COVID forced a re-imagining of the long-standing, in-person fashion show that would spark an educational trend.
For more than 20 years, the University’s annual fashion show was the “hot-ticket” event for the fashion-design program and the storied event dazingly showcased students’ work.
When the Class of 2020 embarked upon its senior year, students eagerly anticipated that night in May, like the alumni who came before them, but then along came COVID-19, and a pandemic that would turn the world askew early in the spring semester.
Born from that adversity was a concept that both kept with industry trends and goes beyond showcasing designs, but captures students’ processes, inspirations and backstories digitally, for posterity. The Fashion Design Film debuted with a virtual presentation in 2021. Now, the second-annual film will be the focus of an in-person campus event on Saturday, May 7.
This year’s event is going to be special, unique and emotional.
–Farai Simoyi, Fashion Design Program Director
In this episode of The Nexus Podcast, we speak with students Danny Feeney and Michaela Day about being featured in the film, and what it could mean for their professional careers.
Michael Leonard—academic dean of the School of Design and Engineering within the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce—offers historical context for the Fashion Show at a time when the program has moved away from hosting it. Also, program director Farai Simoyi discusses, among many topics, how this concept inspired other universities to follow Jefferson’s lead.
“This year’s event is going to be special, unique and emotional,” says Simoyi, noting the pandemic-related adjustments that impacted the students’ time at the University. “In their final year, they get to be with each other. Watching them evolve from such a hard and difficult challenge into something so amazing is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see.”
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