Dallasite Bree Moore is building a name for herself through philanthropy and her passion for fashion.
After producing five fashion shows to benefit causes from raising money for North Texas children to sickle cell anemia awareness to feeding and clothing the homeless, Moore was crowned “Community Hero” at Tha Afterparty Radio’s third annual Party Awards in Carrollton on Dec. 3.
“At the first fashion show, we were able to raise $1,000 for Children’s Medical Center,” Moore said. “The second show we raised awareness for sickle cell [anemia], and the third fashion show we actually went out and fed the homeless directly.”
Giving back to the community is just one of Moore’s passions; she also produces fashion shows and is a stylist, costume designer, blogger, artist and graphic designer – all while being a single mother to her son, Ajani.
This isn’t the first time Moore has been recognized for her work in the Dallas community. D Magazine wrote about her twice in 2016, before and after her third fashion show, listing her as someone who deserves more attention and is more influential than the Real Housewives of Dallas.
Moore decided to focus on the Dallas homeless community as the benefactor of her third show after local tent cities were closed down in May 2016. Attendees of the show were asked to bring gently used clothing to donate to the homeless, which Moore and her team took to Deep Ellum to distribute. Proceeds from the fashion show paid for lunches made by Clutch Bar and Restaurant and given to the homeless while distributing the clothes.
“It was very important for me to partner with [Clutch] so they could help us out with just interacting with the homeless,” Moore said. “We actually had a training session – I thought it was cool.”
Moore said her original idea was to create a pop-up shop to give the homeless a retail experience, but it wasn’t the set-up they cared about, they were just grateful for clothes.
“Once we got out there and they saw that we had clothes and shoes, we didn’t have time to set up – they wouldn’t let us,” she said. “So we just allowed them to dig through the clothes. Even though we had a variety of sizes, some of these people were like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna use this as a washcloth.’ So now I tell everyone, don’t throw away clothes, even baby clothes, because they’ll use it for something.”
A graduate of Wade College, Moore has also been a guest speaker at the University of North Texas and University of Texas at Arlington because of her involvement in the fashion community and the shows she’s produced. Although Moore hasn’t been back to Wade College, she said it’s a goal of hers to be invited to her alma mater to speak, and she’d love to go back.
“Wherever you go, you see art and student work and you are highly inspired to create,” Moore said. “Wade is literally for creatives, and I think I succeed in so much of my accomplishments because I was in an environment that was for me.”
When UNT’s Fashion Society invited her to speak, Moore said, she was asked to explain how she got to where she is in her career, but her main objective was to stress the importance of networking and interning in the fashion industry.
“Nowadays, kids are not into interning,” Moore said. “I hear a lot of people not willing to intern or volunteer their time to learn about the industry they’re trying to pursue.”
To give them a chance to practice what she preached, she gave them a chance to intern at her most recently produced fashion show in Dallas on Nov. 11, giving them an inside look at how a show comes together with models, makeup, designers and the runway itself.
Following her own advice, Moore still volunteers and does what she can to network and stand out in the fashion industry.
“Even to this day I don’t get paid for all the stuff that I do, and it’s okay,” she said. “I’m building my portfolio and networking with people.”
Clover Marie said she started interning with Moore for her show in Philadelphia as a social media manager but was invited to be part of the team as an assistant for her Dallas show in November. She said Moore has inspired her to be an independent entrepreneur since they started working together.
“You don’t work for Bree, you work with Bree, and I appreciate that because I feel like you gain so much more when you are part of a team,” Marie said.
Moore doesn’t stifle creativity either, which Marie said she likes, because it’s easier to work in an environment where her ideas are heard and appreciated.
“I don’t have to prove myself worthy – she sees it,” Marie said. “She sees the vision, she sees the creativity, she sees the talent, so all she does is encourage it.
Marie is just one of many Moore has inspired and encouraged to grow. Designers Sharon Yik and Mareka Baptiste collaborated with Moore and a few more female entrepreneurs to host a networking event called “The Meetup” at The Happiest Hour in Dallas.
“Bree has definitely inspired me, and she probably doesn’t even know it,” Baptiste said. “She’s creative and switches up the style.”
Moore exudes the strength and confidence of a strong woman, and makes others feel strong and confident, too, Baptiste said.
“I love her demeanor because when she walks into the room, you know she means business,” Baptiste said. “She’s so herself and not afraid.”
Yik’s clothing line, YikStyles, has been featured in the past three shows Moore has produced, including the one in Philadelphia. Even though the two barely know each other when they first worked together in Moore’s 2016 show, Yik said she felt like they were already sisters.
“She’s probably one of the most caring people I’ve met thus far and one of the most beautiful souls I’ve worked with,” Yik said. “I’m able to call her at any time and we can just talk about our ideas and our goals and just brainstorm together and come out feeling empowered.”
Yik said she’s inspired most by Moore’s drive to uplift, encourage and give back to the community, and her passion shows through her art, productions and personality.
Matthew Cuff-Myles, Philadelphia-based INERD founder, has known and been working with her for four years, he said, and Moore has given his brand and team the opportunity to get exposure in north and south.
Her Philadelphia show, which featured designs by INERD, was covered by The Source, a magazine based in New York City. INERD also showcased at “Bree Moore Presents: The Perspective of Cultural Creatives” in Dallas, and they will work together again for her next show, which will be in Baltimore next summer.
“I’d never been to Texas before I met her, and she’d never been to Philly before she met us,” he said. “She gives everybody a platform and a free shake at displaying their talents.”
Frank Knight, a fellow INERD team member, was the one who convinced Moore to produce her first fashion show, Cuff-Myles said, which she did in 2013.
“In the year of 2017, we were able to produce two great fashion shows in two different locations,” Cuff-Myles said.
Some advice from Moore:
“Reach out to people you would never reach out to, or do something that you would never do. Especially when it comes to pursuing the industry you want to be in, you have to take that risk.”