Brentwood at Niles hosts ‘Ageless Runway’ fashion show

Published 3:17 pm Monday, November 6, 2023

NILES — A Niles senior-living community teamed up with an apparel brand to host a celebration of style and inspiration in the heart of Niles Friday afternoon. 

Partnering with adaptive-apparel brand Joe & Bella, Brentwood at Niles Senior Living, 1147 S. 3rd St., Niles, presented an “Ageless Runway” fashion show that delivered warmth and joy to residents and their families. Six Brentwood community members took to the runway to model Joe & Bella goods: Edward Slate, Patricia Slate, Carol Sullivan, Deb Cook, Liz Heater and Richard Noble.

Noble’s daughter, Debbie Asmus, was on hand to see her father walk the runway and enjoyed the experience.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “He’s a very personable guy and loves to be around people. It’s kind of a new thing and I really like it.”

Joe & Bella was founded three years ago by Jimmy Zollo, who was inspired by his own grandmother to create clothing that is meticulously crafted to blend fashion and function seamlessly, ensuring that disabilities and age-related changes never limit self-expression.  

“My grandmother was living in a memory care community and I saw what it was like for her to get dressed. Every single time she got dressed, she would cry from the level of pain from just having to put clothes on. That’s why we started this.” 

Marking the second installment of its kind in the country, the “Ageless Runway” initiative

follows the success of its debut at a senior-living community in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, earlier this year. Last week, Joe & Bella launched the program nationally, starting with three Priority Life Care communities in Indiana. Brentwood of Niles 

“The concept of Ageless Runway highlights that individuals of any age, particularly older adults, can serve as inspirational models, while clothing can act as a channel for happiness and empowerment,” said Severine Petras, CEO and Co-founder of Priority Life Care.

“It was (Petras’) idea to start hosting these really empowering events in which we’re able to say hey, regardless of your age, you can still wear clothes that look and feel like yourself. You can still be beautiful, you can still be you and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Zollo was thankful for the opportunity to showcase his goods to the Brentwood community.

“We’re just so grateful to be here at Brentwood with such unbelievable people who are walking down the runway who are going to be proud and empowering going in front of their community  and in front of their families,” he said. “It’s going to go beyond that because they’re going to help other people because this is going to be in the paper, it’s going to be online. We’re going to see other older adults walking down the runway and see that inspiration.

“That’s really why we’re doing this. It’s starting here at this community, but it’s going to affect the whole lot more. We’re really excited.”