Student organizations put on fashion show


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Combat boots, B-boy shorts, and most surprising of all, a dose of cultural knowledge, might not be what people expect from a student-run fashion show.

The Indian Student Alliance, Asian American Coalition, and Black Student Union jointly present “Walk It Out: Around the World,” a multicultural fashion show featuring hip-hop, South Asian, East Asian, Latin American, drag/queer attires and more, with doors opening at 7 p.m. Saturday in the IMU Main Lounge. Admission is free.

“[The three cultural groups] wanted to work with each other and put on an event that showcased the uniqueness of many different regions,” said Melody Singh, an Indian Student Alliance representative and event co-organizer.

The fashion show idea made sense to the groups as a fun approach to draw in other organizations.

“It’s a way to centralize the cultural community,” Asian American Coalition President Eric Mou said. “The end result should be really nice … having about 15 student organizations participating.”

Collaboration was key for the groups and also the word on every organizer’s lips.

“The idea of wanting to work with other [diversity-oriented] student organizations has been around for a few years,” said Sigh, 20. “The whole point of diversity is to learn from each other … and take advantage of our joint knowledge.”

The main event organizers began planning at an Office of Student Life leaders meeting during the start of the academic year.

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“I met Melody and Eric at the meeting … something clicked with those two,” said Black Student Union representative Brandon Parker. “Right away, we just started talking about collaborating.”

Since then, the three main organizers experienced an outpour of enthusiasm from the UI campus and the Iowa City community. The clothes featured in the “Walk It Out” fashion show are all donated, and the models are all student volunteers. After Singh described the fashion show to the hairdressers at Buzz Salon, 115 S. Dubuque St., they offered free service as stylists for the event.

UI sophomore Parker expressed gratitude for the support.

“The enthusiasm was like a snowball, initially slow, but then people seemed to become really, really excited,” he said.

With the help of local businesses and restaurants, there will also be food and free gift bags for the audience. Some favors include nail polish, coupons from Style America, 2304 Muscatine Ave., soaps from Soap Opera, 119 E. College St., chocolate, and bubbles.

The organizers’ goal is not just to put on a great show for the audience but also to showcase the varied, and sometimes difficult to find, pockets of diversity on campus.

“It’s easy for a culture to get ‘lost,’ especially on a big campus like ours,” UI senior Mou said.
Parker agreed.

“Events [such as the “Walk It Out”] give us something to do as a community, something to be proud of,” he said. “It’s easy to be culturally pressed … [so] putting on a big show like this is invigorating.”

Everything comes back to the idea of learning from each other. All of the “Walk It Out” participants are looking forward to fashions that are unfamiliar to them.

“Personally, I’m excited for [everything] outside the Asian groups since I’m already pretty familiar with those,” Mou said. “Especially hip-hop and drag. I’m excited to see what they will bring on Saturday night.”

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