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As they get ready to rock the spring 2022 fashion show, students in the Fashion Merchandising Association are finishing up their final touches. They also touch up their hair and make final photo edits.
FMA has been hosting biannual fashion shows at Texas State for over five years. The show’s head coordinator, videographers, photographers, and models are all part of FMA. More than 80 students took part in the show this semester and have worked hard since January to bring their creations onto the runway.
Natalie Ryan, a senior in photography, has been hard at work planning the spring show. She secured the venue, booked catering, coordinated photo shoot schedules, and accepted applications to be part of it. She is now the fashion show coordinator for her second semester. Although it has been stressful, she loves every minute of it.
“I just like working with so many different people that I never would have met if it hadn’t been for the show. [I’ve met] so many awesome models, so many really cool photographers, and makeup people and stylists and designers. I just love seeing handmade clothes. I love seeing what they come up with every semester because it’s so different,” Ryan said. “I just love that everything is by students. It’s all student-run. It’s so cool to see.”
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Ryan started as a fashion photographer for last spring’s show. It was then that Ryan became interested in managing the show for the remainder of her Texas State time. Since she became the show’s head coordinator, she has introduced new aspects to the show’s operation, including photo shoots that designers or models can use for portfolio material or memorabilia.
Ryan shared her sadness as she prepares for her May graduation.
“It is so bittersweet. I love the fashion show so much and I’m really sad. It’s gonna be my last one, but it makes me want to make this like the best one,” Ryan said.
The designers for this semester will use their unique styles and techniques to fill the runway in bright, summery colors. You will see crocheted, thrifted and upcycled pieces as well as handmade pieces.
Lucy Pietsch, a senior in fashion merchandising and one of the show’s designers, will be displaying five upcycled pieces and selling some of her previous creations from her Depop shop. LKPDESIGN.
Pietsch was always interested fashion, but became more involved in high school when he competed in competitions for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, a non-profit Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO), for middle and high school students who were enrolled in consumer and family sciences courses.
Pietsch was inspired by sustainable fashion when she recycled and redesigned clothing made from soda boxes and paper plates. For the fashion show, inspired by childhood toys like Polly Pockets, she wanted to make pieces based on colors she hasn’t used before from thrifted fabric or clothes she already owned.
“I like expressing my creativity [while] also doing something that’s like sustainable related [since] I’ve always been into a lot of sustainability stuff,” Pietsch said. “It was just fun getting to do this in college because I remember freshman year and my sophomore year, I was in FMA but I just never really had the courage to actually do a collection because I was like, ‘I can’t do that. I [hot glue] dresses and like [staple] stuff,’ But then I just was like, ‘I’m just gonna do it,’ and I did it.”
Pietsch plans to continue her career in fashion after she graduates. She will intern at Nordstrom in Seattle.
Big Kid Vintage was started by Sean Lukic, a freshman manufacturing engineer, and his brother, in 2018. They started thrifting in 2010 to save money, not to be trendy. Lukic says that his business has helped his family since he started it in 2010. He also enjoys being able spend and make his own money.
“I didn’t expect it to turn until what it has. I didn’t expect it to make the impact it’s made on me. For me, it was always just like something that was there,”Lukic said. “But then I realized, unknowingly, [that it] relieved a burden from my parents because…we were able to earn this money it’s like one less thing that you have to worry about.”
Lukic and his brother started thrifting, selling their clothes on eBay. Poshmark also allowed them to sell their clothes. They have since opened several pop-up shops in Austin. Big Kid Vintage has a collection of vintage clothes for women and men in styles that span the 1960s to early 2000s. Lukic will be selling more than 75 items at the show.
Lukic and his brother are inspired to continue growing their small business by meeting new people and creating an inclusive market that is open to all shapes and sizes.
Lukic’s peer mentor, a member of FMA, suggested that he apply for Big Kid Vintage as a retailer at the fashion event. Lukic enjoyed the creative work and fun of putting together the show. He is eager to meet new people who share his love of clothing.
“I just really like being around creative people. I feel like I’ve only done half of everything that’s gonna happen,”Lukic said. “I’m really excited about the show. I feel like I’m going to be able to meet more Texas State people, more people are going to be able to know about like, my personal interest.”
The fashion show will be held in the LBJ Ballroom from 6-9 p.m. on April 30. Tickets are available for purchase until the day before the show. General admission tickets start at $15. VIP tickets start at $20. VIP seating includes VIP seating, a tote bag filled with FMA merchandise, and other goodies.
You can purchase tickets to the fashion event by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ss22-fma-fashion-show-tickets-313137401397.
Editor’s Note – Natalie Ryan is also part of The University Star.