FADs promotes local brands from SU swag to jewelry 

FADS promotes local brands from Syracuse swag to jewelry

The Fashion Design Society hosted their first EXPO fashion show, bringing together local brands to showcase their designs.

Students gather in the Shaffer Art lobby for the Fashion Design Society Spring Expo on Saturday March 30.
Annie Maryam
Students try on and look at the jewelry pieces that were displayed in the fashion show.

Fashion shows have a way of bringing different styles together to commemorate, showcase and bring awareness to local brands that bigger corporate companies often outshine. The Fashion Design Society (FADS) was created to do just that.

FADS was founded in 2017 by Aanya Singh to showcase student fashion designers’ work. Each semester, the organization hosts a fashion show to celebrate the work of its creatives. FADS allows students to gain real-life experience working in fashion for their portfolio, whether it be as a designer, model or photographer.

In addition to their usual show, on Saturday, FADS put together their first-ever EXPO, showcasing different student and local brands in partnership with Digital_Toxicity. The outfits modeled came from local brands such as Ravi Sauce, Grater Things, Awkward Fish Co., Scholars and Champs and more. After the fashion show, each brand sold their products for attendees to buy after the show. 

FADS president and SU senior Leah Jones has been involved with the organization since she was a freshman taking on different roles throughout her years. Despite this being the organization’s first-ever EXPO, Jones was pleased with how the event turned out.

“I feel like yesterday, outside of being a fashion show and shopping event, was a great way for people to network,” Jones said. “That was kind of an underrated purpose of the event.” 

Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Aman Johnson, FADS model coach, models a jacket down the runway.

SU senior Aidan Turner joined FADS this semester and began working with the board to coordinate the EXPO in partnership with his brand, Digital_Toxicity. His clothing brand, Grater Things was showcased in the event. The message of Grater Things —  “achieving greater things in life — ” plays off Turner’s logo, a cartoon cheese grater.

“We emphasize that what you’re going to remember is the journey, how you get there, the things that you did, the people that you met,” Turner said. “So, we say enjoy that journey. Have fun with it and make the most of it.”

On a walk, SU senior Kayla Kriegel stumbled upon the event and decided to check out the show out of curiosity. Kriegel applauded the EXPO’s uniqueness and variety.

“It was really interesting to see the collaboration between all of the different items of fashion,” Kriegel said. “Usually you don’t see jewelry paired with clothing often because of the separate markets for them. But it was really cool to see that all shown together.”

Fashion is often overlooked as a way to make someone look a certain way. Jones assures that the goals of FADS is more than just surface level, but instead to promote sustainability and give designers a platform to share their message. 

“A lot of our designers will figure out ways to up-cycle clothes or do that through their designs or push out a message that they’re really passionate about politically through their designs,” Jones said. “It also gives people a voice who may not typically always have the voice or the space to say what they want to say.”

FADS E-board members Leah Jones (President, left), Bella Young (Vice President, middle), and Aidan Turner (right) say a few words to start the show.
Annie Maryam
FADS E-board members Leah Jones (President, left), Bella Young (Vice President, middle) and Aidan Turner (right) say a few words to start the show.

As an entrepreneur himself, Turner is an advocate for showcasing local brands. He recognizes that big, corporate brands don’t typically display as much variety, with their goal focusing on turning a profit. He applauds local brands for shifting their focus from making money to showcasing unique designs.

“Something that’s so awesome about small student-run brands is like they don’t care, they’re not corporate. They don’t care about the money as much as all of these other huge entities do,” Turner said. “They do it because it’s their creative outlet.”