Fashion Students Association, USG sport pink for breast cancer

Ryan D. Gilliam, Reporter

Fashion week may have come and gone, but the fashion designers of Buffalo are just warming up to share their new fall and winter designs.

SUNY Buffalo State’s Fashion Students Association has been making moves via Twitter, announcing open calls for designers to feature in its upcoming show and models to showcase the designers’ clothing on the runway.

This semester’s show is entitled “Pink the Runway Pink” in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and will take place on Oct. 19. It will follow the “50 Shades of Pink” gala. The fundraiser collaboratively thought-up by FSA and the United Students Government to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation is known for specializing in funding breast cancer research.

FSA President Tia Gadson informed everyone in attendance on the second day of modeling calls that those chosen to participate “must have some practice and must attend all practices twice a week on Friday and Saturday.” As precise and stern as Gadson may have seemed during the two weeks of recruiting, she said that she wants the event to be “fun and not so serious” for all those involved.

Those who participated in the designer calls on Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 were asked to incorporate pink and white into their clothing designs in order to promote breast cancer awareness.

The task has proven to be a challenge for returning designer Latoya Mendez, creator of Sex to Grunge.
“Sex to Grunge was inspired by a past relationship I had. How I gave myself to somebody and forgot who I was and I lost myself completely after that relationship,” Mendez said while explaining her first collection that she has featured in all ten of her shows in the past year.

The fairly new designer hopes to be able to add lighter colors for FSA and USG’s upcoming fashion show in her newest line Born Rose – consisting of ten pieces so far.

“Born Rose is coming from the grit, which is concrete, into growing into a flower. And I think I’ve grown from Sex to Grunge to Born Rose and I just want everybody to be a part of my inner rose,” Mendez reflected.

The Dominican and Hungarian fashionista is “always nervous” because of her desire to make a big impression. She admits to generally looking for models who are short and grungy with distinct personalities.

Models who have worked with Mendez previously will assist her in finding more models during her personal model call. Those dressed in the Born Rose line can also look forward to an extra day of practice a week.

Buffalo native Chase Cobbina, co-founder of MCMXC$ :: The Clinton Era, is also familiar to the design scene at SUNY Buffalo State.

Focusing on perfecting local street wear, Cobbina has presented designs such as “The Practice Jersey” from his MCMXC line and plans to reveal “The Main Event Jersey” during Pink the Runway Pink.

“We’re just going to do this sensual yet tough. Because as women who have to fight breast cancer, or who don’t have it but are fighting for the cure for breast cancer, you have to remain this toughness. So, with this fashion show, we want to mix it. Sensual and tough,” the enthused designer said before hinting that the event-goers should expect vests similar to the style of those in the 1996 film “Set It Off.”

Cobbina will reveal his side project Rare Heir, which will be a line separate from those he creates with his partners of MCMXC, childhood friend Kenny Farley and Byron Brown Jr.

Mendez and Cobbina plan to collaborate for the African American Students Organization’s fashion show in November – as well as University at Buffalo’s upcoming fall fashion show.

According to USG Vice President Emily Leminger, the main goal is to raise awareness of breast cancer – a goal Gadson completely shares.

“FSA is known for their fashion shows and it is sure to be a good turnout,” Leminger confidently stated.

FSA and USG will be tabling with pink ribbons and cupcakes for a dollar each during the weeks prior to FSA’s cancer walk on Oct. 18. Proceeds from tabling and the raffle held during 50 Shades of Pink will also go to the Susan G. Komen foundation.