The University of Memphis African Student Association will be making the world their runways. The student organization is using cultural fashions to unite students of different backgrounds and heritage.
Senior film student Lawrence Shaw and Justin Brookes, a sophomore health and human performance major, are co-directors of the first Multicultural Fashion Show on campus.
“We are trying to show the diversity of the world," Shaw said. "The best way to learn about a different culture is through their food or through their clothing."
The show is set to occur in April during the University’s Multicultural Week, an annual
celebration done by the University to honor the diversity of the students.
“The vision is just to show everybody that although we are all from a different culture, we all
of one body, we are all the same. We can celebrate each other’s diversity,” said Shaw, the creative half of the duo.
“We are leaning towards a more traditional feel with the clothing," Brookes said. "It will not
only be new era."
Brookes, who is responsible for more of the logistics of the show, said most of the clothing for
the show would be donated by students and the community.
This is not your typical fashion show, the duo said.
“This is more than just a show, it’s more like a theatrical performance versus you just sitting down watching people walk… you’ll be embraced in sight and sound,” Shaw said.
The directors want the audience to feel like they are being taken into a new country with each
scene. The audience can look forward to a variety of lights, choreography and music from
all over the world.
“We are focused on natural beauty when it comes to our models," Shaw said. "We want to show the diversity of each model."
Not only will the fashions of this show make them appear different from the typical campus show, but the models will as well.
“We want different shapes, sizes and heights," Brookes said. "This is a multicultural show to the max. If you can show your culture in a creative way through fashion, we would love to have you."
Modeling coach, sophomore communications and business student D’Onna James, said she wants to focus more on the confidence of the models.
“With the show being theatrical, I want the walk to be more clean and traditional,” James said.
James and the directors said although they are still in developmental stages, the creating the
show has been a learning experience.
"We're trying to spread the message that this campus could come together as a family. We can work as one. In the end it doesn't matter whether we're Asian, African, Hispanic, or European; it doesn't matter. On this campus, we're all Tigers, and in this world, we are all human," Brookes said.
The show will be hosted by the African Student Association and feature more than 10 registered
student organizations, such as the Black Student Association, Hispanic Student Association, Empowered Men of Color, and Chinese Student Association etc.
The fashion show will be free and open to the public.