Avant Fashion Show celebrates success

Francesca Barrett

The rooms filled with people, suddenly erupted into a wave of applause and models walked through the hallways one last time to the beat of the techno-electronic music. The show was coming to an end.

The Avant Fashion Show was in action at the Masonic Temple Sunday in Kent.

The entire show was completely student-funded and student-driven. The team of students achieved a dream they all had only envisioned a short time ago.

“The team came together quite organically, we were just a handful of friends who really wanted to do something that defines us, and elevated other people,” said Jag Ashcraft, a senior fashion design major. “We wanted to make sure that we could have something unorthodox and create something —regardless of your skill or your background — that if you want to put something out there with your voice or your message, we would create a platform like this to allow people to do so.”

Ashcraft explained that the Avant team created this idea in about a month, and the show was created to allow designers to be hands-on and show a true vision of their work.

“We didn’t plan ahead at all for the finances, it was more of a cost came along and if we knew it was important, like $100 or something for a venue that we needed, we would split it up between all of us,” Ashcraft said. “There was never a debate on the finance aspect of this whole thing because, we all had already sacrificed so much and believed in this so much, we were all already very willing to do anything.”

The idea of a context-free fashion show came with a cost.

“There were things that we had to pay for immediately, right then and there, and by doing so we still had no idea if this would be a success,” Ashcraft said.

But not all members of the Avant team were fashion oriented. Hana Barkowitz, a senior public relations major, was helping the Avant team in public relations for the show and assisted in general management for the team.

“I helped out with the organizational aspects of the show, I’m not a fashion person, I am friends with the whole team,” Barkowitz said. “But it worked out really well because all of these people that I’m working with are very creative — way more artistic than I will ever be — so I helped out with the management side of everything.”

Barkowitz stated that the finances to fund this show played a large role, especially since the entire show was completely student-funded.

“Money impacted the show in a huge way, because it was completely self-funded from students, besides donations of course, but every single part of it came from us,” Barkowitz said. “So, this aspect of the show was our biggest crutch, that if we didn’t reach our goal or didn’t have the funds, we didn’t know if we could go through with this.”

Barkowitz later shared that the Avant team expected around 100-150 people, but final count totaled over 180 people at the show.

“We all think this went really well, and we had no idea if this would turn out well until this day actually came and a large part of the show’s success was us working as one team and working together no matter what came in our way to make the show what is was; which was amazing,” Barkowitz said.

The team also received well over $800 in donations.

“Not that money isn’t an issue, but for us it wasn’t a priority,” Ashcraft said about the cost.

“This was one of the last things the seniors could do, so we were willing to throw everything we had into this.”

Francesca Barrett is the student finance reporter. Contact her at [email protected].