‘Flawless’ models walk the runway to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis

Sarah Blei

Exquisite Inc. hosts show and donates all proceeds

WATCH a video from the fashion show.

WATCH an interview with Jena Paisley, the face behind the fashion show.

VIEW photos from the event.

Glamorous fashions, stilettos and vibrant makeup filled the Student Center Ballroom for the “Flawless” fashion show put on by Exquisite Inc. Modeling Troupe to benefit people with multiple sclerosis.

“I have MS, so I wanted to do something that will help out my cause and help out others in my community, as well,” said Jena Paisley, sophomore family consumer science major and president of Exquisite Inc.

Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system and results in loss of muscle control, vision, balance and sensation.

Exquisite Inc. is a fairly new student organization, and “Flawless” was its first fashion show. The show’s theme sprung from the motto, “We’re not just models, we’re role models.”

“We are basically founded around the fundamentals of self-esteem, self-awareness and positive self-image,” Paisley said. “We use the art of modeling to exhibit that.”

March is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Paisley’s group donated all proceeds from “Flawless” to the Kym Sellers Foundation for research, education and support for people in Northeast Ohio affected with multiple sclerosis.

Kym Sellers, radio host of “Quiet Storm” on 93.1, hosted the event. She is also affected with MS.

“This may be a fashion show, but this fashion show has a purpose,” Sellers said.

Model Lindsay Carter, freshman bachelor of science major, explained the ideals behind Exquisite Inc.

“This isn’t supposed to be the skinny, tall model. It is supposed to be individuals, showing themselves and showing that you don’t need to be stick skinny to be accepted,” Carter said. “If you feel comfortable with yourself, then that is all that should matter.”

Paisley reflected on her battle with multiple sclerosis and what she fears for her future.

“The most devastating factor for me is not being able to walk and not being able to chase my kids and do other things my mother did with me,” Paisley continued. “So we are going to walk for them in the show, and that’s where the idea came from.”

Ebony Taylor, freshman biology major and model in the show, said she felt good about being involved with something that will help others.

“Being in this one and knowing that it is for a good cause makes me feel a lot better about it,” she said. “I’m having fun and doing it for a good cause.”

The clothing strutted down the runway represented each model’s personal fashion sense. They show an array of looks for different scenes.

“We bought our own clothes from various places, such as Forever 21, Wet Seal, Charlotte Russe and shoes from all over,” Paisley said. “We wanted to get stuff that people could actually go out and buy.”

Contact School of Fashion Design and Merchandising reporter Sarah Blei at [email protected]/