A celebration through fashion

BSA hosts its annual fashion show to top off Black History Month events

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To celebrate Black History Month, Muhlenberg’s Black Students Association (BSA) hosted their annual fashion show on Feb. 23. The show is held to signify a celebration of cultural diversity through fashion. There were multiple categories for the fashion show including, “Rep your culture,” “Standin on business,” “Just you” and “Mr. Put it on.” These different categories provided multiple outlets for different fashion styles to be celebrated. “Rep your culture” was a category created for students to wear and showcase clothing and fashion that was expressive of the student’s cultural identity. “Just you” provided an opportunity for students to display and celebrate their own personal style. Along with these two categories that were surrounded around embracing personal identity and style, there were more strictly fashion-oriented categories, in “Standin on business,” which was adorning business attire, and “Mr. Put it on.” 

Quynh Do ‘25 said her favorite part of the show was the “Standin on business category” because “for a category that is so specific, the variety I saw was surprising. Some were dressed more serious and true to the business style but there were also those who were more casual. I thought this category was really unique, and for me, the most fun to watch.”  The fashion show provided food and drinks as well, along with the opportunity to have your own photo and video taken, making the event an all-around entertaining experience.  

The fashion show was open to all students of color for participation, in any category they chose. “Rep your culture” and “Just you” were both categories that allowed for more personal fashion expression in the show. Both categories had various students who were able to walk in attire that felt authentic to them, and they were met with animated cheers and claps from audience members. The show buzzed with excitement, where people had their phones out to record certain styles and to cheer on their friends and peers. Anna Hanley ‘25 said her favorite category was “Rep your culture” because “the crowd energy was the highest and just so supportive and uplifting of the models and the clothes they were wearing. It’s cool to be shown even a glimpse into someone’s background or identity and fashion is a great way to go about that.” 

Ibrahim Sidibeh ‘25, vice president for BSA spoke to the importance of hosting a fashion show in celebration for Black History Month saying, “The fashion show is a testament and expression of joy and beauty among the students of color at Muhlenberg. It provides a platform of self-expression, cultural celebration and empowerment for students of color.”

Hosting a fashion show to celebrate Black History Month is to celebrate not only how Black students and other students of color express themselves through fashion, but to also celebrate all the excellence the Black community has contributed to the fashion industry. The Black community has made a lasting impact on the fashion industry and many of the fashion trends we know of and subscribe to today, all the way from streetwear to what is considered high fashion. The role of the Black community in the fashion industry has been integral in forming the fashion we have become familiar with today. Shobha Pai ‘24 stated, “I hope we see more collaborations with BSA in the future with other affinity groups, such as African Students Organization (ASO), Communidad and Students Of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA), that highlight and celebrate Black culture.” 

Looking at streetwear, its origins are traced back to the Black urban neighborhoods in the 1980s, and now that very style is seen worn and adapted globally. Fashion has been known as a way to connect people from all different backgrounds, and to embrace difference and diversity through creative expression. The fashion show held up to these standards, providing students of color a space to celebrate their identities through styles they felt comfortable and empowered in, surrounded by peers there to cheer them on and uplift them, providing for a celebratory end to the month. 

“The reason why it is a closing event is because we wanted to end off the month with an expression of strength and joy, a goal that we share as a BSA to spread across campus.” Sidibeh continued. 

“I thought it was absolutely awesome,” said Alec Artis ‘26, who walked in the show. “I’ve walked a runway before, but the audience, having people there, that’s what really made it fun… an amazing memory.”

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