Can you raise awareness about social issues & celebrate your birthday at the same time? Why not?!
In 2016 DistrictGal attended two inspiring birthday events, one with #VVeWALK who did a fundraiser for a non profit organization that rescues “last day dogs” the ones set to be put down the next day if not adopted. She raised a total of 1,500,000 won (1,500 USD) to go towards the shelter. Whoa! And we can save more puppies! If you’d like to donate and help rescue more dogs, visit: www.VVeWALK.com to find out more.
The second event was with Nexcite Heart. The #thatsmybag event that had 77 participants who each designed their own eco bags following the theme “Female Empowerment” while celebrating Annie Jang’s, CEO of NEXCITE Heart, birthday. Hosted at Bennet’s bar in Itaewon. It was an honor to have our bags included in the exhibition and be alongside women who believe in sisterhood the same way we do.
Annie Jang decided to celebrate her birthday differently. Birthdays are all about spending time with friends and family, but Annie felt the growing sense of injustice and misogyny thick in the air of her daily life, and globally as well. With social tensions plaguing society, she chose to hold an event that would not only empower women but create a sense of identity, something extremely important for the everyday woman who doesn’t always have a political voice. So what better way to showcase identity other than fashion? Fashion is a powerful tool, even the smallest symbols like pins or buttons can say something profound and that’s what the#ThatsMyBag event aimed to achieve – a profound statement of sisterhood and women united.
The concept behind the name of the event implies a sense of ownership, Christine known as CM Shea, a Community Liaison for NEXCITE describes it as “that’s my thing” a bag is something you own, something that declares ownership and identity; an everyday fashion accessory reflecting you personally and the event takes it to another level. Eco bags were designed and displayed on bars, hung to be seen not only by the women who designed them, but by women similar to themselves. Each bag was designed uniquely, representing how being a woman today is different for each and every one of us. Yet through this form of diversity, women with differing thoughts, ideas, and beliefs, come together by taking a mundane object and turning it into something beautiful.
Keep reading below for our interview with CM Shea! After, fearlessly share your thoughts in the comments. What social issue would you celebrate with your birthday? This year DistrictGal has a goal to celebrate her birthday hosting another grand Shop N Swap to promote sustainable fashion and to donate clothes for single mothers stateside. Make sure to stay updated!
Words from Christine AKA CM Shea.
“I am currently the editor for the brand new monthly community magazine, Nexcite-City Magazine, which is made through Nexcite Heart, a subsidiary of Nexcite. If you haven’t heard of NEXCITE in Korea, you need to join the fun! They have begun to branch out into artist and community areas. Nexcite Heart, run by CEO Annie Jang, works with the Yongsangu office to make wall murals, art events, and other campaigns to give back to the community. I first got involved with Nexcite as a supporter but now I have transitioned into a team member through Nexcite Heart. One of our most recent events, #ThatsMyBag exhibit took place in December at Bennett’s Bar in Itaewon to not only celebrate sisterhood and female empowerment but also Annie’s birthday.”
What was the inspiration for the #That’sMyBag exhibit?
“Every December Annie Jang, our CEO for Nexcite Heart, celebrates her birthday. It is usually a festive celebration with her friends and loved ones but in the wake of the American Presidential election, it was really important for her to change it up. There was a lot of misogyny that was spewed forth and she recognized that it was a perfect time to honor the strength of women. So through something that was so ugly, we created something beautiful to show our solidarity through sisterhood.
The phrase “That’s my bag” of course means “that’s my thing,” and it paired so well with the idea of creating art from eco bags. Feminism can be different to many women and it was really poetic that art could reflect life. We had nearly 100 artists donate their talents and souls for this project, and Nexcite Heart was just amazed by the outpouring of support from the Itaewon community. Each bag was special, just like every woman is unique. It was truly inspiring.”
Why do you feel female empowerment movements are important?
“Honestly, these movements are important because we have all seen what happens when women aren’t given a voice. Events like the one we created, and the more recent Women’s Marches that happened all over the world just go to show how much power we have and it’s time to rise up.
But it isn’t enough that women are standing up—every movement needs allies, which is why it is so important to have our partners in our lives stand up with us. It’s imperative that we all work together in order to create a brighter future for the empowerment of girls and women.”
When’s the next event?
Nexcite Heart’s latest endeavor has been the creation of a monthly community magazine called Nexcite-City Magazine. The magazine digs deeper into Seoul’s creative community, catching up with honorable leaders, artists, social welfare centers, and inspiring businesses all over town to give an authoritative understanding of the arts and culture that shapes our city. It’s distributed for free in travel information booths and businesses throughout Itaewon, and will soon be branching out to reach other areas in Seoul.
This has been such a labor of love for Nexcite Heart and we are so excited to bring this to the people. Our first issue came out in January and was an incredible success. The February issue will be out shortly, but if you’re looking for an online source, you can find it at www.gonexcite.com.
How can people participate or keep in touch with Nexcite Heart’s events?
The best way to keep tabs on us is to read the magazine, and follow us on Instagram to check out the events we’re posting. If people would like to get involved or partner with us through sponsorship, they can contact us through email about sponsoring events.
If you’ve missed out on this event and are interested in delving into social issues while still having fun and engaging with fashion or the creative community, then NEXCITE Heart’s magazine, Nexcite-City Magazine is a great way to start. Providing a great understanding of arts and culture within Seoul, the magazine is distributed freely (now that’s something to be really excited about) and connects readers with leaders, welfare centers, and businesses. Online sources include http://www.gonexcite.com/ and you can follow them on Instagram for further event postings.
Instagram: Nexcite_Company | Contact: Annie Jang email@example.com
Xoxo~ Team DGal (JP, Vendettalour, Debbie, DGal)
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