The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

POSE: The Fashion Show showcases the power of fashion as a reflection of identity

April 3, 2022

On Saturday, April 2, the Student Union ballroom was imbued with confidence and cheer as the African Student Union hosted POSE: The Fashion Show, celebrating African culture, fashion and local designers. 

The night commenced with cocktail hour, with attendees sampling traditional African food and drink as the models prepared to walk the stage. 

The atmosphere was one that cherished origin and tradition as well as self-expression. Vibrant colors and ornate patterns were donned by many of the attendees, a staple of African fashion. Students in attendance were dressed to impress, wearing their most fashionable attire to honor the occasion. 

For each designer, models trotted the stage one by one, showcasing their work as music played and the crowd applauded in support.

The show featured the various works of local fashion designers and vendors– Colourfro, Royal Wear, Culture Couture and Priceless Courage – that encourage cultural pride and self-confidence through their designs. 

“I just like fashion and making people feel good,” said NKU student and Royal Wear designer Ngozi Usani. 

Usani works with her father to have her clothes manufactured internationally, designing the clothes locally and sending the designs to Nigeria to be produced, then consigned to the U.S.

For the designers featured in the show, the event was an opportunity to share their culturally meaningful work. 

“We want to share the love of Africa with fashion and accessories and basically give a different view of what the world and everybody else has,” said Augustine Osei, co-founder and CEO of Colourfro. 

In between each designer’s set were various performances by members of the African Student Union, as well as a flagshow that enshrined the flags of community member’s origins while they reveled across the stage. 

African Student Union president Eunice Yankson delivered a powerful spoken rendition of an original poem titled “Manifest Destiny,” calling for solidarity and resistance to unjust exploitation imposed on Africa’s people and resources. 

NKU student Tayshawn Elliot performed a remarkable rendition of the song “Stand Up,” originally by Cynthia Erivo. 

Lastly, the ASU Dance Team performed a group choreograph to conclude the performances.

The night’s festivities shined a spotlight on African culture that is flourishing in our diverse communities.

“We don’t get to see or have the opportunity to buy African folk stuff like that. It’s not easy to walk into Macy’s or any other store and get African clothes,” Meshaki Mushangwe. 

To close the night Yankson gathered with the event’s executive board on stage to emphasize the importance and privilege of engaging with campus-life. After being barred from organizing events the previous two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yankson said producing an event to get people engaged and aware of their presence on campus was overdue. 

“NKU student engagements don’t exist without students engaging,” Yankon said. “This is us. All of it.”

POSE: The Fashion Show was a showcase of not only local and traditional African fashion, but also of the astounding talent and concerted effort that tied the event together.

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