would have showed up. I’m sure that by the time they realized how many tickets they sold, they figured that it still wouldn’t be that crowded. But the fact that it was so crowded made it even better because the message of the whole event was spread to all those people. Considering this was Pink Jams’ first fashion show, they had plenty of things to learn and will improve on.

    – You do not have to be a nonprofit agency to donate money. There is no record anywhere that Pink Jams advertises itself as a nonprofit agency. And they have clearly shown who the event was benefiting. And to be accurate, none of you know whether or not Pink Jams has even applied to be a nonprofit. This is a newly created organization that just took off six months ago and it takes time to go through the application process. But it should not prevent them from hosting an even to promote their message and raise any kind of money.

    – Let’s face it. WASHINGTON DC is not the fashion capital of the world. I don’t even need a fashion show to tell me this. Just look around. This is not London. This is not Paris. And this is not New York. Riding on a metro and walking around the neighborhood tells you this easily! Now, that being said, ANYONE who introduces or starts or promotes any kind of fashion, let alone organizes a fashion show that brings in a headliner like Betsey Johnson should be applauded. As for the opinion on the “so called designers”, that is your opinion. I agree that sometimes you don’t like what you see on the runway, but that’s up to the fashion director’s opinion. Try organizing a fashion show and then you can decide.

    In the end, I think people should spend more time doing, sharing, and volunteering as opposed to criticizing every single thing out there. Stop complaining and do something.

  11. Jamie says:

    @ Walter – if those comments were directed at me, I’ve donated over $35,000 to health awareness campaigns in 2009. I work hard for my money and expect accountability where I donate – I think we all hope to see the Avon representation of the 20 K raised by Pink Jams through this discussed event.

  12. Mike says:

    @ jamie, wtf is wrong with you?

    was this whole thing just an excuse for you to go on some self-congratulatory diatribe? who brags about how much they donate? really???

    and anonymously at that…

    there is no law that says you have to be a 501(c)3 to do the right thing… i am sure half the haiti fundraisers i attended were impromptu and hosted by concerned citizens with day jobs….

    seriously, the next time you’re about to drop $35k on something, buy some CLASS.

    how can you possibly hate a charity event like this so much?

    if you feel you can do better, than do precisely that…

    but, please spare us your self-absorbed tirades, aimed at pointlessly trying to tear down the (120+!!!) people who gave so freely of their time and talents for this cause.

  13. Jamie says:

    @ “Mike” – STOP BLINDING THE ISSUE WITH THESE EMOTIONAL SMOKE SCREENS. I am not trying to tear down anyone, just want to know where my money donated to Pink Jams was allocated. The fact is we don’t know where the money went and there are a lot of red flags. And you are right, I shouldn’t have mentioned my donations for 2009. I was just hurt that “Walter” questioned my motives and wanted to demonstrate I am active in giving.

    I hope Pink Jams is legit and that we see proof of where the 20 K was allocated…and not just for me, but for everyone who donated thinking they were making a difference.

    Charity fraud happens all the time – you should view my concerns as valid and take actions to correct the imaging, because I’m telling you this whole operation and even the emotional responses on this post does not reflect well on the organization.

  14. WALTER GRIO says:

    @ Jamie, I was not directing my comments at you specifically. If you are concerned about where your donation is going, then I would highly suggest that you do your research first before blindly donating to anyone. And considering at how new Pink Jams is as an organization, I can somewhat understand your doubt. And if it was me in your shoes so highly concerned, then I wouldn’t have even given them the time.

    However, your more recent comment about your monetary donation is precisely my point. I think it’s easy for people to write a check, especially when they can afford to make large contributions. But, I, personally would love to see more people DO more things. I understand that maybe there’s not enough time and there are other things to focus on – so writing a check is just as wonderful because you’re doing what you can.

    That being said, I find it even more admirable when people actually take time out of their already busy lives to spread a message and put things in action. I’m not saying that it’s “better” to be this kind of person, but what pisses me off is when people are quick to criticize rather than be supportive.

    It’s easy to be cynical, but if you are, then I would change my habits and do more research before making a large contribution.

    Lastly, it’s incredibly ironic that you would be hurt, when you are quick to doubt others without even doing something so little as to write them a message. If you really want to know, then go directly to the organization – their contact info is on their website.

