ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Fashion week is back, and seven of our local “Just Be 72” models are about to hit the runway in Paris.

Earlier this month, Margaret Evette, the founder of “Just Be 72,” came back to Elmira to share why home is important to her brand. She held and meet and greet at the ACME Club with models from our area to talk about the brand and Paris Fashion Week.

“I mean everything that I am is Elmira, It’s given me my morals, standards, the drive that I have,” said Evette. “That’s why I come back to Elmira,” she continues.

Margaret and her daughter, Lauren Boyd, started their brand “Just BE. 72” during the pandemic. Margaret shares with 18 News she started her brand at her kitchen table and applied “Just Be” on a tee shirt.

“I started ‘Just be’ because I struggled even though I was always promoting self-confidence and things like that, and I would think to myself, what? Why am I not so like confident?” said Evette. “And I used to think that if you were confident that you’re conceited, but it’s just the opposite of that, and my motto is be a rebel love yourself. Live your life as you see fit.”

The models of the brand earn their all-expenses paid trip by being brand ambassadors and striving to reach different goals in sales. In addition to sharing the excitement about their international debut, the models expressed how “Just Be 72” has positively impacted not only their careers but who they are.

“I’m so happy to be welcomed into a modeling community. There’s a lot more positive and body competent and we’re creating a new wave for a better community,” said Lilly Dean, a model walking in Paris for “Just Be 72.”

Local community leader, Anita Lewis, shares how she saw firsthand the positive impact of this program.

“I’m proud, like Jordan Brooks. He’s come here. He’s worked. He’s local. He’s worked with them. My niece Eddie Knoxx, aka Brittany Brooks, she’s worked with kids. So we all have a hand in it. You know?” said Lewis. “It takes a village. So we all have a piece, and we all get to be proud of who they are. I mean from incubator to the next level, to just be and just be who they are and who they want to be,” she continued.

If you want to watch our local models hit the runway right now. A live feed is available on Instagram at Paris City Fashion Week Official.