Modista is for fashionistas

Regina Garcia Cano

New group encourages minority fashion students

Minority students in the school of fashion design and merchandising have a new support group in their path to graduation – Modista: Minority Fashion Group.

“(The group) is open to everybody, but it does focus on fashion design and fashion merchandising majors of color,” Modista President Shanetta Dorsey said.

Thomas Cavin, Modista student liaison and organizational chair, said the main goal of the organization is retention, graduation and placement of minorities in internship opportunities.

Dorsey said Modista is not trying to imitate the Fashion Student Organization, which is another group students in fashion programs can join.

“We’re here to help each other out, just to make sure that everyone makes it to their final fashion show,” Dorsey said. “We’re just trying to be a support system for those in the fashion majors.”

Dorsey said many students drop out of the fashion programs because they feel they are not supported.

“I can count with my hand how many professors of color are in the (fashion) building, and sometimes you need the extra help, and you need a familiar face to help you out,” Dorsey said. “Not to say that there are teachers here who haven’t helped me. but I feel a little bit more at home with somebody who can understand what I am going through on a day-to-day basis by being a minority on this campus.”

As part of its programs, Modista offers free tutoring in sewing skills, fabrics knowledge and general concepts of fashion every Tuesday.

Cavin said the organization will try to have either instructors or professors present during tutoring times.

Members of Modista will attend a preview of BCBG’s Fall collection on Sept. 21 in Pittsburgh. Dorsey said this will be a great chance for students to meet people in the fashion industry for future internship opportunities.

Modista’s next meeting is at 7 p.m. today in Room 231 of Rockwell Hall.

Contact minority affairs reporter Regina Garcia Cano at [email protected].