Friday, July 12, 2024

Annual TXMD Runway Show from a co-manager’s point of view

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Featured photo by MTSU TXMD

Story by Anna Davidson

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The Annual TXMD Runway Show will take place on April 20 at 5 p.m. at the Miller Education Center.

The show represents the culmination of everything students have learned throughout the program. It is an event that the entire department looks forward to and the entire spring semester centers around this day. Its theme is The Unstoppable Future, which will include looks inspired by dystopian fashion with the three themes of utilitarianism, classism and a wasteland. The Unstoppable Future’s tickets sold out in one week.

This will be the third runway show that I have participated in during my time at Middle Tennessee State University. I modeled during my sophomore and junior years and now as a senior I have the opportunity to plan and execute this highly anticipated event from start to finish. This semester, I will be a co-manager. 

My first touchpoint with this show began in the Fall 2023 semester. My Computer Aided Apparel Design II class was tasked with creating a promotional poster for the show that encapsulated the creative direction of our concept The Unstoppable Future. Faculty voted for my poster to be selected. This gave me the opportunity to act as a creative director for the rest of our promotional items such as model call posters, social media posts and the show program. Developing these items early on got me excited for the potential to play a much bigger role in the planning process come spring. 

Every spring senior student from both the Merchandising and Design concentrations come together in the Fashion Promotion class to execute the runway show. We participate in four committees: Model, Garment, Finance and Production. There are also two co-managers who work closely with our professor and MTSU Production Services to ensure productivity.

As co-manager I represent the merchandising side while my co-manager Nora Peebles-Ross represents the design side. In addition, I am also a member of our garment committee who accepts and evaluates garments submitted by students. 

This process has been a whirlwind from day one. The primary obstacle thus far has been securing sponsors for financial donations. We were told early on that we only had a budget of $400. I was glad that we at least had more than zero. Throughout the semester we have been calling and emailing local businesses and alumni to ask for their support. As of the end of March we have secured just over $3,000 in sponsor donations, received food from seven local restaurants and several gifts to be given to our design winners. 

My individual contribution has been a lot of overseeing the work of others. Throughout the semester I have managed numerous spreadsheets and documents keeping track of tasks that have been completed or need to be completed. I have to have my eye on multiple projects at once and keep communication open. My phone has been ringing nonstop since January and likely won’t be silent until the end of April. This process has allowed me to create connections with my peers who I haven’t had an opportunity to spend time with. While this has created new friendships it has also led to many arguments. We are under intense pressure as the entire department looks forward to showcasing our students’ work which leads to some long days. There have been disagreements and compromises, but nothing is ever left unresolved. The atmosphere inside of the classroom can be tense at times, but always ends in laughter and camaraderie. I don’t I have ever laughed harder than when I am surrounded by my peers.

This event carries a lot of personal meaning for me. My time in college has been spent developing my leadership and communication abilities. Throughout my past experiences I have discovered I have a passion for connecting my peers with opportunities and learning their individual strengths. My role as co-manager allows me to continue this path as I am constantly delegating tasks to my peers based on who I know is best fit for the project. It has been incredibly fulfilling to watch them excel in their committees and roles.

Additionally, I have spent my time at MTSU attempting to grow the reach of the TXMD department and generate more excitement for what we have to offer. Our professor, Tiffany Fortson, secured us a spot on Channel Five’s Talk of the Town on April 3. Peebles-Ross and I spoke about the program and the runway show live on the morning segment. This is an invaluable opportunity that I have received through my participation in this process to be a voice for the school and my department.

The TXMD Runway show represents my opportunity to synthesize everything that I have learned inside and outside of my classes to give back one final time to a program that has poured so much into my personal growth.

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

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