Friday, April 12, 2024

Color the Runway preview: Seventh annual show “Muse” 


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Featured photo by Reggie Johnson Jr.

Story by Aiden O’Neill

The Color the Runway fashion show has become a beloved tradition for Middle Tennessee State University students.  

Every Black History Month for the past seven years, the creatives in this organization have portrayed a love for black culture and fashion in an enthralling manner. The ability to mix whimsical, compelling and significant concepts within every show is awe inspiring…or art inspiring.

“Muse” is the theme for the seventh annual show this Friday, accurately encompassing the creative inspiration this group provides to the campus.   

To appreciate the organization fully it’s important to know the original intent of the show. Many current MTSU students weren’t around when the original Color the Runway show was showcased in 2017. Luckily, former Sidelines reporter Marissa Gaston interviewed the original architect of Color the Runway to give a little insight to future students. In this Q & A article, Gaston asks the coordinator, BréYhana Johnson, how she came up with this concept.  

“Before I came to college, I didn’t know much about black history besides the watered-down and often inaccurate information taught in schools. As I became in tune with my history, I became in tune with myself. Ever since then, I’ve become a better person,” Johnson said. “Therefore, I constantly strive to make an impact on people and educate them on the different realms of knowledge that I’ve acquired. Since my freshman year, it was an idea I had. Through the Black History Month Committee and the NAACP of MTSU, I am able to make it come alive.”  

This former student designer dove into her personal journey of learning more about Black culture. Each of the pieces in Johnson’s show was like a page in a history book, eloquently educational in nature. From 1865 inspired period clothing to the present, each outfit represented a pivotal moment for the community. 

The original vision of educational and intricate designs hasn’t wavered in each annual show. Throughout the years, each generation of members found their own story to tell and a creative way to tell it. Every show is different than the last and stands on its own with a concrete theme. 

Designers have focused on lack of media coverage, timeless fashion, police violence, archival fashion trends and numerous other forms of creative expression all in relation to Black culture. Each concept has relevance in current American society and reminds viewers that these issues are systemic in nature.  

It’s sad to see this iconic MTSU event come to an end, but the impact it will leave behind won’t be forgotten. That said, the success of informing the public through an innovative medium will potentially have a domino effect throughout the student body.  

Although the architects of the event haven’t given too many hints as to what the upcoming show will entail, the promotional poster on their Instagram page exudes an elegant, modern and editorial natured direction. Put on some snazzy attire and witness the next phase of Color the Runway at 7 p.m. Friday night in the MTSU Ballroom.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Destiny Mizell and Assistant Lifestyles Editor Shamani Salahuddin, email For more news, visit, or follow us on Instagram at MTSUSidelines or on X at @MTSUSidelines.  

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