Fashion Society stitches together first virtual fashion magazine

By Elizabeth Casillas, April 20, 2021

Cal Poly Pomona’s Fashion Society plans to launch a virtual fashion magazine this year to substitute its annual fashion show, aiming to highlight student designers and entrepreneurs.

With the campus’ closure due to COVID-19, Fashion Society, the university’s leading fashion club, is unable to host its annual in-person fashion show. Instead, the club is working hard to produce a magazine that captures students’ creativity and imagination.

Club President Brianna Harris, a fourth-year apparel merchandising and management student, recalled that one of the most important aspects of in-person shows is gifting students the spotlight and recognition for their designs and talents — something all board members hope to transfer over to their virtual magazine.

“I think the biggest thing is just a moment of celebration and reflection,” Harris said. “I feel like we didn’t get a lot of time to have those recently, like just to look at something you created and celebrate that accomplishment.”

Knowing that the campus closure would impede in-person gatherings, Fashion Society’s executive board members originally planned for a virtual fashion show, but they ultimately decided on creating a magazine due to scheduling conflicts with the virtual show.

With no prior publishing experience, choosing to launch a magazine was an uncharted endeavor for the club members.

“We are YouTube-ing it and putting all our Photoshop and Illustrator skills to the test,” said Club Graphic Designer and Social Media Marketing Manager Jasmin Lopez, a fourth-year apparel merchandising and management student.

Dressed in white, Fashion Society members walk the runway at the club’s past in-person fashion show. (Courtesy of Brianna Harris)

Lopez mentioned that the club has created lookbooks for previous fashion shows and the magazine would be an extension of them.

The board members’ first step in creating the magazine was reaching out to designers to collaborate with. With a virtual magazine being out of their comfort zone, they wanted to get a feel for what the designers’ responses would be. After receiving multiple sign-ups, they decided to move forward with their idea.

Apart from designers, the magazine will also include advertisements featuring student entrepreneurs who want to share their products with the campus community. All students are welcome to take advantage of the free advertising opportunity regardless of what they are selling.

Club members pride themselves on organizing a magazine amid the pandemic, especially when the transition over to virtual meetings was challenging for the board members. Keeping students engaged and entertained was a priority, yet the online mediums caused difficulties in maintaining rich engagement.

To combat this, Fashion Society has been active on various social media platforms to strengthen its online presence. Currently, the club is regularly uploading its “Wear or Tear” series on Instagram — a series that allows students to decide whether they would “wear or tear” an outfit. The series is comprised of various topics, including thrifted clothing, fashion trends and celebrity styles.

Last semester, the club also hosted tutorials via Zoom with events demonstrating how to create scrunchies at home. This semester, Fashion Society expanded to host guest speaker events, with speakers like Clothes Closet organizers, to discuss internship opportunities. The club hopes these events will provide the campus community with an hour to destress, take their mind off of problems and have fun exploring the world of fashion.

That hope also reflects the goal of the magazine. Fashion Society wants as many students to be involved as possible, regardless of their majors or involvement with the club.

“I know it’s a difficult time right now, but I feel like it’s something special and a pretty cool thing we made during a hard time in the world,” said Club Secretary Maria Elena Munoz, a fourth-year apparel merchandising and management student. “This magazine is just going to be out there. It’s something the school will have forever, and it’s something students can look at any time.”

Students interested in getting involved with the virtual magazine can contact Fashion Society via Instagram @fashionsocietycpp or email at fashionsocietycpp@gmail.com.

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