Kent State Museum hosts annual fashion show

Ashleigh Lentz models a piece from Susy Meis senior collection during Kent State Fashion Schools annual fashion show Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Ashleigh Lentz models a piece from Susy Mei’s senior collection during Kent State Fashion School’s annual fashion show Saturday, April 26, 2014.

Jake Green

Pulsing bass beats filled the air as models wearing Kent State’s senior designers’ collections walked a quarter-mile runway through the Kent State Museum’s expansive galleries Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.

About 1000 people filled six galleries of the museum for the three shows, the first time the annual show took place in the museum space.

Elizabeth Heibertshausen, public relations coordinator for the show and senior fashion merchandising major, said the reformatted studio-style show in the new space worked out well, despite some concern early on.

“Even though a lot of people were unsure of how the museum would work at first, I think it’s been a really nice and innovative way to display,” Heibertshausen said. “It’s how they do it in New York, and Kent State nailed it. Everyone has a front row seat, so people are getting more exposure to the garments.”

Senior fashion design major Ariel Pingault, whose collection was in the show, said she agrees that change in space was a good idea.

“To be able to combine the space of the museum with the school for one function, was interesting to see pan out so well,” Pingault said.

Pingault’s collection “Transition” was the only menswear collection to walk in the show. Pingault said she was inspired by Japanese religious beliefs about transforming into a ghost.

Sophomore fashion merchandising major Grant Herbruck modeled for Pingault’s collection, the second year he’s modeled in the fashion show.

“I love her collection,” he said. “It all goes very well together and looks great as well. The pants I’m wearing are made from bamboo fabric so they’re super comfy.”

Herbruck said he liked the new runway format instead of the stage like it was in previous years.

“It was nice to have the different rooms and actually be close to people,” he said. “It made for a different but pleasant experience.”

The seniors’ collections ranged from formal wear to lingerie and even winter sportswear.

Pam Bach, mother of a fashion merchandising major, said she appreciated the variety and the new show location.

“I liked the whole show better than last year’s,” Bach said. “There’s a great variety of tastes present and it’s so interesting to see it all up close.”

Saturday night’s show featured an award presentation where Tom Cole, former Macy’s Inc. CEO and Kent State alumnus, was inducted into the Fashion School’s Hall of Fame, and seniors were given awards for their collections.

Senior fashion design majors Jade Steger won the SUEDEsays award, Kaitlyn Dugan was awarded “Most Market Ready” and Jay Lewis took home the Best in Show honor and will compete in the Supima Design Competition during New York Fashion Week this September.

Pingault said it was an honor to be part of the show.

“To be chosen to be part of the show with so many talented seniors was such a great experience,” she said. “Seeing my collection was very exciting. Finally being a part of the show made the end of senior year even more enjoyable.”

To learn more about the Fashion School at Kent State, visit the website at

Contact Jake Green at [email protected].