Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU’s Fashion Forward celebrates 10-year anniversary with fashion show

Marking a decade of style and creativity, FAU’s Fashion Forward, a student-led organization dedicated to fashion enthusiasts, hosted a fashion show event at the Live Oak Pavilion on Feb. 12.
Alexa Gustin
The Fashion Forward models posing on the runway.

FAU’s Fashion Forward, a student-led organization dedicated to fashion enthusiasts, hosted a show at the Live Oak Pavilion on Monday. The event embraced all facets of the fashion industry, including modeling, styling, and photography.

The fashion show lasted from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and included a dynamic runway performance featuring seven student models affiliated with Fashion Forward. Fashion Forward collaborated with the Student Government’s Program Board, a student-run organization committed to bringing free, fun, and quality events to FAU. Alexa Gustin, Program Board’s associate director who assisted in organizing the event, reported that 33 people attended the event. 

“We really enjoyed encouraging people to let that inner fierceness in themselves out,” said Kiki Johnson, FAU business major and Fashion Forward president. “Our motto is ‘fashion forward fierce,’ so we really want everyone to be the best version of themselves every single time they hit the runway.”

This show’s theme was New York Fashion Week, and models had the autonomy to create their own routine and choose a song to model to. 

According to the board members, each model was wearing outfits from their own wardrobe that would portray what a spectator at New York Fashion Week would wear.

“[The board members] let us explore creative freedom, and they’re always listening to what we have to say and what we want to do,” said FAU accounting junior Josh McGee. “It was a cool event, and it was nice to interact with the crowd.”

During his freshman year of college, McGee attended a Fashion Forward show with his friends and was inspired to participate in the experience. He signed up the following year and has actively participated in shows ever since.

“The main thing I love about fashion shows, besides the pictures that come out of them, would just be the feelings before the show happens. It’s not nervousness but more excitement,” McGee said. “You get to see what everybody’s come up with. It’s been really fun so far.”

Fashion Forward members randomly selected audience members to participate in the runway lesson. These selected individuals strutted down the red carpet to music, striking poses at the end. Nyeejah Ricketts, FAU marketing and finance senior who’s been to a few Fashion Forward shows this year, was one of the spectators selected to model.

“[Fashion Forward is] really good at interacting with the crowd and just getting people out of their comfort zone,” Ricketts said. “They’re really good at making us confident in a way… that’s one of the main things I love about Fashion Forward.”

Models showcase their style during shows, selecting outfits from their wardrobes and doing their own hair and makeup. For the club’s monthly photoshoots, models typically borrow outfits from the Fashion Forward closet, a dedicated space for club members, alumni, and models to donate clothing they no longer wear.

“Usually a lot of the models, they have multiple talents,” said Afrianey Charelus, FAU psychology junior and Fashion Forward’s fashion liaison. “So before shows, everybody helps each other out, whether for hair or makeup.”

Charelus gives the models wardrobe advice and sets the themes for each of the club’s shows. She approves all ensembles before they hit the runway.

“One thing we definitely encourage within the organization is individuality,” Johnson said. “No model is the same as the last, and we really enjoy seeing how these models bring these themes to their own personal style and still show up and show out.”

The number and lineup of models on the runway vary for each show.

“When we have our own shows we make sure that all of our models are able to walk at least two to three times, so they get that opportunity to showcase their talents and what they’ve learned throughout the semester within our organization,” Johnson said. 

This was one of their smaller events, according to Johnson and Charelus. However, the club is preparing for its annual special segment performance in collaboration with FAU’s Progressive Black Men Inc. (PBM) at the Wimberly Library on Feb. 16. This upcoming show will feature the majority of Fashion Forward members on the runway. 

The club has about 60 members, according to Elaine Vales, FAU social work junior and Fashion Forward social media director. Fashion Forward holds club meetings every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., typically in the Student Union, but the meeting location can vary. 

Fashion Forward has been here for ten years now,” Johnson said. “This is our decade in the making, so we really want to make a big statement this year, and we really have a lot of good things planned.”

Laurie Mermet is a staff writer for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or DM laurie.mmt on Instagram.


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