Carnival introduces Dress Up For Downs to campus

Rachel+Stine+and+Autumn+Barney+collect+money+from+students+at+their+Dress+Up+for+Downs+fundraising+event+at+Risman+Plaza%2C+Kent+State%2C+10%2F04%2F16

Rachel Stine and Autumn Barney collect money from students at their Dress Up for Downs fundraising event at Risman Plaza, Kent State, 10/04/16

Dominique Pishotti

Dress up for Downs raises money and awareness from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

Few clothing lines are made specifically to cater to individuals with Down syndrome.

Sarah Petit, a sophomore fashion design major, started Dress Up for Downs last semester to create clothing that was specifically made for those with Down syndrome.

“I want them to feel stylish,” Petit said.

The main event for the Dress Up for Downs organization is a fashion show scheduled for Nov. 19. The fashion show will have individuals with Down syndrome walk the runway in custom clothing created for their body types designed by Kent State fashion students.

In order to raise money for its big event, Dress Up for Downs hosted a carnival on Tuesday in Risman Plaza. It was originally set to take place as a Homecoming event, but was rescheduled due to rain.

The carnival had traditional games which could be played for a small amount of money. The prizes for each game were raffle tickets for students to win gift baskets with different themes.

One attendee of the carnival, Nicole Schnabel, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, said she loves what Dress Up for Downs stands for. Schnabel said she specifically loves that the organization is involving individuals with Down syndrome in the fashion world.

“It’s a great way for them to have fun and walk around and feel stylish,” Schnabel said.

Petit came up with the idea for Dress Up for Downs after being a part of a similar organization as a student at The Ohio State University. She said that when she transferred to Kent State, there were no groups that were like one she had been a member of, so she sent out an email to all her classes and to professors.

Petit gained interest in individuals with Down syndrome after being diagnosed with epilepsy when she was younger. After her diagnosis, Petit became curious about neurology, which sparked her interest in all disabilities.

“My goal is to make them feel as normal as possible,” Petit said, “because I know what it’s like to be a little different.”

Dominique Pishotti is the fashion reporter, contact her at [email protected]