Made In America

[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ custom_padding=”10px|0px|1150px|0px” _builder_version=”3.0.47″][et_pb_row custom_padding=”0px|0px|24.578125px|0px” _builder_version=”3.0.47″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids=”2323,2317,2319,2320,2321,2318,2322,2324,2325″ fullwidth=”on” hover_icon=”%%40%%” _builder_version=”3.0.71″ title_font=”Bitter||||” /][et_pb_text admin_label=” ” _builder_version=”3.0.71″ background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” border_style=”solid”]

Running through the cultural heart of Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin Parkway serves as a scenic boulevard, enthralling Philadelphians and tourist alike. But every Labor Day weekend since 2012, the boulevard transforms into the site for Budweiser’s Made in America Music Festival. Founded by business mogul and rap extraordinaire Jay-Z, Made In America (MIA) hosts a variety of live music acts ranging from Beyonce, Skrillex, Drake, Rihanna, Coldplay, Ninch Inch Nails and Pearl Jam. And like any other music festival, individuals seize the opportunity to dress however they want. Some dress to intimidate. Others to inspire awe. But all to ingrain their fashion style into your mindset. The concrete jungle challenges people to dress judiciously; music festivals inspires the contrary. These are the individuals who dress accodrinignly, eccentrically or downright salaciously. These are the people of Made In America.


Meet the Designers: Kent Fashion Week

Each year, the student-run Kent Fashion Week is held to feature the thesis collections of graduating seniors from the fashion design program at the Fashion School at Kent State. The presentation-style event allows friends, family and fashion supporters to view students’ collections up close, while having a chance to speak to each designer about his or her work. The design students have put tremendous effort into their collections all year, and A Magazine got to interview a couple design students whose work will be presented.

Anna Rumberg

Anna Rumberg, a senior fashion design student at Kent State, will be showcasing eight of her designs during the fashion show this year. Rumberg doesn’t just want her collection to be viewed as just a fashion statement, but wants the audience to see her collection from a deeper perspective.

“My whole collection is about internal metamorphosis, or how our life experiences shape us into the people we were always meant to become,” Rumberg said. “I tried playing with volume and different shapes to convey this idea and the shedding of that volume to show us shedding our own ignorance and insecurities as we move through life and slowly become enlightened to our true selves.”

Rumberg wants her designs to be showcased in a way where the audience can take away their own perspective of it.

“I put it out there for an individual reaction from each viewer on what they think fashion is and what it could be,” she said.

Rumberg also said that she tried to stray away from the trends this year and focus on her own work as she follows trends in the industry but usually doesn’t apply them to her work. She does however mention that when she finished her collection, a couple of designer’s work looks close in competition to hers.

“I didn’t have a specific designer in mind that inspired my work when I started, but once I finished, I considered Helmut Lang and Marni to be close competitors to my collection,” she said.

Rumberg describes what type of woman is going to rock her designs as cool, calm and collected, and comfortable while remaining chic, on trend and professional in her day to day life.

Abby D’Amore

Senior fashion design student Abby D’Amore will also be showcasing her collection during the fashion show this year. D’Amore has a more philosophical approach to her collection for this show.

“My collection revolves around the question of ‘how does someone obtain self-worth?’ A lot of polarities were incorporated throughout the silhouettes, color story, and fabrics,” D’Amore said. “I wanted to my collection to be retail ready and marketable so I have a lot of easy to wear pieces and the looks can be re-merchandised within the collection.”

While she wanted to make her collection as personalized as possible, she does think most designers are inspired by current or future trends subconsciously.

“Obviously, we make the designs our own and personalize them to our taste and atheistic, but trends become popular for a reason,” she said.

However, she does feel that her collection may have been inspired by the attraction of opposite pieces that normally may not be paired together.

“I have always loved designing in polarities; it comes out naturally in my designs most of the time. Pairing a big voluminous piece with a slim fitted piece is one of my go to’s,” D’Amore said. “I also like polarities in color stories and themes. Picking a color story is one of my favorite parts of designing.”

While she wants her collection to be store ready, she also strives for what type of woman wears her clothes. She said her collection is worn by a professional, classy woman of any age who is sophisticated and keeps up on trends while loving a timeless look as well.

Kent Fashion Week will be held May 5, 6 and 7 at 157 Lounge in Downtown Kent. The presentations will begin at 6 p.m. each night, exhibiting the work of two designers’ collections every 20 minutes, concluding at 10 p.m. The event is free to the public.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Preview: Kent Fashion Week

If you couldn’t make it to the Fashion School’s Annual Fashion Show, don’t worry; you’re in luck. From May 4 through May 7, Kent Fashion Week will be in full effect.

