Later this month fashionistas and animal lovers will unite to use their talents and skills to save innocent animal lives at Pensacola Fashion Week June 17-19. The week will be dedicated to high glamour and good deeds as it highlights the beauty, creativity, and hard work of those in the gulf coast fashion industry. This is a non-profit fashion week with all proceeds going to help local animal shelters.
“We have designers and retail stores coming from all over the south to showcase their gorgeous clothes,” said organizer John Dye.”We have chosen models, hair and makeup artists, and photographers to help us execute the runway shows beautifully and brilliantly. The amount of local support we have received is overwhelming, we at Pensacola Fashion Week are so thankful for all who have gotten involved to help make this a reality.”
John founded Pensacola Fashion Week to help try and make a difference in the community. “Our first year we are focusing on animal rescue and adoption, with The Pensacola Hotel for Dogs and Cats as our main beneficiary.”
A veteran of runways all over the world, Fashion Week was one way John could use his experience to make a positive difference doing what he loved. “I also coach and train the models to have a fierce runway walk, which is truly my favorite part,” he said. “I got to walk runways all around the world including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York city which was my childhood dreams come true, now I get to teach other people how to do it.”
It was the realization that local animal shelters were in crisis that prompted John to act. “These organizations also desperately need donations, both monetary and items from their wish lists which include dry dog and cat food, kitty litter and blankets for the animals and crates,” said John. His strong bond with animals was the inspiration behind Pensacola Fashion Week. “My rescue dog Miss Rio is truly my best friend,” said John. “She is always happy to see me, never criticizes my choices, she’s just happy to be right by my side through the ups and downs of my life.”
He hopes Pensacola Fashion Week will serve to raise awareness of the growing need for shelter and foster care support. Animal rescue organizations are in desperate need for funding as pets in record numbers are being abandoned. Some of these will be up for adoption during Fashion Week, and John hopes all of them will find their forever homes.
“Growing up being kind of an outcast due to being so feminine, my animals were my best friends,” he said. “They never called me names, made fun of how I talked, or in any way treat me differently. My grandmother Betty Edwards also taught me from the time I was three that ‘we take care of our animals, because they cannot provide for themselves.'”
Like all wonderful things, Pensacola Fashion Week will only last until June 19, but John has plans to continue his good work. “This current fashion week is focusing on animal rescue, but for our next fashion week we will be focusing on other charity’s such as Manna Food Pantries to help end hunger, and also focusing on the state of senior care (or lack their of) in our country,” said John.
John Dye has fulfilled so many of his personal dreams, he feels a karmic duty to give back. “I wanted three things when I was six,” John recalls. “I wanted to be on MTV, I wanted to be in celebrity tabloid magazines, and I wanted to be a “model.” I accomplished all these things by the age of 26.” He considers himself lucky, but it was not luck alone that helped him accomplish his dreams.
“I worked hard, and I never took no for an answer,” he says. “I walked in runways around the world, I was on not only MTV, but also VH1 and ABC. Any one can do anything they set their mind too.”
And now John Dye has set his mind on making the world a better place, one runway at a time.