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Models show off African ‘threads’ to hundreds in Mandela Room

The Mandela Room was reserved Saturday for a night of culture, music, and most of all fashion.

Slide Show
Franz Lino/Staff Photographer Students participate in a fashion show connecting African culture from the past and the present in the Mandela Room Friday evening. Members of the African Student Organization, which hosted the event, said they wanted to showcase African fashion to Binghamton University students.

The African Student Organization (ASO) put on a fashion show connecting African culture from the past and the present in the Mandela Room. Members of ASO said they wanted to showcase African fashion to Binghamton University students.

“It’s the African Student Organization, it’s different from any other fashion show or banquet other groups bring to the stage,” said Shaquille Dunbar, a senior majoring in psychology who had previously attended fashion events as a photographer.

Lydia Amoa-Owusu, a junior majoring in mathematics, performed at the fashion show in a dance group with three other people.

“Fashion is important because it’s a form of self-expression,” said Amoa-Owusu. “A lot of people have different ideas and express themselves in different ways. When you see somebody you see their physical feature first, so it’s important.”

The group danced to African music called Azonto, which originates from the Western African country of Ghana.

“Africa as a whole has so many different bits and pieces to it, so we try to bring that all together within the fashion to show Binghamton University,” said Mallam Abdulahi Osman, the public relations chair for ASO and a junior majoring in political science.

According to Osman, the designers of the fashion show came from countries all over Africa, including Mali, Ghana and Nigeria, among others. The models, however, were mostly BU students.

“I like the creative part of it, I like to see what people come up with, what people think of. It’s always something new,” said Justine Huysman, a junior majoring in accounting.

The event, called “Threads of the Motherland: Alter Ego,” drew a crowd of about 250 students. Proceeds from ticket sales went to the charity Bridge2Rwanda.