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Fashion Collaborative founder leaves to head a new project: LEXSEWS

Soreyda Benedit-Begley founded the Lexington Fashion Collaborative nonprofit but says she can no longer devote the time it requires to run it herself.  Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff
Soreyda Benedit-Begley founded the Lexington Fashion Collaborative nonprofit but says she can no longer devote the time it requires to run it herself. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff Lexington Herald-Leader

Soreyda Benedit-Begley recently stepped down as director of the Lexington Fashion Collaborative, the nonprofit organization she founded in 2009.

The Lexington fashion designer says she'll devote more time to another project, the Lexington Sustainable Education & Workforce Solutions, or LEXSEWS.

"Basically, I don't have time to do it," Begley said of her position as director of the Fashion Collaborative. "It became a full-time job. It is a job that other people can do."

Jennifer Wesley and Edd MacKey will now be co-directors of the Fashion Collaborative, which works to raise awareness about local fashion and designers.

"We're building on everything that Soreyda put into place," MacKey said. "Those things are our foundation for the future of the Collaborative. And we're going to position ourselves to be even more active in the community with various projects."

Plans include collaborating with LexArts for spring and fall fashion shows at ArtsPlace in 2015.

The purpose of LEXSEWS is to provide opportunities for local refugees and low-income participants. The group has already produced Neklars, removable fashion collars available at Made KY on Manchester Street.

Beyond creating fashions, finding a permanent space for the project and raising money, Begley envisions classes and training for participants.

"This is my life work. This is what I want to do with life: locally made clothing and helping people with finding a job," she said.

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