Festival of Lights Fashion Show

By The Young Professionals Leadership Circle

quyen2We interviewed Quyên Nguyen-Le about what it was like to win the Festival of Lights Fashion Show! The Hanukkah-themed fashion show was presented by the NCJW/LA Young Professionals Leadership Circle, showcasing models wearing clothes from Council Thrift Shops, benefiting the Back 2 School Store. The event was part of Infinite Light, a week-long celebration of 20s and 30s Hanukkah events in LA, powered by NuRoots.

Young Professionals Leadership Circle: What was it like shopping at the Council Thrift Shops?
Quyen1Quyên Nguyen-Le: Shopping for my outfits was my first time visiting a Council Thrift shop, even though I buy the majority of my clothes from thrift shops in general. I found out that there’s one a few blocks from my workplace and another right by my favorite restaurant, so I’ll be visiting more often in the future!

There were a lot of cool bizarre pieces (as well as “normal” ones, haha) that I wanted to buy but didn’t because there wasn’t a changing room at the one I went to. Y’know, ’cause not everything looks as great as you imagine in your head… But maybe that’s part of the fun of it. Also I only had $20 to spend, but I got 5 awesome pieces, what a deal!

Quyen3YPLC: What was it like walking down the runway?
QN-L: What’s funny is that my mom has always joked that I should be a model because I’m tall. But I never quite mastered controlling my extremities (maybe there’s more distance to cover from brain signals to limbs?) so my approach to walking down the runway was to be self-conscious as an intentional performance. And it was really awesome to get positive feedback from the audience for my awkwardness. Usually, society treats it as a bad thing so it was affirming to have it be a good thing.


From left to right, models Lanie Siegel, Quyên Nguyen-Le, and Colin Rementer enjoy latkes, donuts, and drinks.

YPLC: How was the vibe and how did you like the food?
QN-L: It was a really well-planned and fun event, with lots to do! There was a clothing rack of cool stuff out front, free delicious food, a photo booth, and of course a real runway which was not scary even though everyone is staring at you. And I think everyone there can attest that the food was awesome! I appreciated that it was vegetarian and I might have eaten 10 latkes.

Also, shout out to my friends Mahin and Denise who came all the way from the Valley to be my hype squad. That definitely contributed to good times all around.

YPLC: Do you think you’ll model again next year?
QN-L: Definitely. I need to defend my title!

The Young Professionals Leadership Circle (YPLC) embodies the values of the National Council of Jewish Women/Los Angeles by striving to improve the quality of life for those in need and turning progressive ideas into action. YPLC brings together like-minded young professionals who are passionate about social justice to engage in volunteerism, advocacy, community-building, fundraising, networking, and professional development to put their aspirations and fresh ideas in motion.

*This year YPLC is taking on Back 2 School Store, a one-day summer event at which NCJW/LA is transformed into a department store, where Los Angeles children in need receive free, brand-new clothes and shoes. YPLC is working with JFS Young Leaders, whose Tools for School project provides the children with new backpacks and school supplies to start the year off right! YPLC and JFS Young Leaders are collaborating on acquisitions, volunteer recruitment, and logistics in preparation for the event.     

Interested in Young Professionals Leadership Circle? Email alexa@ncjwla.org