By Riley Steiner, For The Miami Student
The Miami University Club of Fashion and Design is holding its 10th annual fashion show at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in Millett Hall.
Featuring pieces designed and modeled entirely by Miami students, the show is a celebration of MUCFD's 10th anniversary with a theme of "Past, Present, and Future Successes."
"You will get a glimpse of what we've been working on this year, but also what we've been working on over the past 10 years," said fifth-year senior and MUCFD president Madeline Rieman. "We're really focusing on how this program has developed and where it started."
In 2006, five students created Miami's first fashion show. It was held in a library and had an audience of 50. In 2009, Miami alumnus Frederic Holzberger '77 - founder of the Aveda Frederic's Institute - donated $150,000 toward the program and Miami introduced its fashion design minor in 2014. The faculty would have considered the minor a success if they had 80 students enrolled, but within two semesters of the program's beginning, over 120 students had enrolled. Miami will now be launching the fashion co-major and thematic sequence in the fall 2016 semester.
Miami's is one of the only fashion shows in the country completely student-run and student-created. The club has seven different committees - handling areas from marketing to design to finance - and over 250 members.
These members come from a variety of academic disciplines across Miami's campus.
"What's really cool about our designers is that most of them don't have that formal training because the program is being built right now," Rieman said. "So to see students who are so passionate about design and the creative aspect that they're doing it on their own is amazing. We help inspire the creativity and the art behind fashion, and the show really does exemplify that."
First-year Alexandra Bogut will be modeling in the show. She has been modeling since high school, but this will be her first experience in front of an audience of this size.
"It'll be really fun to see all the pieces that the students created," Bogut said.
The process began in the fall with casting auditions for the models and sketching workshops for the designers. Planning among the committees picked up during the spring semester, and the week leading up to the show, deemed "Fashion Week," included daily events such as a showcase of the designers' pieces, a trunk show with seven different vendors' apparel available for sale and even a keynote speaker - Miami alumnus and Macy's chief merchandising officer Tim Baxter.
The fashion show itself will include 20 designers, 50 models and 88 individual pieces. After the models walk down the runway in front of the audience, their designers will join them for another lap.
"Walking down the runway behind my models is one of the most exhilarating feelings I could ever have," said junior Liz Whitney.
Holzberger, one of the program's biggest sponsors, will be speaking at Saturday's show, and the organization will present its first-ever Outstanding Alumni Award.
The event's surging growth is a testament to the club members' tireless work and dedication throughout the year.
"I love every second of it," Rieman said. "It is crazy, it is chaotic, it is hectic, but it is something that makes me jump out of bed in the morning. I really do feel like we are creating something bigger than we even know and I think it's going to continue to grow."
The diversity of interests among its members allows MUCFD to enhance the show for the audience.
"Everyone has different styles, and it's just really cool to have all these creative people in one environment," Bogut said. "It's a really cool thing to see [people] who work so hard in school also have a creative outlet and create this beautiful clothing. It just has a lot of really awesome energy."
While part of this year's show is paying tribute to the past, MUCFD is continuing to look toward the future.
"Next year, we're going to be really focusing on the fact that we're not just a club anymore," Rieman said. "Everything that we've been doing proves that we're not just a group
of students involved in fashion. We have to see ourselves as leaders and be inspiring to others so that they can feel the passion that we do, and I really think that we've been able to prove that over these past 10 years."
One of MUCFD's goals is to leave a legacy for its future members.
"It's about something so much bigger than a fashion show," Rieman said. "It's been about how we are able inspire others to create something even bigger than we can imagine today."