Our lives, Our way!
Updated: Oct 24, 2022
“Our lives, Our way!” I know, if you have seen or read anything that I have shared publicly it is a phrase I use quite often. It is after all part of my logo and tag line.
Che Figata! purpose is to change perceptions of aging one event at a time. Research affirms the belief that fashion shows boost self-esteem, not that the women 50+ who model in my shows need their esteem boosted but when you see them walk the runway self-esteem is written on their faces and this is the desired impact I want the audience to see, positive aging. Now with a website and blog feature, Che Figata! can do more to stimulate positive perceptions of aging! Having said this, “Our lives, Our Way” blog is dedicated to stories of women 50+ who have crossed my path and are the epitome of real, authentic, diverse, awesome women.
Meet Ivy Lumpkin of Chocolate Diamond, Elegant and Functional Fashion, an independent fashion designer. Ivy has an impressive resume, including participation in Portland Fashion Week, World AIDS Fashion Show, and sewn historical costumes for reenactments (Revolutionary and Civil War), old west theater, wedding gowns and production runs. Our paths crossed over a year ago when I was recruiting independent fashion designers for my 2019 fashion show, two models showcased Chocolate Diamond apparel for both casual and formal occasions in my show. Since then we kept in touch and when COVID-19 hit home and the fashion industry, I was awe-struck at Ivy’s resilience and selflessness. Here is her story:
You are an independent fashion designer, how would you describe your fashions?
“I design for plus size women and men, but I design for other sizes as well. My designs are somewhat elegant, classic pieces that make you feel beautiful. Pieces that one would say ‘that’s one of my favorites”.
How has COVID-19 impacted you?
“This COVID-19 thing has been a bit of an eye opener. For me, I am a bit of a homebody. I can be very social, but I am more at peace at home. But I really feel for the kids right now. No school, they can’t see their friends. It must be difficult for them and everyone else. It's hard to watch people suffer and struggle right now and not know how long this will last.”
Why did you decide to donate your time to make face masks?
“I saw this 100 Mask Challenge on FaceBook one day. I thought, ‘what a great idea! I can do that challenge. And I have lots of fabric to make masks too.’ So far at rough estimate, (# of fabric masks made) about 150ish. I ran out of elastic and have an order of 100 to make in the next week or so. I have donated to family, friends, clients, healthworkers, Clark County Sheriff Search and Rescue and anyone who asks.”
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Nobody knows what the fashion industry will look like post COVID-19, Ivy does have a cleaning business to fall back on -and even that business has taken a hit-but it does not stop her from making a difference. This is her life, her way!
For more information about Chocolate Diamond* designs check out her website:
*her designs are featured in my Gallery under: Viva 50! Celebrating Women in Nonprofits.