Freedom Fashion returns Saturday

Jan. 24—The Cooke County Hope Alliance is hosting its second annual Freedom Fashion Show on Jan. 27.

"It's an anti-trafficking fashion show, and we're hosting it in January each year because that's Human Trafficking Awareness Month," said Brandi Voth, one of the main organizers of the show. "It's a good time for us to shine a light on labor trafficking and sex trafficking, and how those can intersect in the apparel industry."

This group spreads awareness of human trafficking and help its victims as they get their lives back on track. The aim of the Freedom Fashion Show is to have an evening filled of fashion and fun, but also advocacy and education.

"We're going to be over at The Venue on Commerce Street," said Voth. "We've doubled our space because last year we sold out in about a week with sponsorships, so this year we've created more of an elevated VIP experience for our sponsors."

The proceeds from the event will help the Cooke County Hope Alliance continue to educate people and help support victims of human trafficking.

"Statistics are really tricky because so much goes underreported. However, I will tell you that if you have a phone, human trafficking is happening where you're at, because you can order a person like you would order a pizza," said Voth. "We are located very close to the largest casino, and anywhere that there is large gatherings of people, trafficking is occurring. The casino is very open to working to fight that, of course, to advocate for victims to eradicate it on site. However, you have traffickers that are taking girls, boys, women and men to and from the casino daily in order to sell them because there's a large group of people gathered there. Same with sporting events, concerts, it's incredibly prevalent."

There are many misconceptions about what human trafficking looks like to an outsider.

"From what we see, the FBI says that less than one percent of trafficking victims are actually kidnapped; 99 percent of them know the person that traffics them, have a relationship with them or has been groomed to believe that the person loves them," said Voth. "[Cooke County Hope Alliance is] working with different organizations in the area to see how we can raise awareness and also eventually create resources in this area, because it's kind of a dead zone between Denton and Oklahoma City."

Tickets for Freedom Fashion are available at General admission is $50, and sponsorships begin at $150.

"It's just a really great evening of fashion and advocacy in a fun environment," said Voth. "But also talking about some hard subjects, raising awareness and advocating for survivors and victims of human trafficking."