In 1982, The Iowa State University Fashion Show began as a simple runway show held in a MacKay Hall classroom with only a few Iowa State students in attendance. Over the past thirty-nine years, The Fashion Show has grown into one of the largest student run fashion shows in the nation and is produced by nearly 150 students selected to be part of the planning committees. In addition, The Fashion Show selects 50 student models who showcase the garments chosen by industry guest judges. Garments included in the show are designed by over 75 Iowa State students from the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program.
This year, The Fashion Show 2021 will take place on Friday, April 16th and Saturday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. The production has grown to nearly sold-out attendance of over 2,300 audience members and 1000 online viewers who witness the culmination of months of student work.
This year’s show will look different compared to our annual show that is normally held in C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. Due to COVID-19, The Fashion Show 2021 will be held at Reiman Gardens. This gives us the ability to hold an outdoor runway show while following the CDC guidelines to keep everyone safe. Unfortunately we will not be able to have as large of an in-person attendance audience as usual, but for those who are not able to attend our in-person show, our livestream will be available to everyone on our Facebook page and our official ISU website.
Why Donate to The Fashion Show?
In addition to scholarships and networking opportunities with industry professionals, The Fashion Show provides Iowa State students with many unique opportunities. Participation on any committee allows students to obtain industry experience and develop leadership skills that impact their selection for internships and jobs following graduation. The Fashion Show also continues to expand community awareness and philanthropic efforts in the Ames and Des Moines areas. Those involved with the show come from a diverse set of majors and form lifelong friendships throughout the planning process. Student leaders on the planning teams have been collaborating since September 2020 to develop the best possible production. We hope you consider donating to the continual growth of our organization!
*Photo from Spring 2019 Semester
The Fashion Show Committees:
By donating to The Fashion Show 2021, you will be supporting the overall production of the show and contributing to scholarships that benefit the futures of winning students in each category!
Student designers chosen to display their garments in the show also compete for first, second, and third place scholarships in their respective categories. Last year, The Fashion Show awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships to student designers due to the generous donations acquired through this campaign! These scholarships help students further their education and facilitate the creation of future designs. First place in each category receives $500 and the overall winner of Lora and Russ Talbot ISU Fashion Show Best in Show is awarded a $2,000 endowed scholarship!
Categories for student designs include:
Inspired by the Textiles and Clothing Museum
Portfolio (Analog or Digital)
Besides showcasing student work, The Fashion Show prides itself on inviting distinguished industry professionals to serve as guest judges for the show. Every year, professionals from across the country convene at Iowa State to evaluate submitted entries on Judging Day. Comprised of associates in design, merchandising, education, and production, the guest judges help critique and select which designs will walk the runway and demonstrate the most elite student work. The Fashion Show also inspires student designers by hosting an industry Guest Company/Designer to showcase their work during the second half of the show. The Guest Company/Designer holds a coveted spot in the show's tradition, as these individuals continue to demonstrate success and influence in the apparel industry. Previous designers include Vans, Patagonia, Abasi Rosborough, alumnus Todd Snyder, alumnus Matthew Christopher, and alumni designers from Vineyard Vines, J Brand, Marc Jacobs, and Target.
The Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program is endorsed by the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA). Students of the program study fashion design, technical design, product development, costume history, merchandising and marketing strategies, production processes, business processes, and consumer behavior. Exposure to industry software and challenging classroom experiences prepares students for careers in one of the largest industries in the world: textiles and apparel.
Iowa State University features production technology and product development laboratories where students can test fabrics, conduct research, and design textiles. Undergraduate access to these facilities is unique among national apparel programs and the opportunity continues to inspire and educate students.
Before COVID-19, the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design program students had the opportunity to participate in international study abroad programs and industry field studies to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, South Africa, China, and Europe. Throughout previous summers, over 150 undergraduates have completed annual industry internships at companies across the nation, gaining valuable professional experience. Due to the pandemic, the program has restricted travel, so these opportunities have shifted to a remote/virtual format for 2020 and 2021.