ACSA promotes diversity through the fashion show – The Hawk Newspaper

After two years of covid-related outages, the African Caribbean Student Association (ACSA) is back with its popular campus fashion show titled “Juggernaut,” which will take place April 8 at 7pm in Perch.

The fashion show is an opportunity to bring together people from all walks of life who love fashion, said Autumn Richardson ’22, president of ACSA.

“You would usually see European standards in the fashion industry as the beauty standard, which is generally what people consider to be the norms of society,” Richardson said. “But with the ACSA show we like to go against the rules”.

What started as a fashion show in 2018 has since moved into a “visual” or pre-recorded format with an in-person view and will continue as a visual this year. Lenora Thomas ’23, who modeled at the Barnes Arboretum, dressed in a long white-brown dress with a classic style, said there are perks to this type of show.

Lenora Thomas ’23 poses for a snapshot during the March 26 photo shoot at the Barnes Arboretum. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24 / THE HAWK

“If I’m in a fashion show and travel, it’s on everyone’s mind,” said Thomas. “But if we’re recording they can say, ‘let’s do it one more time, do it right.'”

Another benefit is being able to watch the final product all at once, Richardson said. Last year’s viewing was split into several sessions with a Zoom option, due to covid-related capacity limitations. There will be a big vision this year, which Richardson said she is excited about.

“I can’t wait to see everyone in that space shut down, like ‘oh, that’s decent’, ‘okay, well, that’s nice’, ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs,'” Richardson said.

The visual photo shoots were held on the weekend of March 26-27 at Barnes Arboretum for a natural garden theme and at Fairmount Park for a western theme.

Victor Price ’23 poses in Fairmount Park for the wild west photoshoot on March 27.

Donavin Gomez ’24 modeled in the large grassy field in front of the former Barnes residence dressed casually in a dark green polo shirt, khakis and casual shoes with no socks. Gomez said he appreciates the way the event celebrates the diversity of the club’s members.

“What it means to me is an opportunity for people of different cultures, different backgrounds, different origins to show their culture and the beauty of their culture,” said Gomez.

The crew and models battled the cold and wind during filming of the wild west at Fairmount Park on March 27.

Richardson, who did not model but helped direct the operation, agreed that expressing diversity on campus is a major focus of this event. To emphasize this, the fashion show includes a part called “We Are the World,” which highlights people from different backgrounds and cultures wearing their traditional clothing, Richardson said.

“We do that category at every fashion show just to show that ACSA is a multi-ethnic organization on campus and that we accept everyone,” Richardson said.

That diversity is also important for rewriting cultural narratives of beauty, Gomez said.

“When the only ‘beauty’ you see is white, straight hair, blue eyes, it makes you feel like you’re not beautiful because you don’t fit into that trait,” said Gomez. “So when you see people who look like you represented as beautiful, it gives you more confidence and builds you as a person.”

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