A Passion for Fashion
On Monday, May 2, St. Francis College (SFC) will host its inaugural student fashion show. Conceived and sponsored by the recently formed SFC Fashion Club, under the guidance of the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Office of Multicultural Affairs, the event will showcase original apparel by SFC student designers. The theme of the show will be “Chrysalis.”
“Reflecting rebirth, change and transformation, we feel the theme is appropriate,” said junior Gabriella Nascimento de Oliveira, president of the Fashion Club and the inaugural fashion show’s director. “Not only is the world beginning to emerge from a years-long pandemic, but St. Francis College is moving to a new campus.”
Originally envisioned as a small-scale production, the show has morphed into a major schoolwide event that will be completely student-run — from the designers, stylists, make-up artists and hair stylists, to the models, to the production crew. Students in the Photography Club will be handling event photography, while SFC Radio will be providing music, including for the runway portion of the show. Members of the Entrepreneurship Club also are taking part as collaborators.
Apparel designed by two SFC students will be the highlight of the show. Raheema Morris, a senior and emerging designer, will showcase her handknit crochet clothing, while junior Jacob Meyers will present streetwear styles from his established brand, SB Studios. In addition, students in the College’s multicultural clubs have created upcycled designs that will be modeled at the show.
In alignment with SFC’s Franciscan values of social responsibility and ecological integrity, sustainability will be a focus of the show. With the goal of keeping clothing and fashion accessories out of landfills, attendees are being asked to bring a clean, gently used garment they no longer wear, or wish to discard, to donate to Catholic Charities. Moreover, a conscious effort has been made to make the show as inclusive as possible. “Our selection of models represents a variety of genders, sizes and abilities,” de Oliveira related. “One of them will be modeling from her wheelchair.”
It has been a busy year for the fledgling SFC Fashion Club. In addition to mounting the upcoming inaugural fashion show, earlier this spring it published the first issue of Couture, a 40-page, full-color fashion magazine featuring articles on such far-ranging topics as the sexualized dress code in women’s sports — particularly at the Olympic level, adaptive fashion, how the fashion industry contributes to global warming, SFC student style, Palestinian fashion and more. All of the content, including the writing and photography, was generated by students, who also oversaw the layout and design as well as coordinated the printing, distribution and publicity efforts. “As with the fashion show,” de Oliveira explained, “we came up with the magazine as a vehicle to promote entrepreneurship, culture, art and sustainability at SFC.”
Immediately following the SFC Student Fashion Show, the winners of the fifth annual St. Francis College Pitch Contest, sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurship, will be announced. Contestants can enter the competition — which is open to all current SFC students and Winter 2022 graduates through April 30 — as either the sole founder of a business or two co-founders. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
- Best Idea for a Business (two winners will receive $250 each to help bring their pitch idea to fruition)
- Best Revenue-Producing Business (one winner will receive $750 to help grow their start-up’s customer base and revenue)
- Best Multicultural Upcycled Design (one winner will receive $100)
For more about the pitch contest, email [email protected].
SFC currently offers a minor in fashion retail management, and plans are in the works to offer a bachelor’s degree in the near future. “St. Francis is a small college and not necessarily fashion-focused,” noted Eda Sanchez-Persampieri, director of the SFC Center for Entrepreneurship and faculty advisor to the Fashion Club. “Yet there is a lot of interest in this area among our student population, not to mention incredible talent. The fashion show will give us an opportunity to showcase that talent.”
The inaugural SFC Student Fashion Show will take place on Monday, May 2, at 12:30 pm in Founders Hall, while the winners of the SFC Pitch Contest will be announced at 2:30 pm in the Callahan Center. Both events are free and open to the public with advance registration. For the latest on the SFC Fashion Club, visit its Instagram page at @sfc.fashionclub.