For those of us who are familiar with the UNT African Student Organization (ASO for short), a successful event is nothing out of the ordinary, but this time the org set a new standard with a fashion show featuring many different and dynastic styles of African and African American culture. The Haus of Royals fashion show showcased young designers from the Dallas area with a distinct vision for fashion of the future. The free event, hosted by Lisa Umeh on Thursday night in the Union Lyceum, featured a spirited night with dance teams, song performances, spoken word and giveaways.
Several designers embraced diversity in new and profound ways within society, however they rarely do it using women of color. ASO made a powerful statement sending models of color down the runway almost exclusively. Now as some of you may know, being a model isn’t as easy as everyone thinks it is. It’s not just about being beautiful, but also having the “look”, which entails an appearance that may not always be representative of the society we live in. The sooner we realize that all shapes, colors and backgrounds are a true representation of society, the better. The show was sure to include many women from different backgrounds, who all brought their own style and unique qualities to the original clothing shown throughout the night.
Haus of Royals was not limited to just females. Men were also hitting the runway to showcase the sponsored designer’s gear. The men of ASO took the runway to give us that special male ~eye candy~. While in the media we see a lot of male models with their shirts off and modeling underwear (not that we’re complaining), ASO gave us a different flare with men dressed in their native attire proudly proclaiming, “I’m African and proud.” Now that’s a statement.
The male models danced, strutted and smiled all with confidence down the runway, showing a growing side of fashion: trendy, affordable clothing for men that even the least fashion-forward guy could find appealing. From traditional garbs like dashikis to button-down shirts that work for every occasion, there was something for everyone.
As impressive as the event was, the crowd may have been the best part of the evening. They sang, danced and cheered on everyone who was involved, making sure that the entire show was electric and that energy kept the show going well over two hours. Participants from the crowd were even allowed to have a contest of their own with an impromptu fashion contest. With the audience willing to be a part of something to special, it’s no wonder how this event was able to be so big.
This event certainly set the bar very high for the ASO events that are yet to come. The fashion show not only supported local business owners with distinct fashion lines, but also showcased upcoming models. The show also showcased many up and coming singers, dancers and poets from the local area to keep the show entertaining and involve the community.
Keep up the good work ASO! Risq readers, what was your favorite look? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to congratulate ASO on a job very well done.
Photos by: Jaida Brinkley, Amir Gooden, Who Is Bolu? and ASO