  15. GarrisonD says:

    I think I am confused. I’ve read all the reviews, and maybe I am coming in late, but I cant understand why everyone sounds so angry. I volunteer for a local nonprofit and hold small events in my community often. I understand perfectly the concepts of net proceeds, and how individual people can raise money for their charity of choice. We’ve seen it recently with Haiti, pediatric aids, Fashion for Paws, and other DC causes too.

    I’ve read “Christa”‘s response, and got all of the information I needed about how it is organized and which larger organizations will ultimately benefit. She clearly stated on the site that its just a project created in support of the Avon Walk. I think she stated that again here. If I read it correctly, net proceeds from the event means that once all of the vendors or whatever are paid, the remainder will be donated to avon and to the fashion people. Experience tells me that events have expenses, and that net proceeds means some amount less will be finally donated to the larger organizations. Hasn’t it been less than a week since the fashion show? I’d be amazed if all of that had been accomplished within just a few days.

    I didnt find her response emotional at all, even though she had been accused of being a “front” and having “fraudulent” accounting practices. In fact, I appreciated the clarification. Truthfully, since I hold events on my own, on a much smaller scale, I didn’t see anything that would raise a flag with me. If you are truly concerned, or want to help, perhaps you could email Pink Jams and ask for clarification.

    I’ve checked out the website, and have sent an email letting them know that I am happy to volunteer in the future. It’s tough enough to do charity work in our spare time, we could all use the encouragement.

  16. Mike says:

    first of all, your concerns have been clearly addressed by the founder of the organization in this stream. the 501(c)3 classification is pending… therefore, the tax accountability documents will likely not even need to be filed until april 2011, at the earliest. (assuming calender year accounting (which is rare)).

    pegging a start-up for being a start-up is absurd….

    second, all parties connected with this event operate out in the open, by name and with impeccable integrity. i am sure they would gladly handle your concerns should you choose to act in a dignified, respectable manner and contact them DIRECTLY.

    however, because you chose to operate in a classless, back-handed manner, people who either…
    1) enjoyed the event (me) or
    2) were involved in the event (120 plus people that you officially offended in this very small town)
    … are duly offended and took exceptions to your comments.

    finally, were this blog not anonymous, your unfounded and unwarranted accusations would be considered libel (defamation) at both DC and Federal levels.

    please see D.C. Code Sec 12-301(4), taking special note that at both the DC and Federal level the defense of “opinion” afforded under normal First Amendment protections are NOT recognized, where the assertion could be proven true or false…

    so, if you gave your real email above… i would take a moment of pause before i posted my next scathing pile of blogshit…

    essentially, if you are TRULY concerned with where your money is going, just give the gal a call already… i know half the people who were involved with this event, not a one of them would lie or mislead you in any way.

    but, please give them a puncher’s chance to handle your concerns before you slander them all over the internet in the future.

  17. michael_clements says:

    I edited this piece with Katherine. I think it’s important for us to reiterate that we thought this was a good event, and we love to see local designers in a show. was great to see betsy johnson also. we’re huge advocates for the continued growth of the fashion scene and overall arts scene. it’s why we always use local only fashion photags, stylists and models when we create fashion editorial. we tried to present positive things in the article but also wanted to be constructive because both katherine and i left feeling some of these similar things about the event. it’s a tough call as a writer: do u not write how you feel if you thought something could have been better or do u just ignore it and focus solely on the positive? Anyway, let’s not forgot the positive things we mention in the article because it was a cool night. i DC needs more of this. next time it will be even better and we hope to be there getting the word out about it!

  18. Jamie says:

    @Walter – I appreciate your tone and advice, and have learned from this to better investigate where I allocate my donations. I have 4 kids and don’t have time to volunteer, which is why I prefer to make monetary donations. If you re-read my comments, I’m not attacking anyone, just wanting answers and I hope the organization proves me wrong.

    @Mike – my husband works in the Washington DC’s Attorney General’s Office and saw no libel in my comments.

  1. March 2, 2010

    […] Stop – Pink Fashion Rocks at the Longview Gallery – You never know what you will get with a “general” […]

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