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U of C students plan a fashion show in honour of International Women’s Day

By Sophia Lopez, March 7 2023

Two University of Calgary organizations teamed up to plan a fashion showcase and market happening on March 8 in Mac Hall in honour of International Women’s Day. The UCalgary Fashion Network (UCFN) and the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC) aim to highlight women and local fashion vendors at their event tomorrow, promoting diversity, inclusivity and sustainability in fashion. 

UCFN co-presidents Hanna Crisostomo and Natalie Ofukany say they’re really excited to bring back this club tradition that has been on pause since the pandemic.

“We’ve continued to put on events and continued to be very consistent with UCFN throughout COVID, so it’s relieving to finally have full freedom over putting on events again,” said Crisostomo. “It just worked out so perfectly that we got to partner with the WRC and we’re really grateful for that.”

Ofukany highlighted how they hope the event will put things back in motion for the club, as putting together the fashion show has been a big expectation for them.

“It isn’t on the same scale as was done before and it’s a little bit of a different setup from the past, but it is nice because UCFN has been known for the fashion show for so long — there’s big shoes to fill,” she said. 

Every year the fashion show would have a different theme, and this year’s theme is International Women’s Day while promoting inclusivity, diversity and sustainability in fashion. Regardless of the theme, Ofukany explains how this event is open to everyone.

“It’s not just clothes being sold and worn by feminine-presenting people,” said Ofukany. “It is an event for everybody.”

Project assistant at the WRC Maria Mora says that the theme of the fashion show this year is what really motivated the WRC to work with the UCFN. 

“We strive to promote equity, to build community and create a safe space for everyone,” she said. “Having the opportunity to partner with a club that has values that align with ours, that is looking for sustainable, gender-neutral fashion, is very exciting.”

From start to end, four local vendors will be present at the event and there will be two fashion shows throughout the day in the South Courtyard in Mac Hall, one at 11 a.m. and one at 2 p.m. The shows will showcase student work modelled by student volunteers.

“Our plan is more casual because it’s such a busy space, we wanted to do the showcase twice,” Ofukany explained. “It will be the same people modelling and the same looks, so if somebody has class at one time they can still check it out.”

Mora hopes that the event will bring more awareness to the WRC and the resources available for students on campus.

“Hopefully it means more clubs can get to know what we do, where we are located and that we are open to all kinds of events and collaborations,” she said. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about our space, thinking that it’s either just a crisis centre or it’s just available for women when we have so much more than just that.”

While the UCFN has been around for several years now, this year, Crisostomo explains how many of the executives that started in September were new to the club and that she’s really proud of all the work they’ve done to make this event a reality.

“Even though it’s been hectic at times, [the executives] definitely put in so much work and so much effort,” said Crisostomo. “I hope to see everybody out there in Mac Hall.”

Aside from the local vendors and fashion shows, the UCFN and the WRC will have a table promoting both of their organizations so students can learn more about them. A bin will also be available to drop off all types of clothing donations if people wish to do so, which will go towards a pay-what-you-can thrift store the UCFN is planning to hold later in the semester.

The International Women’s Day Fashion Showcase and Market is free and available for all students and the public to attend, and aside from the two fashion showcases, the event will be happening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow and will have a DJ present. 

To learn more about the four local vendors and any updates on the event, visit the UCFN Instagram page. To learn more about the WRC, visit the fourth floor of Mac Hall (MSC 482) or visit their Instagram page.

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