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27 Jan

Latest York Designer Ties Mental Health Initiatives to Fashion Show

As an advocate to assist those facing mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders, Alexandra Nyman is using fashion as a part of her crusade.

The designer behind the LadyCat label is gearing up for the second installment of Break Free NYFW, a gaggle fashion show designed to boost awareness and support mental health initiatives.  

The runway show will likely be held Feb. 11 during Latest York Fashion Week at Daylight Studios at 450 West 31st Street. Geared for consumers, tickets range from $15 to $100 and attendance is anticipated to be about 350 to 400 people. A number of the proceeds will profit the Break Free Foundation, which partners with Recovery Centers of America and can provide scholarships for treatment for a substance-use disorder through a rehabilitation center and outpatient services. Online support groups are also being arrange through Smart Recovery for scholarship recipients and others as well.

The designer began her company LadyCat in 2019 with the debut of the primary line “Therapy,” which was inspired by her younger brother, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had attempted suicide five times. Now thriving and writing about his struggles with mental health, her brother has been a source of inspiration. “Through my brand, I even have all the time tried to inform a bigger story than myself. That also helps me to process things that I’m going through with fashion being my artistic medium.”

Titled “Marry Me Betty,” Nyman’s recent collection is supposed to be a commentary on generational trauma and the expansion of “Kendra’s Law,” and Latest York City Mayor Eric Adams’ support of it. If approved, the expansion would allow judges to mandate mental health treatment, including inpatient hospitalizations of individuals with mental illness who’re deemed a danger to themselves or others. Nyman favors “Daniel’s Law,” proposed Latest York state laws named for Daniel Prude, who died after being by restrained by Rochester cops who had responded to a mental health crisis. The proposed laws would arrange state and regional mental health units to take care of mental health issues easing the responsibilities of cops.

As a volunteer for the National Association for Mental Illnesses, Nyman will likely be amongst its supporters to advocate for the passage of “Daniel’s Law” on Feb. 7 in Albany. As well as, after next month’s NYFW Break Free event, there will likely be a call to motion for attendees at her show to sign a petition in support of the laws and how you can contact their respective state senators to share their support.

Last fall Break Free established a memorial scholarship fund that was named in memory of Sergeant Tyler and is given to veterans and energetic service members battling substance use disorders. Tyler, former energetic services member, committed suicide in March 2022. His sister is the designer Kelsey Zephyr, whose Zephyr collection will likely be featured again in Break Free NYFW. Dukiri Apparel and Valt by Ashley Alt will even be on the runway.

If you happen to or anyone you realize is contemplating suicide, a listing of suicide hotlines across the globe could be found at www.suicidestop.com. As well as, dialing, texting or chatting 988 within the U.S. will route people to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The Lifeline’s phone number 800-273-8255 can be available to people experiencing emotional distress or suicidal crisis.

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