On May 4, 5 and 6, there will be presentation-style exhibitions held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 157 Lounge in Downtown Kent. These showcases will give the public a chance to see some of the senior collections showcased during the Annual Fashion Show and chat with the designers about his or her collection. Two designers’ collections will be shown every 20 minutes.

On May 7 from noon to 2 p.m., there will be a portfolio showcase at the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center.

The theme for this year’s fashion week is greenery, and all events are free and open to the public.

Sustainability at Kent Fashion Week

Sustainable fashion is one of the most necessary trends the industry could have ever seen.  Fulfilling a social responsibility to be environmental friendly, A Magazine chatted with three senior designers featured in Kent Fashion Week who have a particular perspective on how their designs are made.

Katryn Seeburger, senior fashion design major, made use of recycled cotton to design seven looks in her collection.

When garments are manufactured in factories, there is always some waste. Seeburger took the waste and mixed it with fibers to produce yarns.

She did not just use recycled cotton, but also the remaining organic cotton from garment factories. She purchased those remainders to further reduce waste.

Seeburger wanted to make things that would be easy to put on and comfortable to wear, but still feel fashionable, exciting and new. She also strived to maintain personal identity with interesting configuration and color patterns.

Victoria Johnston, senior fashion design major, created nine looks in her collection.

Her design related to muscle movement and how it is affected by our environment.

“The environment, such as water pollution or water condition, plays a role on our bodies,” said Johnston. “My idea is how it causes those muscles to tear, rip, strain, and how they regenerate.”

As an outdoor and environment enthusiast, Johnston focuses a lot on how she can reduce her footprint within her collection.

In the long run, she plans to reduce her carbon footprint by keeping a chart of her dyes, counting the amount of water she used and how the fabrics are recycled.

She used a lot of organic fabrics in her collection. Approximately 97 percent of the materials are bamboo and only three percent are spandex. The finished bamboo fabric feels like a stretch knit. She also used natural dyes.

“I love fast fashion, but I would much rather spend a little more to get something that won’t wear down in long run, or partially sustainable so that I can work with it,” Johnston said.

Delaney Sullivan, senior fashion design major, created her collection called “Save Our Seas”. Her design ideas focused around coral reefs.

“Coral reefs used to be very colorful but now they are just completely bleached white,” Sullivan said.”All my colors in the collections are kinds of greens and blues, which are cool tones but they are kind of feeling light.”

She used natural fibers, silk, cotton and a couple of organic cottons, such as Egyptian cotton, in her designs.

“They [the materials used] are less harmful to the environment, light weight in spring and summer,” Sullivan said. “They flow really well on our bodies.”

She also itilized denim on a pair of pants and a dress.

In her collection, there were several skinny pants, some basic shirts and crop tops. In one patterned piece, she used a rectangular shape, exemplifying what sustainability is all about.

“When you use ruffles in pattern making, or any kinds of curved shapes, it takes a lot of extra fabrics,” Sullivan said. “I design the pattern piece in rectangular shape such that there was zero waste. Also, the pattern I used in every single garment can be altered to fit into any kind of collection. It doesn’t necessarily just apply to what I am designing.”

In the future, Sullivan will continue to work towards her goal of sustainable fashion.

“Fashion is the second most wasteful industry in the world,”  Sullivan said. “It’s a big problem. I will try to do my share to reduce waste.”

Racism in Advertising

In 2017, it seems as if being politically correct is more important than ever. You would think that marketing teams and advertisers would take this into consideration, but that is not always the case. Institutionalized racism has played its role in multicultural marketing for many decades.

Typically, there are five signs that can be used to identify racism in ads: language, imagery, message, subtext and body position/language. There is a thin line between what is perceived as good and bad advertising when it comes to considering different races.

Leading companies try to attract persons to buy their products, but often times the ads bring about more serious problems.

That’s obvious after the recent ad campaign from Pepsi featuring Kendall Jenner, which was a sad excuse for an expression of “unity”. The ad faced extreme criticism; the public expressed distaste for the capitalization off of liberation movements and the disrespectful reference to powerful images from previous events.

People were also offended by the fact that the protest movement in the ad campaign was led by an upper-class socialite, someone who probably has not faced some of the feats that people of color have.

By Madeleine Kidd

And this is not the first time a racist or patronizing ad campaign has been used. In Europe during 2016, Sony released a campaign for the new PlayStation White. The ad depicted a white woman, dressed in all white, grabbing a black woman’s face. The white woman is positioned in a stance of power and assurance, while the black woman appears as submissive and obedient.

Sony claims that the intent was to display the contrast between the different colors available for the PSP. Was that best way to spread that message to the public? Probably not.

Then, in 2007, Intel followed suit with an advertisement for a desktop processor. The image was of a man dressed in business attire, surrounded by six black men bending down in sprinter’s position.

