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Upturn: MICA’s 30th Annual Benefit Fashion Show

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It has been 30 years since MICA’s Annual Benefit Fashion Show (ABFS) began as a Black Student Union program. According to MICA, the fashion show was created by Dr. Frankie Martin and initially designed to highlight students’ creativity and artistry of the African diaspora who were often overlooked. Since then, ABFS has encompassed larger diversity and inclusion initiatives and is one of the year’s most anticipated events on campus. Every year, the ABFS brings together a community of diverse majors, identities, and ethnicities into one dynamic event.

This year the ABFS is themed around the idea of “Upturn.” This year, the milestone event asks timely questions: What is the artist’s responsibility to their audience? When there is social unrest and dissent, how can art serve and save? (should it have to?) How can it hurt? The Upturn show calls upon the artist, and therefore the audience, to question their relationship with society– and ultimately, with themselves. This is not easy, nor is it comfortable.

According to ABFS, “Art serves as a material reflection of the human experience, from various abstract, individual, collective and cultural perspectives. OCI offers this show as a space to use your perspective to answer this question, to have difficult conversations, bravely. Upturn is a call to action and a reminder that your voice matters–and so does your action.”

Participating Student Designers: Hyphae-nate (Anaitza Brown, Austin Chia), Cat’s Cradle (Quinn Spence), Collide; Reform (Olivia Zheng, Nikki Zhao), remember how it felt (Sasha Kramer), Fear of the Feminine (Kai Nunnally), stain of you (Solli Kim), Just Clownin’ Around (Cedar Clark, Rachel Glen), and Veiled (Mahnoor Chaudry).

Photos by Andrew James Wies.

Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Lawryn Johnson
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Jean Williams
Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Ryan Brown
Designer: Kai Nunnally
Designers: Cedar Clark and Rachel Glen Model: Nicolai Stevenson
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Dorothy Sneed
Designers: Cedar Clark and Rachel Glen Model: Chidinma Dureke
Designers: Quinn Spence and Kai Nunnally
Designer: Quinn Spence Models: Rey Reyes, Sofia Klimkowski Arango
Designer: Quinn Spence Model: Tom Woronowicz
Designer: Quinn Spence Model: Daniella Rodriguez
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Elizabeth Skates
Designers: Cedar Clark and Rachel Glen Model: Gabriella Caba
Designer: Quinn Spence
Designer: Kai Nunnally
Designers: Solli Kim Model: Chloe Qian
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Elizabeth Skates
Designer: Quinn Spence Model: Daniela Rodriguez
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Jean Williams
Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Karizma Baker-Upshaw
Designer: Sasha Kramer Models: Sebastian Latiff, Dreya Ramos
Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Sofie Jarrett
Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Sofie Jarrett
Designer: Austin Chia and Anaitza Brown Model: Elizabeth Skates
Designer: Kai Nunnally Model: Ryan Brown
Designer: Mahnoor Chaudhry Models: Neeran Chaudhry, Jackie Bolanos, Rida Yawar, Johana Kim, Zinnira Chaudhry
Designer: Mahnoor Chaudhry Model: Johana Kim
Designer: Mahnoor Chaudhry Models: Neeran Chaudhry, Jackie Bolanos, Rida Yawar, Johana Kim, Zinnira Chaudhry
Designer: Nikki Zhao and Olivia Zheng Model: Nona Ghimpau
Designer: Sasha Kramer Model: Sebastian Latiff
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