The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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African Student Association hosts stylish competition on campus  

A packed ballroom got the chance to show off its style Saturday night as the African Student Association hosted the African Renaissance Fashion Show in the Grand Ballroom of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.  

The event started at 7 p.m. and African American students on campus were encouraged to participate in performances to celebrate fashion.

Models walk down the runway in the African Renaissance fashion. (Prince Pappoe)

But the road to planning the event was not an easy one, as the African Student Association had not hosted a fashion show since 2019, right when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the campus.  

ASA President and senior political science major Nyla Douglas, said planning the revived show was especially challenging.  

“We always have good ideas but like I said we just didn’t have that much to go off of so that was kind of discouraging along the way,” Douglas said. “But like it feels good to be able to pull everything off and have everything come together and have everybody so excited.”

Other clubs and organizations were involved as well, with the knitting and crochet club also participating in the modeling performances, according to Douglas.  

Douglas said fashion, for her, helps express individuality.  

“I feel like it just made me comfortable,” Douglas said. “Some people may not like it; some people may like it and some people may see it and then like even hear the story behind what made you go through that decision.”  

The African Students Association host the African Renaissance fashion show where models from Couture, The Kat Walk, Essence, and more show off their cultural looks which is a mix of afrofuturism and afrocentrism in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on Saturday night. (Prince Pappoe)

Kevin Branch, a junior cybersecurity major and model at the show, also saw the opportunity to express himself as a meaningful outlet.  

“You know I used to go through a lot of stuff like stress,” Branch said. “It just takes away everything bad when you’re dressing and you’re actually just modeling and stuff like that because it’s just focused on you.”  

Branch said the students involved with his performance had practiced every Tuesday and Thursday leading up to the fashion show. He said despite this being his first experience in modeling, seeing that practice pay off to such a big crowd felt rewarding.  

“So, it was pretty scary,” Branch said. “But once you actually get out there and like you see all the people you kind of just get motivated. But seeing how many people actually came out to this, and we’re not even done so just seeing that all these people came out, it is heartwarming.”  

Jada Laws, another performer and senior public relations major, said she also enjoyed the enthusiasm in the room.  

Jada Laws, a senior public relations major, and vice president for The Kat Walk, walks in the African Renaissance runway in the Grand Ballroom of Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on Saturday night. “I felt amazing” Laws said. “I love modeling, I’ve been modeling for a year now, it’s an amazing feeling.” The showcase was presented by the African Students Association. (Prince Pappoe)

“Like I love seeing the support,” Laws said. “I’ve been modeling for a while, so modeling is just like in my blood and to see everybody come out and support us it feels amazing to know that people are waiting to see us.”  

 Modeling is also a great way for people to be proud of who they are, according to Laws.   

“For me, it’s like not being a different person, but like really showing my craft,” Laws said. “Really showing my confidence and just embodying who you are and every single flaw that you have, it’s like you’re embracing every single part of it.”  



Drew Coffey can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].



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About the Contributor
Drew Coffey, Reporter, Columnist
Drew is a senior television and video production major. He previously served as a reporter for The News.

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