Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY

Edwing Dangelo

Life is a Runway

Harlem, New York

“The loan was extremely helpful. Because of it, I was able to continue working, create more clothing, and reopen my store.”

Creating an Impact and Sustainable Employment Through Fashion

“There are so many times, more than I can count, where my clients tell me what a difference the clothes make. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to help people feel confident and like their best selves.”

Edwing started making clothing when he was a teenager in Colombia. When he moved to New York, he soon became a staple in his community through his fashion brand, Life is a Runway. “My parents wanted me to be a lawyer, but I wanted to be a role model for people in Colombia and show that if you follow your passion, you can make it.”


For years, Edwing searched and saved for the perfect spot to open a clothing store. Then, when he finally found it, a flood destroyed his infrastructure and designs. “I didn’t know what to do. The clothing was ruined; the work my employees had put in was gone to waste; there was so much damage.” Edwing reached out to Ascendus and received a loan to fix the water damage and buy materials to create more clothing. “It was such a relief when I got it. The loan was extremely helpful. Because of it, I was able to continue working, create more clothing, and reopen my store. My loan consultant was so helpful; she walked me through everything. I wouldn’t have been able to get through it if it wasn’t for her. I am really grateful for her help.”


Today, Edwing has a fully functional store with brand new designs and no sign of flood damage. With his profits, he started the Edwing Dangelo Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to providing justice reform for women recently released from incarceration for non-violent crimes. “I am training over 300 women who are the heads of their households in everything from sewing to business. This work has changed my life. It goes beyond me and beyond fashion. It makes me so proud to help these women, to give them a second chance, and to help them provide for their families and their communities. I’ve started a manufacturing hub, and my lifetime goal is to just keep expanding and keep providing employment, education, and transformational opportunities to communities that need it the most.”

To learn more about Edwing, visit:

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