We teach fashion design in the inner-city to help the next generation of designers dream. 

 

Provoke Style Fashion Camp Corporation is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit company which utilizes fashion-filled curriculum to instruct inner city youth fashion principles, techniques, and designs. Our mission is to provoke style in the hearts of the next generation in order to dream beyond today. We are passionate about reaching students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to engage with the Arts. Since the inception of Provoke Style Fashion Camp, in the Summer of 2014, we have had the opportunity to partner with many great organizations and schools.

 
 

About

Find out about our organization, mission, our methods, and why teaching fashion design is a passion of ours. 

Take Action

Ready to take the next step? You can become a contributor to our cause, or join the mission to impact the next generation. 

 

MEET THE DESIGNER

Favorite moment of the winter holidays:The changing of the seasons. When the Winter comes, it feels like everything is being reset and is starting brand new.

Why is this cause so close to your heart? I didn’t grow up in an ideal situation. For me, sewing and crocheting was always a safe place. Because it was something I was gifted in, it helped to restore and build up my self esteem. It is also a way for me to give back, because there are a lot of people in my life who have invested in me. When I was thirteen, an older lady taught me how to crochet, and that is a skill that jumpstarted a lot of my fashion creativity. I remember the impact she had in my life by teaching a thirteen year old girl a simple skill. I want to have that impact on teenagerstoday.

How did you get involved?  How did you see the need and when did you act on it? The reason it is called PROVOKESTYLE FASHION CORPORATION, is because I was at a gathering of friends and we started talking about what one word do you want to let define your life. Inspire was the first word I came up with, but I didn’t like that – it wasn’t strong enough. I feel like provoke is a more powerful word because it compels people to thought and to action. We are not provoking fashion alone, but provoking health in the community through the expression of creativity and building up of self esteem.

 

Born in Miami, Fl., Merline Labissiere designs fashions for the individual. The young Haitian-American designer graduated from SCAD with a bachelor’s degree in fashion in 2011. From an early age, Merline fell in love with creative avenues after a sixth grade teacher introduced her to the craft of crochet. From there, the idea of creating something beautiful and functional from a basic material permeated throughout her life. Before coming to SCAD as a student of architecture, Merline taught herself to sew by working on several projects including prom dresses, formal attire and streetwear. Although architecture brought her to SCAD, fashion was the fuel to her creative passion and continues to inspire her designs and other avenues of art. Finding inspiration in designers like Iris van Herpen, Merline pushes the limits of her fashion design by exploring various mediums such as 3-D modeling to create wearable fashion from furniture designs. “I find inspiration in everything; from fashion installations, painting and crochet. I get to express myself through the gift God has given me.”

 

Tell me about your primary occupation.  Besides money, what talents and skills does it have to contribute to the nonprofit community?  I’m a fashion designer. I work on my brand, PROVOKESTYLE, which is a ready to wear high end women’s fashion line. Within PROVOKESTYLE, I also teach fashion and sewing at my studio.When someone buys something from PROVOKESTYLE, a portion of the proceeds goes to PROVOKESTYLE FASHION CORPORATION. The two cannot be separated. If all I do is design clothes and never contribute to my community, it’s useless.

I feel like PROVOKE encompasses what I do. I get to create and contribute my ideas to the world. I also get to invest in the next generation. Artists in generations past left us books, works of arts, and creative inspirations. As an artist, I have a responsibility to do the same thing for generations to come.I want my life to be one that provokes people. Whether I am creating a new design, working with youth, or having a conversation with a stranger, I want to be provoking them to new ideas and to new actions in their community. I also want to be provoked and inspired through these interactions.

 We all have crummy days when we don’t feel like giving.  What motivates you at those times?For me, on bad days, it is all about going back to my foundation. My identity rests in Christ, and not in what I do. On those days where I am not feeling it, I force myself to remember that following Jesus and living with a purpose cannot be dictated by feelings. I also love the examples of people like Jesus and Mother Theresa who lived with a mission but who would always stop to love the people they met on the way.My identity is not what I do. It’s good for me to remember that. If my identity is only wrapped up in what I do, it is impossible to avoid failure. There has got to be something more than that.

Who taught you to be philanthropic and how? I went on a mission trip two years ago to Poland, and there was an organization there called PROEM. They gave a different side of Christian ministry – they went into the community and loved people and just spent time with people. It wasn’t about forcing my views on people or coercing them to buy into what I believe, rather it was about spending time with people. When we got back, the trip leader asked us how we could bring what we saw back here.

How would you encourage other Savannahians to give back?  Your way is “out-of-the-box.”  What other such needs or opportunities do you see? Identify your gifts and passions. What is it that you love to do? Then figure out how to give that to someone else. Whether it is drawing, cooking, sports, reading, video games, whatever your gift is, start giving! Every single one of us has a unique skill set and passion, and there are needs everywhere in our community.

Our partners are so important and we accomplish a lot together.


 

 

Through The Sewing Project Organization,Baby Lock Sewing Machine Company just donated 12 Sewing machines to our students. Thank you to the Bird Road Sewing company in Miami, FL for allows us to pick up the sewing machines and being a sponsor.

 

 

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