From The Runway

Fashion’s Conscience holds model calls

Connor Bahng | Staff Photographer

Fashion's Conscience has made fashion diversity a prominent presence at SU since 2001, making it the first and only minority-based fashion organization on campus, according to SU's OrgSync through the Office of Student Activities.

As students made their way to the top floor of Hall of Languages on Friday afternoon, what is typically a hushed academic environment turned into something more fierce. The room was encapsulated with heart-thumping music, 4-inch heels and a catwalk that would make Naomi Campbell proud — just a typical day for a model call.

Fashion’s Conscience held its annual auditions while on the lookout for fresh faces to walk in its annual spring fashion show. Students from every year showed up to put their best foot forward. But, just a tip, make sure it’s left foot over right foot. For a model, the opposite is considered a big no-no.

Although the fashion show is not a professional gig, for many this is just the entry-level experience they need to further their modeling career — with the hopes of transcending them from Instagram to the runway. In fact, many alumni have managed to launch a modeling career post academia. Just this past fall, Syracuse University alumna Kiera Henderson walked in Kanye West’s Yeezy season 4 show in New York City.

FC has made fashion diversity a prominent presence at SU since 2001, making it the first and only minority-based fashion organization on campus, according to SU’s OrgSync through the Office of Student Activities. Although originally aimed toward fashion design majors, the organization has opened its door to all students who are interested in fashion, modeling and pursuing a career in the industry.

The audition room was relaxed as model committee members lounged about the panel table — eating, telling jokes, listening to music and dancing as they awaited the next audition. Model Committee Chair Billie Owens assures that this is the environment she wants to establish for the models: Be comfortable and don’t overthink it. Having run FC model auditions for the past two years, she knows what is takes to gather potentially 35 models to walk in this year’s show.

“A lot of people are intimidated by model calls because when you hear ‘model call’ you assume very tall and very thin,” Owens said. “We are looking for confidence, and that you are willing to put yourself out there in front of people you don’t know.”

As the next model entered the room for her audition, members situated themselves around the panel table. “We are ready whenever you are,” said one of them.

Tysheena Adams took her position at the far end of the room. She shook out the nerves, rolled her shoulders back and fixed her eyes on the wall beyond her, avoiding all eye contact from the judges. “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé blasts through the speakers. Assurance graced her face — she has certainly strutted to this anthem before.

The lyrics signaled Adams to take the first step. The wheels began to turn as she thought about everything that she was doing. Her face, her feet, her hands all working together to capture a moment and a feeling. Her walk was like a relationship between the trumpets and her feet as they worked together with the music pounding throughout the hallowed room. Although she may have wanted to, she fought to avoid walking on the beat — another common mistake models make on the runway.

“Look up, be proud and make sure you don’t stumble,” said Adams with a laugh. “Don’t forget the three-second rule. Pose for three seconds and always step back on one foot to turn around.”

Although it may have seemed like the audition is where the nerves settle in, many experienced models would agree: Save your nervous energy for the runway.

“The nerves come the day of the show,” said Powel Deslandes, a sophomore who walked in last year’s show. “Before you go out there, you just take a big deep breath and honestly just think about yourself.”

Deslandes showed up to the audition ready for his second effort to walk in this year’s show. Even with no professional modeling experience, he still aspires to creatively challenge himself as a model with the help of fashion genius Kanye West. After all, that is what FC is all about.

“It gives you the opportunity to bring your creative abilities, how you feel and how you dress and incorporate that into an organization like this,” Deslandes said. “If you don’t really model, this is a shot for you to see if it is the lifestyle for you.”

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