Local modeling

A modeling school celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Reunionese fashion show

The House of Jayne Charm and Modeling School will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a fashion show, showcasing the talents of former models and honoring the person who started it all, Miss Jayne Brown.

The Reunion Fashion Show will begin at 5 p.m. July 31 at the Jewel Event Center, 3333 N. Illinois St. The event will include a buffet, reception, music, entertainment and the fashion show. Admission to the event is $50.

History of Jayne’s House

When Brown became interested in modeling, she joined the Cordie King Castle Modeling and Charm School. After graduating from school in 1962, Brown began teaching modeling workshops at local community centers, and in 1972 she opened her own modeling school.

The House of Jayne Charm and Modeling School was a place where young black boys and girls could build their self-esteem. Brown enjoyed working with his students and seeing their development.

Some of the models were able to compete nationally in NAACP fashion shows, and according to Brown, three of her models were placed in the top 10.

Jayne Brown, 83, started the modeling school to build self-esteem and confidence in young black boys and girls in the community. (Photo provided by Jayne Brown)

Many other business ideas were generated by the modeling school. House of Jayne would later turn into a boutique and wedding service business while maintaining the modeling school.

In 1976, Brown was immobilized due to rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and joints. Her family and friends helped maintain House of Jayne while she was bedridden.

House of Jayne would close and reopen at different locations over the years, but Brown would pick himself up and the House of Jayne would back up every time. Brown, who is now 83, will host the fashion show not just as a reunion, but also to show the company’s perseverance through good times and bad.

“To reach 83 after going through everything I’ve been through and having my family with me to share this experience, I’m just grateful,” she said.

Where are the models now?

Valerie Lin McCray isn’t the shy 15-year-old she was when she first met Brown. Now, at 63, she is a Democratic politician whose last campaign was for the US Senate.

Although she’s admitted she’s always been introverted, when she needs to deliver a speech, McCray uses the modeling tips Brown taught her, finds the confidence to take the stage, and says what she’s got. need to say.

“There’s no one like Miss Jayne,” she said. “We were little neighborhood kids, but she made sure we were on stage. Her idea of ​​beauty transcended traditional ideas of beauty. She felt that we were beautiful as we were.

Gloria Payton enrolled in modeling school at age 17, in her senior year of high school. After attending modeling school, Payton became a hairstylist and, at age 65, she owns a salon. She said many of the lessons she learned from Brown carry over into her daily life.

“It helps you in all aspects of your life,” she said. “You need confidence and knowing how to communicate with everyone. I bring him a big part of my success.

Sabae Jones-Martin is a certified paralegal and returns to school at age 64. She said she was lucky to meet and work with Brown as a teenager because it showed her the potential she possessed.

“Jayne Brown took a group of young black teenagers, gave us confidence and made us feel like anything was possible,” she said. “She taught us that we could do whatever we wanted to do and be whatever we wanted to be.”

Contact religious journalist Abiana Herron at 317-924-5243. Follow her on Twitter @Abri_onyai. Herron is a member of the Report for America body and writes about the role of black churches in the community.