Not to mention, the tagline was “maximize the power of your employees”.  It didn’t take long for audiences to notice the racist references and in turn, be offended by the ad campaign. The ad was particularly troubling because of the slight relation to slavery and depicting African Americans as subordinate.

The trend of racist ad campaigns does not stop there. While some may appear as more discreet, others are blatantly targeting. In 2008 in Japan, eMobile released ads displaying a monkey in a suit at an election rally, in front of an audience holding signs expressing the word “change”.

Considering this was right around the time of Obama’s presidential campaign and inauguration, the ad was extremely offensive and was later removed from publication for its overt racism. It proves that anyone, no matter their status, can fall victim to mass companies trying to make a profit.

By Madeleine Kidd

There is a certain awareness of the dangers of racial stereotyping that is ingrained into American culture. For instance, in 2013, Volkswagen released a one minute Super Bowl commercial in which a white man speaking in the dialect of someone from Jamaican decent.

Even though the commercial had a positive intent, the ad was accused of being racist and a representation of “verbal blackface”. Volkswagen had tested the ads among consumers, including Jamaicans, and did not receive much negative feedback. However, the company was prepared with a backup campaign in case the first one backfired.

There is no real definitive reasoning as to what makes advertisements racist or offensive. A lot of it must do with how sensitive the public is to the use of different races in ad campaigns.

Controversy isn’t always a bad thing when the entire purpose of these marketing techniques is to get attention. Sometimes, it even benefits the company. When there is deliberate exploitation of men and women of different races, you must ask yourself: what crosses the line?

By Madeleine Kidd

Meet the Model: Megan Rogerson

What makes the Fashion School at Kent State rank 19th around the world? This program includes one of the most substantial fashion museums in the country, offers once in a lifetime study abroad opportunities in Florence and New York City and provides merchandising and design students the chance to express their talents in the annual fashion show, FS². With that, there are other important people who also contribute to the show, including the models.

Megan Rogerson, a junior fashion merchandising major at Kent State, will be modeling for FS² for her third time. During Rogerson’s senior year of high school, she discovered her true passion for fashion while attending her first runway show, FS².

From freshman to junior year at Kent State, she grew more skilled with every show and photo shoot due to the endless opportunities offered through the fashion department. The experience has provided her with many connections and an increase in self-confidence. In addition, Rogerson has been in three photo shoots for the BFA designer’s final thesis magazine.

“You feel like you are on a team,” Rogerson said. “Even if you do not feel confident, I have learned to just fake it. I have gained a lot of practice fit modeling, walking in student organization fashion shows and modeling in multimedia shoots for designers. My connections from the fashion school have actually given me professional modeling opportunities for companies in Cleveland.”

Her other positions on campus include treasurer for the Global Fashion Citizens, stylist and model for the Fashion Student Organization and member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. She hopes her skills, background and passion will one day allow her to achieve her dreams of developing a sustainable fashion brand.

“I think that sustainability and transparency is extremely important for the future of the fashion industry,” Rogerson said. “I would love to be a part of the slow fashion movement.”

Just like every other instrumental piece for the annual fashion show, models are responsible for their own preparation for their roles. Models are required to attend catalog photo shoots, designer consultations, outfit fittings, rehearsals and critique day. Critique day allows models to try on looks and stand in front of a panel of judges who decide what garments will be picked for fashion show. Furthermore, models must practice their runway walk in order to perfect it the night of the show.

“I have this full body mirror at home at the end of a long hallway, and I will walk back and forth like 100 times picking apart my walk,” Rogerson said. “I also try to practice walking in the shoes I will be wearing for the show.”

Prior to the show, Rogerson practices poses and styles used by her favorite role models. Her modeling inspiration is derived from Gigi and Bella Hadid, and her style is influenced by sustainable fashion icons like Safia Minney and Emma Watson. She said they have both made a huge impact on promoting sustainability in the fashion industry.

Although Rogerson loves the excitement of her individual walk down the runway, her favorite part of modeling for the show is making connections with other students. It allows her the opportunity to meet other models, designers, members on committees and mentors.

“I would consider the senior co-producers, Elise and Megan, my mentors,” Rogerson said. “They have both participated in this show for multiple years and work so hard to make the show the best it can possibly be. They are so friendly to everyone involved, and I admire their hard work and dedication.”

It is through Rogerson’s strong support system of mentors, friends and co-workers that she can successfully participate and contribute to the show amongst all of the pressures she must face. It’s very important to her, as well as other models, that they effectively show off the merchandise that others have put all of their effort into.

Rogerson plans on contributing to FS² once more during her senior year at Kent State; however, she may apply to be on the fashion show committee. Regardless, Rogerson is excited for this year’s show, as well as next’s. Similar to most fashionistas, this event is always something Rogerson looks forward to participating in every year.