Shades of Red Featured Fashion Designers

In the realm where fashion meets philanthropy, there exists a unique event that transcends the boundaries of style and substance. The Shades of Red fundraiser, conceptualized and brought to life by Sawaun Blakely, is not merely a fashion show; it is a poignant night of remembrance and celebration. In a recent interview, Blakely shared insights into the origins of Shades of Red, its symbolic significance, and what attendees can expect from this year’s event.

A Night of Remembrance and Celebration

The idea behind Shades of Red was to create a space for both remembrance and celebration. Blakely envisioned a night where individuals could reflect on the lives lost to HIV/AIDS complications while also celebrating the resilience of those living with the virus. This dual purpose is reflected in the event’s atmosphere, where somber remembrance meets the vibrant celebration of life.

Blakely, with a background in public health, is not just the brains behind the operation but also contributes a unique perspective as a wardrobe stylist and creative director. This convergence of skills brings a distinctive flair to the event, elevating it beyond a traditional fundraiser.

The Symbolism of Red

The choice of the color red for this event goes beyond mere aesthetics; it is a symbol of solidarity and support for people living with HIV. The red ribbon, an international symbol in the fight against AIDS, challenges the stigma and prejudice surrounding the virus. By wearing red, attendees actively participate in raising awareness and fostering a sense of unity in the face of adversity.

What’s New This Year

As Shades of Red enters its second annual occurrence, Blakely promises a few surprises throughout the night. The change in venue adds a fresh dynamic, creating an environment that promises to surpass the success of the inaugural event. Attendees can anticipate an evening filled with unexpected delights, making each moment memorable.

Supporting the Cause

Beyond purchasing event tickets, individuals and businesses can play a crucial role in supporting Shades of Red. Businesses interested in becoming sponsors can do so by visiting the event’s website and exploring the “Additional Contribution” option. For sponsorship inquiries, a simple email to Sawaun Blakely at is all it takes to contribute to this meaningful cause.

Vendors and Information

The event is not just a fashion showcase; it’s an opportunity for attendees to engage with organizations dedicated to AIDS awareness and Equitas Health’s services. Vendors will be present, featuring merchandise and providing valuable information on resources available for those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Anticipation for the Night

When asked what Blakely is most looking forward to this year, the response is clear: community support and The Living Legend Award take center stage. The sense of community and recognition for individuals contributing to the cause are vital elements that make Shades of Red more than just an event – it’s a movement.

A Night of Remembrance and Celebration

Blakely emphasizes that Shades of Red is not just a fashion show, nor is it merely a night to wear red. It is a benefit for Brothers in Unity, a program of Equitas Health, offering a supportive space for same-gender loving men of color. The event is a powerful blend of remembrance and celebration, with all proceeds directed towards Brothers in Unity and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.

As the date for Shades of Red approaches, the anticipation builds for a night that transcends fashion, inviting the community to unite in support of a noble cause. Blakely’s vision has not only birthed a successful fundraiser but a platform that challenges stereotypes, promotes unity, and actively contributes to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Shades of Red is not just an event; it is a call to action, an opportunity to make a difference, and a celebration of strength and resilience.

Celebrate World AIDS Day 2nd Annual Shades of RED event with us on December 1, 2023, at 7pm at the The Kee Columbus/ 225 Neilston St. Columbus, Ohio 43215.