Student organization features style competition, runway show

The second-annual College Fashion Week began Monday night with a concert at the Canopy Club featuring performers Beats Antique and Random Rab.

College Fashion Week, founded at the University last year, is an independent student organization that aims to give students across the nation the opportunity to be a part of the fashion community.

Jennifer Ruppert, founder of the organization and senior in Media, is anticipating increased student involvement this year.

“It’s going to be huge this year,” she said. “This is our second year on campus … so now people get the gist of what (College Fashion Week) is, see what it would be like to get involved (and see) that it’s more than just fashion.”

The week will highlight current industry trends and intends to inspire interest in design, style and event coordinating, Ruppert said.

In addition to students interested in fashion, it will also provide an outlet for those in advertising and marketing, graphic design and other majors. Working all school year to plan the week of fashion events, the student group looks to provide real-life experience for the members.

Nicole Rojas, vice president of marketing for College Fashion Week and senior in Media, was in charge of the group’s marketing subcommittee, which specializes in social media and marketing for the event.

“I was surprised by how well my education prepared me for this,” she said. “It was fun to push myself … to develop this idea.”

Secretary for College Fashion Week Jessie Whitman said organizers of the event work all year for this week.

In addition to her work with the group, Whitman also runs a fashion blog — dirtylittlenotions.blogspot.com — which she said will feature insider information on College Fashion Week’s events. Whitman’s blog will include interviews with industry professionals who will attend the events this week.

Events planned for the rest of College Fashion Week include a student style competition and a Fashion’s Night Out party, which all lead up to the Premiere Runway Show on Saturday night.

The Premiere Runway Show will take place at the iHotel Illinois Ballroom at 7 p.m. Saturday. The runway show will feature student designers Gordana Rasic and Omar Villalobos of GOCA Designs, Polly Bland of Paulie Antiques, Brent Rawlinson of Vintage by Bike, local Champaign boutique Le Shoppe and Chicago designer Wanda Grace.