College Fashion Week celebrates student diversity and empowerment


Kelly Chan

Student models walk the runway at Her Campus College Fashion Week.

Jessica Brite, news correspondent

More than 700 college students and community members attended the eighth annual College Fashion Week at Revere Hotel Saturday to show off their own personal style and preview upcoming trends for the fall and winter seasons. 

Her Campus, an online magazine organization with chapters in schools across the country, hosted the event. The Her Campus community focuses on female empowerment through content written by college women for college women. Their parent company, Her Campus Media, organizes and facilitates different events including conferences, client tours, brand deals — and the annual College Fashion Week event.

Her Campus Media marketing and events associate Kayla Hoey said when College Fashion Week first started, it highlighted local student fashion designers. But for the past two years, the event has changed course to focus on the concept of “the real runway,” intended to represent real college students and ensure that anyone can model. There was an open casting call for students to apply to be models — all they had to do was share a post on social media using the hashtag #therealrunway and explain what that meant to them. Primark, the primary sponsor of the show, sorted through all the posts and chose 20 models.

“The theme [of ‘the real runway’] basically highlights diversity and empowerment and bringing college women more into the college fashion experience by having them walk the runway,” Hoey said.

All the pieces on the runway were styled by Primark and intended to be affordable and practical for college students. The first of three collections featured an everyday style, based on streetwear and athleisure. The second was ’90s grunge-themed, consisting mostly of a red and black color palette. The third and main collection was titled “A Neutral Position” and contained monochromatic grey, pink, white and neutral. These outfits were versatile and perfect for “class, interviews and dinner with friends.” The model selection was diverse and represented people of all backgrounds and body sizes. 

“It was cool to see that Shea Moisture was one of the sponsors of the event because representation is so important, and hopefully it will inspire people to go natural,” said Nicolle Valladares, a sophomore at Boston University. 

Upon entry, guests were showered with an endless supply of samples. The show’s various sponsors were stationed at tables set up around the edge of the front room, offering gift cards, beauty products, snacks and more. On one side was a long table piled high with artificial flowers, where guests were encouraged to create their own mini bouquets. Her Campus also had its own stall selling hats, stickers and other merchandise. 

“My favorite part of College Fashion Week is getting to meet students who I talk to and work with online but never really see their faces,” said Lexi Mikula, a community associate at Her Campus Media who was working the organization’s stall.

A second room held the main event, with the runway in the middle and more stalls along the sides for guests to walk around and take pictures. Lining one of the walls was a row of beauty chairs and light-up mirrors for each of the sponsors, where guests could test their products. There were also a number of photo-ops throughout the venue, the most popular of which was a Venmo-sponsored confetti dome where guests could take boomerang-like photos with confetti and an air blower.

Hoey said her favorite part of the experience was the pre-event model brunch.

“It was an event to make the models feel exclusive and thank them for being bold and courageous to walk the stage,” Hoey said. “It was a really sweet and special moment.”