As the semester winds down to an end, student models, designers, stylists and artists of Texas State's Fashion Merchandising Association (FMA) are preparing to take part in their first in-person fashion show since the pandemic on Nov. 14.
FMA is a student organization that brings together students who are passionate about fashion and focuses on developing creative and business-oriented insight into the industry. Many of the members in FMA are fashion merchandising majors, however, all majors are welcome to join.
Each semester, FMA hosts a fashion show run entirely by Texas State students. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FMA has been holding virtual shows since fall 2020.
One of the biggest differences between the virtual fashion shows and the upcoming in-person fashion show will be the walking of models on a runway. Previously, FMA showcased their models through video and photo compilations created by photographers and videographers.
Natalie Ryan, a photography senior, is the fashion show coordinator for FMA. Ryan joined FMA as a photographer for the spring 2021 virtual fashion show. After that show, she applied for the fashion show coordinator role and was elected for the 2021-22 school year. Ryan said she is excited to showcase different artists in this year's show.
“Fashion is art,” Ryan said. “I think it’s super cool and super fun to experience a fashion show, especially when it’s being put on by only students. Just for people to see that either you can make your own clothes, or you can get original clothes and original designs from local people, and you don’t always have to go to a store. You can support other students.”
For some of the models included in the show, it will be their first time walking a runway and modeling in front of a live audience. To train new models, FMA held several meetings to help models with their walks and poses ahead of the show. Models and stylists attended sessions where they could curate outfits from San Marcos retailers like Monkies and Pitaya. Designers were also able to pick out different locations for photoshoots to accompany their clothing.
Alexis “Lexi” Chavez, a business junior, has been volunteering for the fashion show since her freshman year and is contributing to this year's show as a model and makeup artist. Initially being a makeup artist exclusively for FMA, Chavez later decided to become a model for a virtual fashion show. She said while she will miss the comfortability of walking in a virtual show, she is excited to see what walking in person will be like.
“It was really comforting to have it online and virtual because I was very reserved and kind of shy,” Chavez said. “So, it kind of prepared me for an in-person show for this year. I’m glad I got that opportunity to do it just virtually. [The fashion show] is definitely going to be different, but I’m really excited about it.”
One part of the show and of FMA that students appreciate is the diversity in models, designers and stylists. In August, FMA encouraged students with varying levels of experience and backgrounds to apply to be stylists, models, designers, photographers, videographers and makeup artists for the show.
Schuyler Hayes, a fashion merchandising senior, is one of the stylists for this semester's show after being a model in previous shows. Hayes said she's glad to work with a diverse group to showcase all the talent Texas State has to offer.
“I think it makes the show a lot more interesting to have people, like, different colors and different sizes and sexualities,” Hayes said. “I guess you could say [the diversity] just adds more spice to the show. I also feel like it makes it more real, because we are all students at Texas State, and we all look different. I feel like it makes more sense to have the group of models that actually represent the students of Texas State because that’s basically what the fashion show is about, showing off Texas State talent and our love of fashion.”
Toward the end of the show, attendees will be able to purchase clothing from designers whose clothing is featured in the show.
Jacob Montoya, a drawing senior, is a designer for the fashion show and has been a part of it for three years. Montoya is also the co-owner of the street style design collective Bad Design Co. alongside Isaac Torres. Together they have grown Bad Design Co., designing and printing their clothes and selling at The Unknown Concept in San Marcos. Montoya said he is happy to have the opportunity to have his designs showcased on a diverse group of models.
“I like [the diversity] a lot,” Montoya said. “I think it really fits the spirit of what we do … we’re very genuine in what we do and we’re big fans of diversity and all of that. We also got to pick the models, so we tried to strive for a nice diverse crew of people to show off our apparel.”
The fashion show will take place from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 14 in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. Tickets to the fashion show are currently available for purchase online. Ryan encourages people to come to the show and support all of the hard work that’s been put into the show.
Editor's Note: Natalie Ryan is also a member of The University Star.