student at fashion show

Student-led Fashion Week to celebrate 10th anniversary

March 20 is the kick off for HRSM Week 2017, a showcase of events dedicated to hospitality, retail, sport and entertainment management. Hosted by the University of South Carolina’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, the week includes fashion shows, guest lectures, industry engagement and national conferences.

The week’s main events include the Department of Sport and Entertainment Management’s SEVT Conference and the USC Fashion Board’s 10th annual Fashion Week. 

Famed designer Coco Chanel said “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” The members of the University of South Carolina’s Fashion Board agree and plan to put her words into action.

Kat Kinslow, this year’s director of public relations for Fashion Board, says the 10th annual Fashion Week will be “one for the books.”

The turnout for volunteers and models has been astounding. We’ve never seen so many wanting to get involved.

Kat Kinslow, student director of public relations for Fashion Board

Monday starts with a free kickoff event at Davis Field. The entire USC community is invited to stop by from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. for snacks, photo opportunities and lots of swag from Express. The opening is the most elaborate in Fashion Week history.

“We decided to make kickoff an actual event and pair with Express to be able to give away amazing prizes,” Kinslow says.

The two biggest Fashion Week events are set for Wednesday and Thursday at 701 Whaley. The future of fashion will be on display Wednesday starting at 7 p.m. in the Student Designer Showcase. Students will show off their collections for judges in a live mannequin format as guests ($5 or free with valid Carolina Card) shop vendor tables and enjoy refreshments while admiring the clothes.

Partnerships with local businesses are a big part of Fashion Week, and they take center stage Thursday, as boutiques and other retailers put their spring collections on display on the Fashion Week Finale Show, starting at 7 p.m. at 701 Whaley.

“The turnout for volunteers and models has been astounding,” Kinslow says. “We’ve never seen so many wanting to get involved.” Students will serve as models for the finale show, which also will include a silent auction and will wrap up with the awarding of scholarships to outstanding Fashion Board members.

Friday, once the shows are done, it will be time for all to focus on shopping, as the Fashion Board invites the community to join in a Boutique Crawl from 1 to 5 p.m. Columbia retailers including Bohemian, Entourage, Ivy & Leo, Just the Thing, Petal, Vestique and Wildflower will offer discounts, and there will be one last chance to be a Fashion Week winner thanks to a social media giveaway.

“We added the Boutique Crawl to support the community and passion for shopping,” Kinslow says.

HRSM Week also includes the SEVT Conference, a guest seminar on sustainable tourism and Target Day, which features class visits, career workshops and seminars from the major retail chain.

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