Here Comes The Great Neck Teen


By Carlie Fasanella

New York Fashion Week is one of the most iconic and celebrity-studded events the city boasts. Hundreds of models, designers and industry moguls flock to the event to witness what trends are in store for us. At Bridal Fashion Week, many brides-to-be take serious note of the silhouettes, embellishments and accessories that will transform bridal fashion in the coming year.

Yet for Brazilian designer Pó de Arroz, this particular bridal show was not just for brides. In partnership with nonprofit Love Together Brasil and fashion photographer Fernanda Calfat, de Arroz created a benefit fashion show in support of providing clean, safe water to impoverished Brazilian children.

Great Neck’s Emilia Pedersen, a teen model, singer, actress and junior ambassador to Love Together Brasil, was chosen as “Godmother” of the night. With this honor, Pedersen opened and closed the event, in which she stunned the audience with her grace and beauty.

“I feel like a princess,” said Pedersen. “These designs are so romantic and delicate, they are truly one of a kind.”

De Arroz creates unique, handmade dresses—and only one of each style. She focuses on delicate laces, carefully placed embellishments, romantic silhouettes and classic trims.

“I was taken aback by Emilia’s youthful glow and her ageless ability to carry the show and her gowns,” said Penha Maia.

Pedersen is a dedicated ambassador to Love Together Brasil, where she has hosted successful fundraisers and charity drives for the nonprofit. Geralda Sarraf, founder of Love Together Brasil, is proud to have Pedersen as the face of the bridal event.

“Emilia is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and she looks wonderful in Pó de Arroz’s gowns,” said Sarraf. “I’m so proud to see her continue to shine.”

The Great Neck North student has campaigned at local schools and businesses to spread the Love Together mission. The teen has received donations of backpacks, clothes, school supplies and sanitary items to send to schools in northern Brazil.

“The Great Neck community has been amazing,” said Pedersen. “I’ve received such great feedback from people and so many want to get more involved with Love Together. I’m very proud of the town.”

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