On the night of Saturday, April 8th, NOiR Runway Fashion kicked off an incredible 18th runway show at the University’s Crisler Center. Since 1999, NOiR has been a student-run community service and fashion organization. Each spring, NOiR puts on an exciting runway show displaying the talents and efforts of student designers, while the proceeds go to a charitable foundation.

In an effort to reduce the continuing scars of racial inequality in our society, NOiR’s 2017 donation is to the Hip Hop Sisters Network, aiming to create educational opportunities for minority women and youth within the entertainment industry. The money will go to the Hip Hop Scholars Dillard University Scholarship of $200,000, enabling four minority students to receive tuition assistance to attend the HBCU Dillard University. In conjunction with this donation, the staff and models of the spring runway show will be dedicating over 500 hours of their time to serve underprivileged communities in Detroit.

Pre-show, guests pulled up to the Crisler Center and milled around their seating, enjoying the complimentary photo background while photographers captured the best-dressed. VIP guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and exclusive gift packages. Every seat at the venue had a near perfect view of the runway. When asked how he was feeling about the event, giveaway presenter Jabrill Peppers, LSA junior and Michigan defensive back, flashed a smile and remarked, “it should be a really fun show!”

Around 7:30 p.m., the arena lights were dimmed and pulsing music played with a neon light display. Without further ado, the show began, each collection prefaced with a graphically-designed introduction video. Models worked the runway in sync to tech-y beats by artists like Kanye and Frank Ocean. Designers with enormous potential debuted eccentric, flashing collections of stunning quality and appeal. Many of them said hello to the crowd as they walked the runway with their final looks.  

At intermission, NOiR President Alexis Wilson, LSA senior, presented the philanthropy raffle prizes alongside Peppers, who announced raffle winners of items like Frita Batidos giftcards and beauty baskets. MC Lyte, female rapper and founder of Hip Hop Sisters, sent in a live video of gratitude thanking NOiR and the audience for their efforts on behalf of her charity.  

Beyond the magnificent financial and service commitments NOiR made to their cause was also the example the runway show set for racial and ethnic inclusion in the fashion industry. The group of models encompassed an inspiring demographic of every shape, size and ethnicity, enhancing the audience’s interpretation of both the looks and the show’s cause.  

Overall, the show was a beautiful and empowering tribute to the growing movement of racial equality in fashion.

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