African Student Union hosts Met Gala-themed fashion show

African Student Union hosts fashion show

Syracuse's Goldstein Auditorium came to life with music, dancing, and fashion.
Published: October 25, 2021
A student model walks the runway at the Syracuse University African Student Union Fashion Show.
A student model walks the runway during the Syracuse University African Student Union RIP the Runway fashion show at the Goldstein Auditorium.

Rip the Runway, put on by the African Student Union, returned to in-person this year with live performances from a poet, singers, and dance troops along with the runway festivities. Models strutted and danced their way down the center of Syracuse University’s Goldstein Auditorium to a nearly sold-out audience of 420.

Seven fashion designers showcased work this year. Obioma Fashion started the show, followed by Noni Styles, Lave by Adore, A by Atta, GriffNoir, Desert’s Rose, and closing with Veekee James. Adore is a current SU student, A by Atta is an SU Alumni, and many of the other designers are from overseas. The seven runways were interspersed with dances from ONEWORLD and Outlaws dance troupe, a poem performed in English and Oromo, and musical performances from ISHE. DJ Buka provided smooth musical transitions and spur-of-the-moment song requests from the emcee when she danced on stage showing off her dress and her moves.

Dance Troupe for the African Student Union's Met Gala-themed fashion show, Rip the Runway, on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

Dancers strike poses and show off their best moves as vibrant colors cascade across the runway.

Models for the African Student Union's Met Gala-themed fashion show, Rip the Runway, on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

A model walks down the runway wearing couture designs in accordance to ASU's theme of "The Met."

Whitney Sossou, president of ASU, is a senior studying real estate development and entrepreneurship from Togo, West Africa. After a long planning process, Sossou looked forward to seeing the final result.

“I want my models to have fun,” she said. “I want people to have fun and experience what we promised to cater, which is The Met Gala experience.”

As each model walked down the runway, cheers erupted from the audience when they added their own personalities into the poses or did a dance move or two. Music guided the night as the audience reacted to popular African beats and even some songs trending on TikTok.

Bold prints, sequin gowns, and embroidered hoodies walked down the runway. A smoke machine and sparklers were new additions this year that got some oohs and aahs from the audience.

This year’s theme was “The Met.” Red carpets sprinkled with rose petals lined the entrance and a photo station with balloons and a sequin backdrop provided guests with many photo opportunities. The event started late with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. to a crowd waiting outside the auditorium. Guests were almost as dressed up as the models as they took pictures around the decorated space before the show finally started at 7:30 p.m.

Models for the African Student Union's Met Gala-themed fashion show, Rip the Runway, on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021
Models own the runway wearing colorful cuts, styles and colors as they represent the event's featured designers.

The audience cheered on not only the models but each other as they filtered into Goldstein. Men’s and women’s best-dressed competitions occurred between runways and invited those that wanted to show off their own looks a chance to strut and dance down the runway earning cheers from the audience.

Freshman Laurenne Yomi Mvete was drawn to the event by the promotions on social media and participated in the best-dressed walk.

“I just want to see how everyone pops off because I have no idea what to expect,” she said. “I just want to see everyone and how creative their outfits will be.”

For both new and returning members of the fashion show, the evening marked a vibrant celebration of African culture that honored all levels of participation.