Wearing a cow-print cowboy hat, fuzzy purple tube top, overalls and rhinestone butterfly stickers under her eyes, Paloma Silva kicked off the first meeting of the Fashion League with style.
The newly formed club has big goals and wants to find unique ways to collaborate with creatives in the community. Founded on free expression, sustainability and having space to collaborate, the Fashion League has made excellence a part of its mission.
As the president of Boise State’s Fashion League, Silva, a junior sociology major, described how she wanted to provide a space for students to develop their style and find professional connections.
Melissa Moore, a senior media arts major with a public relations emphasis and the team’s communication officer, saw a connection between the fashion industry and future careers from social media. She recognized that the fashion industry is about expression, as well as social networking.
“I don’t think I realized how much businesses and individuals look at your social media when you’re going through a hiring process until I actually started going through the hiring process,” Moore said.
For Max Haines, a junior media arts major with a public relations emphasis and the Fashion League’s development officer, fashion has become a dream career since his first encounters with it.
“I’ve always liked fashion, but I’ve never thought of myself as a creative enough person to make my own clothes,” Haines said. “And [I would] say I don’t like styling and stuff, but I’ve always liked how companies would promote and advertise their fashion. And so how I like to tie public relations into fashion is [that]I really want to work in the industry.”
Before the group graduates and moves into the professional fashion industry, though, they explained that there is work to be done locally first.
“Growing up in a conservative town, I want to like push those boundaries especially here and on this campus,” Silva said.
As the executive members of the Fashion League, Moore and her cohorts wanted to represent themselves as different styles of fashion to demonstrate that there is no right or wrong way to dress.
“There really isn’t a universal definition of what fashion is [or]what the style and trends are,” Moore said. “What I think of fashion is completely different to what Max and Meg and Paloma think. I think that’s why we wanted to do all this together because we do that, like we represent that. And so, we were just trying to get out that message to people who are gatekeeping [fashion].”
Meghan O’Neill, a junior marketing major and the League’s financial officer, did not think there were places on campus that provided the type of creative outlet the team was looking for.
“I just think it’s easy to be stuck in your ways and not l branch out and pursue different interests you have and we thought that there wasn’t a huge opportunity for that until we decided to make this,” O’Neill said.
On top of encouraging fashion as an art, one of the league’s main initiatives is “Thrifting Thursdays” an activity the group is establishing to teach others how to shop responsibly. Along with thrift shopping, the group collaborates with the community to upcycle, sew and reimagine clothes.
“What I’ve been trying to learn is sustainability and realizing that it’s really bad to go to retail stores all the time, you know,” Silva said. “It’s not good for the earth, and I really want to push and show people that you can make cool clothes on a budget because I feel like we’re all on budgets here.”
Though fashion is commonly thought of as an expensive and elite hobby, the group wanted to form the League to create a supportive environment for expression.
“I feel like in a way of the accessibility of fashion beyond financial accessibility is sometimes, you’re not able to express how you want to dress based off where you live or you can’t dress a certain way because it’ll be so ostracized,” Haines said.
Because the League is brand new, the team has to create the foundation from scratch but is determined to make it work.
“I’m really just wanting to help Paloma get this project off the ground and help her achieve her goal of getting this club together,” said Stu Dwello, a junior political science major and the group’s outreach executive.
As an art project and professional creative space, the Fashion League aspires to create a foundation for future students as a supportive group with their collective goals.
“Art is whatever moves you, and so this is all moving us,” Silva said. “It’s definitely just been in the back of my head and so I’m so glad that I’m doing this and we’re all doing this together. I would say it’s an art project that I want to continue even after we all graduate.”
The Fashion League meets on Mondays from 5–6 p.m. in the Student Union Building. For more information about the Fashion League, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.