The Black Student Union (BSU) hosted its annual Homecoming fashion show on Friday night in the Mandela Room. This year’s show was titled “Black Label: the Industry,” and focused on the sound and artistry of black-owned record labels.
“What we are trying to do is represent the different record labels throughout time. So we’re going to be selecting scenes and music from each of those time periods, and fashion from all of those time periods as well,” said Legan Bayombo, the treasurer of BSU and a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering.
Bad Boy Records, G-Unit, GOOD MUSIC, Young Money Entertainment and Roc Nation Records were the featured labels. Each scene featured a mashup of songs from its designated label, coupled with a clothing line with similar vibes.
The scenes for Bad Boy Records and G-Unit both opened with a group of male dancers that helped set the tone for the era of music the audience was about to experience. In addition, musical performances by New York-based artists Niko Brim and D’Andre Smith added to the musical theme of the night.
Designers Sade and Shaniya displayed their lines to the tunes of Bad Boy Records. The label was founded by Diddy, born Sean Combs, in 1993. The lingerie-inspired looks matched well with Bad Boy’s ‘90s sound.
The first piece down the runway was a slouchy, black satin two-piece outfit that consisted of a long-sleeved, low V-neck crop top with baggy sleeves that synched in at the wrists, with matching harem pants. This Rihanna-esque look set the tone for the rest of the line. The looks played with sultry fabrics such as satin, velvet and feathers, which complemented the boudoir feel of the line.
Common colors of white, black, red and royal blue also added to the strong sense of cohesion.
The clothing line SINA, designed by Malik Ashbourne and Patro Lawrence, was paired well with the music of Kanye West’s GOOD MUSIC, as the line had very strong Yeezy vibes at a more practical and accessible level. This streetwear line featured T-shirts, sweatshirts and outerwear with deliberate rips and bleach stains. There were also tattered baseball caps and oversized safety pins on the backs. Many of the pieces featured a signature graphic design of a cursive S donning a crown.
In addition to having clothing with similar vibes to that of West, the way designers Ashbourne and Lawrence chose to send their models down the runway was similar to the Yeezy fashion shows in that the models stood in single-file lines. What was different about their take on this format is that this was done with only two lines of male models.
The female models were still able to take a traditional strut down the runway, but once they reached the end of the runway, they met up with the male model in the front of the line. While the female model returned down the runway, the male model would go to the back of the line.
Jessica Brown, a freshman majoring in chemistry, enjoyed her time.
“Even before the show, there was such a positive energy and everybody was just having a good time,” Brown said. “Once the show started, all the energy went up and it was a fun time seeing everybody modeling and dancing in between [scenes].”
Yacten, another streetwear line, made its way down the runway to the songs of G-Unit. Although the line also featured a lot of graphic designs, it lacked that sense of originality and style exuded by SINA.
Designers DeSeanna Morgan and Dorshelle Guillaume were featured in the Young Money Entertainment and Roc Nation Records scenes, respectively. The designs of Morgan started off as very sleek, with long duster coats and dresses in neutral colors like black, tan, white and a dusty blue. It then took a turn with clothing involving gold sequins and red lace. Guillame’s first look was a floor-length, sheer dress with a gold sequin design. After these looks, the line fell flat with a juvenile evening-wear vibe. The lack of continuity in the looks of these last two designers was distracting.
Amanda Harris, the then-social cultural coordinator of BSU and a junior majoring in human development, spent weeks planning the show and was happy with the outcome.
“I was very proud of the fashion show,” Harris said. “There was a lot of hard work, a lot of tears and sweat and praying to God that everything went as planned. It was definitely a successful night and if I was given the choice to change anything about it, I wouldn’t.”