UNCHAINED fashion show educates, entertains

Katie Rush

This season’s style is UNCHAINED.

Kent State Stark hosted non-profit organization UNCHAINED’s art fashion show Monday in the conference center on campus.

UNCHAINED is an organization devoted to increasing awareness and providing prevention for human sex trafficking in nearby cities, states and the nation.  

“We were delighted to partner with the UNCHAINED fashion team in an effort to educate our community about one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises we face,” said Denise Seachrist, dean and chief administrative officer.

According to UNCHAINED’s website, human sex trafficking is an estimated $32 billion industry, with children under the age of 18 as the largest group of victims. Recent estimates sight the number of people enslaved today as approximately 27 million.

“The goal of the show is for the Canton community to be aware that human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” said UNCHAINED co-producer Stephanie Catani in a press release. “(The community) can be part of the solution by educating themselves and becoming advocates for ending this crime.”

Catani and administrative director Felicia Kalan designed the show in a three part series, depicting the stages victims experience. The stages innocence, violation and restoration were portrayed through artful fashion, makeup and hair.

Show manager Lara Ray narrated each part and led the audience through the victim’s experience.

The first stage, innocence, showed lively, energetic models strutting down the catwalk wearing bright colors and smiling.

As the models walked out, their happiness faded and the narrator read, “No longer young, no longer sacred, innocence taken at the age of five.”

The next stage, violation, turned the room dark with its music and fashion. The models walked slowly down the catwalk, their hair tousled and their makeup smudged.

The room darkened as the narrator read, “Complete captivity, she is owned, chained and torture in all of the worst ways.”

Finally, the models entered the catwalk restored. The fashion was then lively and warm, printed with exciting designs and paired with strong faces.  

The narrator read, “Rescue breathes life into things that were forgotten, rescue is now, rescue is us.”

The show concluded with hope, power and strength, with the intention of leaving the audience feeling motivated to make a positive impact.

UNCHAINED has partnered with clothing store The Limited to create bracelets engraved with, “Innocence, Violation, Restoration.” All proceeds are donated to UNCHAINED’s scholarship fund, which will be awarded for the first time in Spring 2016 to a survivor of sex-trafficking.

For more information about UNCHAINED, visit their website: unchainedfashionshow.com.

Katie Rush is the regionals/commuter reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].