A Magazine collaborated with a local non-profit, UNCHAINED, to bring an anti-human trafficking fashion show to Kent State’s main campus on April 4.
The show was told through the eyes of a victim and shared the story of the stages traffickers go through: innocence, violation and restoration. Our hopes were to educate and raise awareness about a social issue that is not talked about enough. We found this to be the perfect opportunity to combine our love of fashion with our passion for speaking about cultural issues.
Sophia Termine, a junior fashion merchandising major, opened the UNCHAINED fashion show while the organization co-founder, Stephanie Catani, began the narration of a human trafficking victim.
A large, and unique to Kent State, part of this show illustrated the violence that a human trafficking victim experiences. Katie Harless, a freshman fashion merchandising major, showed the audience what it’s like to not have control over your own life or choices.
Human trafficking victims are stripped of their freedoms, and Taylor Yarborough, a junior fashion merchandising major, mimicked that idea in a restrictive garment during the UNCHAINED fashion show.
Daijah-Monai Williams, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, walked to the narration of various acts of violence that can occur to human trafficking victims and the darkness that can take over the mind when in this situation.
Vernee Lightfoot, a senior criminology and justice studies major, further represents the restraint that trafficking victims face in the UNCHAINED fashion show.
Physical violence is something most victims face, whether it is because they didn’t obey an order or make enough money, the reasons are endless and the bruises prove that. Dana Shunkwiler, a junior theatre studies major, showed the audience the physical pain that can appear on a trafficking victim.
When a pimp begins to abuse a trafficking victim, the girl becomes his property. Taylor Pierce, a sophomore public relations major, demonstrated one way for a pimp to make his property known: branding.
Branding can include a variety of tattoos or physical marks, including the name of the pimp to ensure no one is mistaken by the ownership of the victim. Ashleigh Lentz, a senior fashion merchandising major, wears the name “John” on her neck in the UNCHAINED Fashion Show, among other physical abuse marks.
In Ohio, the average age of a human trafficking victim is 12 and pimps may use drugs to force victims into jobs or decisions. Adelaide Derosia-Fenn, a freshman pre-fashion design/merchandising major, walked in the UNCHAINED fashion show, representing the effect that trafficking, along with drugs, can have. Drugs can be used as a sedative, punishment or reward depending on the situation.
Pearline Young (left), a junior journalism major, and Megan Rogerson (right), a sophomore fashion merchandising major, illustrated the destruction trafficking can have on one’s life, but there is still hope.
For some, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and an escape from a life of trafficking. Tetiana Lopatkina, a graduate chemical physics major, represented the opportunity that some girls see or are given to be removed from a trafficking ring.
Brianna Hunter, a freshman pre-fashion design/merchandising major showed the audience that although trafficking is always part of someone’s life, there is a way to move forward and begin a new life.
This UNCHAINED fashion show featured 28 student models from Kent State, and presented a new collection designed by season 5 Project Runway designer Korto Momolu. Pictured is Termine, Harless and Faith Zwicker, a sophomore fashion merchandising major.