ian willmore leads modista back to its roots


logo: modista’s instagram // background photo: ron lach on pexels

From their model calls to striking fashion shows, Kent State University’s student organization Modista is hard to miss. However, Modista is more than just a fashion organization; it’s a creative space for people from all backgrounds. 


The root of the organization came from the realization that there was no space for students of color to belong in the School of Fashion due to the unequal ratio of Black and white students. It became a space for students of color to make connections, find support and ultimately to bring students of color to the school. 


President Ian Willmore joined Modista because of the interest he has in highlighting diversity. Willmore is a senior fashion merchandising major and a marketing minor. He has spent the year revamping the organization’s meaning, realigning it with its original purpose. 


“We’ve been taking this semester kind of chill in terms of events to really focus on trying to realign organizational structures and events and communications with the members,” Willmore said.


However, there are plans set in place for Modista next semester as far as events. 


Next semester, there will be a conference, consisting of an industry panel of fashion professionals. The date is not set yet, but it will likely take place in the month of November. 


In the fall semester of 2021, the organization put on its first in-person fashion show since the pandemic started. Titled “Heaven and Hell,” the show depicted different designers’ impressions of what heaven and hell are. 


This semester, Modista hosted an alumni panel, where previous students and Modista board members came and spoke. The panelists’ jobs ranged from wear testers to recruiters to handbag designers.   


Prior to spring break, Modista held a member exclusive event in the DI Hub where members could express their creativity and print out whatever they wanted to. They also participated in other events such as a clothing swap and a DIY night where people could come upcycle clothing. 


As the spring semester winds down, Willmore gets closer to graduating. Next semester, Modista will welcome a new president, this semester’s current treasurer, Maddie Snavely. Keep an eye out for how the organization continues to grow and dive into its root purpose. 


If you’re looking for a creative outlet, join Modista. All students are welcome to come and become part of this organization. From model, to designer, to board member, there is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills. 


To join Modisata, Willmore directs all potential members to their Instagram page highlights.


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