On Friday, Feb. 28, the University’s Black Student Union (BSU) hosted its annual fashion show as part of its 10th annual Black Arts Festival. The event transformed Larison Dining Hall into a venue with a catwalk and rows of chairs for the audience, complete with the caption “NYC Fashion Week meets the University’s Haute Couture.”
According to BSU, the organization “aims to provide and maintain the best possible conditions in which Black students may receive a complete education” on campus. Their first constitution dates back to 2015, and they have since established their presence through programs and events such as the fashion show.
The show unfolded throughout a series of “scenes” that showcased various looks, all of which were organized and created by students in BSU.
Jabril Mohamed ’22 was one of the models who walked in this year’s show. He shared a bit about his experience and take-aways:
What is the purpose of the BSU fashion show?
The fashion show is an event that allows the wide variety of creative visions within the Black Community to be showcased through scenes. Within Black culture, there are so many amazing and innovative fashion designs and trends. The show allowed people to get insight on not only the ways in which you can put those styles together but also an acknowledgment to the great ideas that have arisen throughout the years.
Who is involved with the show? And what are the different ways to get involved?
The Black Student Union and community are involved in the show; it’s held every year and the past two years the show has been within Black Alumni Weekend. There are a lot of ways to get involved whether that’s on the runway or behind the scenes. Each scene has a coordinator who helps depict the vision and style they want to evoke. In addition, there are committees that help with the set-up and design of the venue and graphics, and of course the models. When it comes to fashion shows, it’s an event that requires a lot of focus and without the help of everyone this year, it wouldn’t have been the great show it was.
What was your personal reason for walking in the show?
I’ve always had an interest in fashion growing up and I thought the show was a great opportunity to try something new and risk-taking. Last year as a first-year I walked in my first fashion show, and I was nervous at first because I knew how many people were in attendance. However, with the help of my friends and coordinators, I gained confidence that helped me enjoy the show to its full extent. I also choose to do the fashion because it’s important to also support your community and the people who made it possible. The BSU Executive Board does an amazing job organizing events throughout the year and being a part of the show provided me a platform to express myself through their great efforts.
What is your favorite part of the show?
My favorite part about the show would be walking on the runway because of the experience you can get from it. Walking in the show is something I enjoy now because you get to express your creative style as well as showcase it. Feeling the energy in the room as you walk the runway is a feeling I never knew I would like so much.
Gabby Kessel ’21, another student who attended this year’s fashion show, had similar sentiments. “I loved the entire show. The decor, food and mock-tails really made the aesthetic classy — like a real fashion show. The scenes during the show also displayed the range of styles that the students have with their fashion sense. It was a great way to spend my Friday night,” she said.