Future Designers Showcase Their Talent at Fusion Fashion Show

It’s time to start picking out your outfit for the Fusion Fashion Show!

Presented by UT’s University Fashion Group (UFG), the annual show features collections by talented apparel design students. This year’s event takes place on Thursday, April 23 at The Frank Erwin Center. Tickets are free and available to the public, or catch the show’s live broadcast on the Longhorn Network.

Below, we spoke to four of UFG’s officers to learn a little more about the planning and preparation for the show and what we can expect from this year’s designers.

  • Ronit Joselevitz, President
  • Mong Bui, Vice President of Production
  • Kara Knight, Assistant Director of Social Media
  • Max La, Model Coordinator

Tell me a little about UFG! How large is the group? What's your mission?

MB: We have over 120 members including officers. The mission that is stated on our website is "to promote principles from the arts, sciences, and humanities vis-à-vis the world of apparel design, retail merchandising, textile science, and textiles conservation." In other words, we want to develop our fashion-loving members to be successful professionally in the industry regardless of the path they take.

KK: We help jumpstart fashion careers for students in all majors and studies. We also aim to help grow the Austin fashion community through the University.

You're taking over the Frank Erwin Center! That's huge! Has the show always been this big? How has it changed over the years?

MB: The show continues to grow each and every year. Before the Frank Erwin Center the show took place in a smaller room, not the arena, and before that took place in the basement of the Human Ecology building. We are now even aired live via de Longhorn Network and so we have reached an even larger audience base each and every year.

How long does planning and preparation for the show take?

RJ: We start the day that the previous show ends—that is we reserve our dates and during the summer we begin our search for sponsors and continue this throughout the fall semester. UFG officers meet every other week during the fall in preparation for the show and in the spring it switches to twice a week, weekly.

MB: It literally takes an entire school year to prepare for the fashion show. We start slow with the show concept and name during the fall semester. We also constantly gather guest speakers and sponsors contact information to add to our VIP invite list. Everything goes full speed ahead at the start of the spring semester. It takes a lot of time and manpower to execute the annual UT Fashion Show at the professional standard the senior design students and the University Fashion Group want it to be.

ML: We even created a TXA class here at UT that UFG officers would receive credit as a learning experience going through the production of a fashion show.

Is there a selection process that designers have to go through or is the show open to anyone interested in showing their collection?

RJ: Students who participate in the show must be declared Textiles and Apparel juniors or seniors who have completed the design track that ultimately leads them to the Advanced Apparel class where students work on their collections.

What different types of styles and aesthetics can guests plan on seeing?

MB: Guests can expect to see a variety of styles ranging from sportswear, resorts, evening, to bridal! Each designers have their own aesthetic. It's very hard to describe, but you can be sure that everyone's individuality compliment each other in someway to create a cohesive, infused look for FUSION as a whole.

ML: We have a total of 23 senior designers showcasing and each designer is required to design 1 active wear, a 3-piece mini collection, and their choice between bridal or evening wear. That is a total of 5 outfits per designer. Over the past few months I’ve gotten the amazing opportunity to meet and really get to know our senior designers and they are such a creative bunch with a variety of skills sets and taste. So anyone attending the show is bound to see something they love.

What's your favorite part of the putting on the show?

KK: My favorite part is definitely seeing all our hard work in action on the evening of the show. It feels amazing to show the entire university and austin community our work and why we are so involved in UFG. I love to see reactions from my peers that they are so impressed with how professional the show really is.

RJ: My favorite part would have to be seeing the show itself via backstage because the day of the show you can see every bit of labor that all of our officers and designers have put in this past year.

ML: My favorite part of putting on the show is hands down getting the opportunity to work with such talented people. Our faculty and directors are so dedicated in making sure our students succeed and they care so much about us and everything we do. Our designers are seriously some of the coolest kids. I love coming into the sewing lab and seeing all of them hard at work and even through all the bundled stress of finishing their garments and creating perfection. It’s such a lively and fun environment to be in. Along with all of our models, hair/makeup artists, and volunteers they’re just extremely excited to see the show come to life. I’ve truly gotten to know a great amount of people and even some I can easily call lifelong friends. I also love all the work that is put into this show. The hustle and bustle of it all from shoots, fittings, backstage day-of-show is the most stressful thing ever. But I absolutely live for it all and would be thrilled to be able to do this for the rest of my life… while getting paid of course.

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