By Laura Acuff, Opinion Editor
The Office of Multicultural Enrichment and the Ajisai Team combined to produce “Ajisai: Four Seasons Fashion Show,” scheduled to take place in the Teague Special Events Center Friday. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 7:30 p.m.
“Ajisai,” Japanese for Asian fashion, adeptly titles the production, which features traditional and modern Asian dress, free food, vocal and instrumental performances and a performance by ACU’s SHADES, said Whitney Puckett, a show organizer and sophomore interior design major from Melbourne, Fla.
Ideas for the Asian-themed fashion show began forming after last semester’s fashion show, “Exposed: A Fashion Story,” Puckett said, starting with four or five Asian students wanting to share their unique, culturally-shaped sense of fashion with the Abilene community.
“I think it was just very important to them that Asians get represented in a way that was more modern and a way that’s not just cherry blossoms and kimonos and dragons and things like that Americans can typically put in a stereotype for them,” Puckett said. “They wanted to be represented and they wanted to show what they’ve got.”
The production benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which willsponsor an informational booth at the event, Puckett said.
Dedicated to Beverly Rama, administrative coordinator for the Art Department, who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, the show is free for attendees and also features free food donated by local Abilene restaurants.
All proceeds from the fashion show comes in the form of donations or T-shirt sales, Puckett said. T-shirts will be available for purchase during lunch in the Campus Center on Wednesday. Plans to auction some of the runway clothes in the days or weeks following the show currently are being finalized.
Mallorie Frank, fashion show coordinator and public relations specialist, said beyond showcasing another culture, show organizers hope to encourage individuals affected by breast cancer through their support of the national foundation.
“There’s a lot of support groups around Abilene, and we want to kind of take our hats off to them for what they’ve gone through,” Frank said. “It’s something fun for them to do. Because they’re fighting breast cancer or they’ve had it or know someone who has had it, we want them just to have fun, and come out and enjoy themselves.”
By posting fliers on the ACU campus and in other locations around the Abilene community, including other local universities, Puckett said the Ajisai Team hopes to attract attendees beyond the ACU community.
Frank said with months of preparation and advertising, she expects 150 people or more.
“We want people to feel welcome,” Frank said. “This isn’t just an ACU thing. We don’t want to close ourselves off. This is something for the whole Abilene community to come and be a part of because we want to show our support for those who are fighting breast cancer.”