BSU fashion show celebrates black culture

Addie Beach and Lilly Young

Decked in sleek jackets and rainbows of silky prints, models twirled hips, did splits and circled each other to thudding beats. Behind them, an array of African flags is lit in soft pinks and purples.

The hosts interject just long enough to engage the dancing audience in “Black Panther” references, jokes and cheers for everyone on stage.

The annual Black Student Union fashion show took place this past Saturday, Feb. 24.

The fashion show featured the creative work of four black-owned companies and A2TV, a local dance group that blends traditional African music with Western pop and hip-hop, according to the BSU Facebook page.

For BSU vice president and sophomore Mwai Nyamu, the focus was on students, who ran the event and modeled.

“This is basically putting on display for the wider UVM community a black-run event here on campus,” Nyamu said. The reason BSU chose a fashion show, he added, is for the fun built into the event.

The theme of this year’s show was “For the Culture.”

Nyamu said the event aimed to highlight “heritage and cultural ancestry.”

First-year Emma Bruseo said she thought the event was important because of its focus on black culture.

“It’s incredibly underrepresented in the media and society as a whole,” she said. “I think it’s important that we are celebrating it and giving it the representation it deserves.”

Bruseo said the fashion show was radically different from anything she had ever seen before.

Senior Fabian Gonzalez agreed. “I love seeing black culture and my friends doing magic things,” he said.

Lili Traviato

Events like this are especially important, he said. “Not just to embrace black culture but to expose black culture to more people at UVM, since there is such a lack of diversity.”

Some students said the show’s format was what made it successful.

“I think it’s great that the school holds an event that acts as an outlet for so many students’ creativity and diversity,” first-year Kayley Noterman added.

Most of the students, however, found joy in the spirit of the event itself.

“It’s really great that people from the school and community are all here supporting the event,” first-year Lynnsey Trabka said. “Tonight’s a celebration.”
Lili Traviato