‘Condom’ Couture is more than fashion


Three models pose for the crowd at the third annual “Condom Couture” fashion show Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014.

Joy TaMar Moorer

How many condoms does it take to dress a model? That isn’t a question one would normally ask when thinking about clothing or a fashion show, but it was answered nonetheless during the show hosted by Face AIDS on Tuesday. Christopher Woods, a senior magazine journalism major who emceed the event, announced that designers used between 250 and 300 various colored condoms depending on the creations.

Face AIDS partnered with the Kent Interhall Council to be a part of Kent State’s Sex Week. The third annual event took place in Bowman Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 28, and featured models dressed in condom-covered clothes.

But the event was about more than the shocking, yet creative, designs. The goal was to raise awareness about safe sex and creatively support a cause that the organization champions. Students paid $7 to attend the fashion show, and the proceeds raised will go toward those dealing with AIDS in Rwanda. 

Felicia Reese, a senior public health major and president of Face AIDS, said the event meant more than being a part of Kent State’s Sex Week. 

“We raise awareness,” Reese said. “We work with the Health Center here on campus and promote HIV testing, safe sex and things like that. We pass out condoms wherever we are. (But) we took this event from a different chapter at another school and made it our own.” 

The organization took this concept and added other performances into the show, and allowed the designers to compete against each other for a first place prize. In addition to having condoms for people to take with them, they also had a raffle where those attending could win various gift baskets during the course of the event. T-shirts with this year’s theme, “Lets Get Sweaty,” were available for purchase. Attendees were also treated to refreshments with the theme of the show in mind. 

Reese said it wasn’t easy getting everything together.  

“Its a lot of back in forth,” she said. “They constantly needed more condoms because we start them off with a certain amount and (after that) they can keep coming back for more. So if they said, ‘I need more condoms,’ we had to find out what time to meet to get those to them between classes. So it was stressful.”

Besides getting the condoms to the designers, it wasn’t easy working with the condoms themselves. This was an issue Ta’Shay Lett, a senior fashion merchandising major, had while designing her piece for the show. It was her first time participating in a fashion event. Lett’s design, which was one of nine other pieces, won the competition. 

“It was a learning experience,” she said. “I didn’t know how I was going to attach the condoms to the garment, but everything worked out.” 

Lett said she put a lot of work into her piece. She stayed up late to complete it, putting in extra hours when she had difficulty. 

“It took me 30 hours. It took me a long time to put this outfit together,” Lett said. “Some nights saying up until 5 a.m. and I didn’t finish it until 5 p.m. today because I ran into difficulties with the design.”

Contact Joy TaMar Moorer at [email protected].