Jamaican-American Fashion Designer, Hope Wade, Honored by New York School District

The Jamaican American award-winning fashion designer, Hope Wade, was honored by the East Ramapo Central School District in Rockland County, New York, with her featured selection for the fifth annual East Ramapo Central School District Regent Judith Johnson Sheroes Series, a video production that celebrates the role that women of the local community have had on society. The series was launched in 2022 and since then, a committee comprising community members has worked with the district to identify new “sheroes” and produce videos for students in the district.

Honored to be a  “Sheroe”

Wade was selected for the 2024 video because of her strong support of her community, her belief in “giving back,” and her mentorship of high school students who have an interest in fashion. Wade is the owner of Hope Wade Designs in Nyack,  New York, and the creator and executive producer of Rockland Fashion Week. Responding to the honor, Wade said, “To be called a Sheroe in any capacity is humbling but to think that your name is esteemed in the same light as Regent Judith Johnson is daunting. And I think what really got to me was that the video would be shown to all the students in the E. Ramapo School District. Wow! (I had the honor of meeting her once when I was invited by President Michael Baston of Rockland Community College to a breakfast at the college.)”

A born designer

Hope Blake Wade was born in Kingston to Mavis Blake and Eustance “Gussie” Blake, Superintendent of Police. She graduated from Alpha Academy. She spent her childhood in Port Royal, Jamaica. She is also a graduate of New York City Technical College and Cooper Union College in New York. Wake launched  Hope Wade Designs in 1991 and has since received many awards for her fashion creativity and involvement with her community. She is the creator and producer of Rockland Fashion Week and is known for her Caribbean-inspired and practical fashion design. She has designed gowns for the Miss Jamaica World, Miss Jamaica Universe, Miss Jamaica Nation, Miss Intercontinental pageants, and additional international competitions. Wade’s designs have a strong celebrity following. Her designs have been worn by the Academy and Grammy Award-winner, Darlene Love, in performances for former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

Jamaican-American Fashion Designer Hope Wade Honored by New York School District
Hope Wade

Mentorship and community support

Hope Wade is the driving force behind the success of Rockland Fashion Week, an event that introduces designers to patrons every year. She was honored for her community involvement with the presentation of the United States Congressional Certificate of Service from NY Congressman Mike Lawler. Wade’s motivation for Rockland Fashion Week lies in her desire to help residents of Rockland County reach their full potential. Her mentorship has included training for designers, models, makeup artists, and stylists of all ages and opened doors that allowed them to pursue their careers. Her fashion shows provide a national and global stage on which to display their talents, and she supports models with autism, Dragonna Syndrome, and Down Syndrome by including them in her shows.

Evangelist and award winner

Wade was ordained an Evangelist in New York in 2018 by the Community Christian Church. In 2021, Wade received the inaugural Woman of Distinction Award from New York’s State Assembly for her outstanding leadership in Rockland County, New York, where she resides and operates her business. Hope Wade Designs was chosen by Harlem Fashion Rose and NIKE to receive the first Designer Retreat for Designers of Color in 2019. In 2018, she was presented with the Woman of Excellence Award by Alpha Academy, where she attended high school. She is the president of Alpha Academy’s Tristate Alumni Association in New York and the president of the Jamaica Civic and Cultural Association of Rockland. Wade is also a board member of the Cooper Union Alumni Association and a member of the Village of Nyack Business Council.

Photo – Hope Wade