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    Fashion Inc. member, Kellie McIlwain, preparing for this year's fashion show. Photo by Tia Mitchell / A&E editor

Fashion Inc. begins the early stages of ‘Era of Time’


Since the modeling casting call on Sept. 21, campus organization Fashion Inc. has pulled out the thread, needles and pattern paper to plan for their upcoming fashion show on April 7. Although they’re in the early stages of the show, the students and their adviser, instructor Wadeeah Beyah, strive for another great show. However, there’s still so much to do before they can make that happen.

Fashion Inc. started making their layout for the event and picked out their theme, “Era of Time.” Each designer has picked an time era as inspiration for their garments. Experienced designers must make multiple garments and inexperienced designers must make one garment. For now, the designers are planning how they’ll design their clothes.

Family and consumer sciences junior Alexus Ratliff, a student designer, said more than 20 people auditioned for the show. The designers were focused on models who had a strong but creative and professional walk made for the runway. If there’s too much movement, it distracts the audience away from the garments.

“Just be subtle with not too much movement because you are showcasing the clothes, not the model,” said Ratliff. “It’s mostly about the clothes. If you have a subtle walk but still strong, that’s always what we look for.”

Beyah has been the advisor for Fashion Inc. for 15 years and teaches the apparel design classes. She guides the planning and implementation of the show while teaching students the skills they need to master for the show. Although the fashion show is handled through Fashion Inc., it is required for apparel design students to design a line of clothing and present them in the show.

Throughout Beyah’s 15 years of advising Fashion Inc., she has seen the ups and downs the organization has gone through with the fashion show. There was a point in time when the human sciences department chair canceled their shows because Beyah’s first show with her students didn’t turn out well.

“My very first show took place after I had been here one semester,” said Beyah. “The plans were already in progress so I just took a backseat and let the students carry out the plans. That was a disaster…The department chair canceled our shows until we traveled and students could actually see what a good show was supposed to look like.”

Since that point in time, Beyah said the shows began to improve every year once they were able to see how various fashion shows were done and gather ideas. Her best show was last year’s “Fashion Meets Art.”

She hopes to take this years’s show to the next level and that her students continue to grow their confidence. One of her goals this year is to raise awareness on campus about the apparel design major and what they do.

“There are a plethora of things you can do with this major. We want them to know that we’re here,” said Beyah. “It’s a hard sell getting people to come to the fashion show because they’re not familiar with the program. So that’s been a hard sell for us every year.”

Tia Mitchell, mass communications senior, is the Campus Echo Co-editor-in-chief. Her interests include music, books, and fiction-writing. Her dream is to work as a communications director in medicine and science.

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