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Detroit native made fundraising fashionable

Detroit born-and-bred fashion designer Jesli Banks featured her newest line Sept. 28 at a charity event, Catwalk 20, hosted by BravoTV Star Kenya Moore, of the Real Housewives of Atlanta.  The fashion show, held at The Main Detroit Public Library, was an HIV/AIDS fundraiser.

Jesli Banks moved from Detroit to New York City in 2004 to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. After earning her degree in fashion design, Banks interned with womenswear designers Joanna Mastroianni, Olga Kapustina, and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, after winning his MTV Show “Internship by Design.” Later, she traveled the globe as a wardrobe stylist for Ebony Fashion Fair. Banks named her line Berkli, after her late mother Berkley Banks, who died from bone cancer shortly after Jesli’s birth. Banks describes her style as “feminine chic with a vintage flair.” She says she is highly inspiredby textured fabrics, nature, bold colors, history and culture.

Banks was excited to be back home for the charity event. “I am humbled to have the opportunity to give back to my city in such a major way, and especially by doing it through a vehicle I am so passionate about,” she said. “HIV is a persistent battle that has affected many lives. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease.”

— Staff report

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