CARBONDALE ― The NAACP’s Afrocentric fashion show is set to take place at the end of this month. Its goal is to showcase Black history and celebrate melanin.
Robin Johnson, co-chair of the event, said the theme of this year’s show is “celebrating our melanin” and she hopes the show can be seen as more than just a fashion show.
“We are still trying to utilize and make sure that we have other aspects within the fashion show. It’s just a celebration for Black History Month and we want all kinds of genres in it just like we had the first year,” Johnson said.
This is the second year the NAACP is hosting the show, Johnson said. She said the ages for the models range from children to older adults. The first year, the show ranged from ages 2-40.
“Anyone was welcome to be a part of it. We had male and female community members,” Johnson said. “What I enjoyed about it so much is that we had a lot of children and that was great. And that not only did we have children modeling, teenagers modeling, older members of the community modeling […] there was a group that was from one of the schools within the area, but they had pulled children from the different schools.”
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There’s a variety of ways the models find clothes for the fashion show, Johnson said. Some are donated; some bring their own clothing. In 2019, Women for Change made outfits for the models.
“We’re going to be celebrating our melanin. We come in all different shades and that’s the truth,” Johnson said. “But the other part is the unity that we’re getting is that … all are welcome. You don’t have to be African American to be a part of our Afrocentric Fashion Show. And what I love about that is that we’ve gotten some inquiries and people that are wanting to participate that are not so I’m so excited.”
The show will take place 3 p.m. on Feb. 27 in Guyon Auditorium at SIU’s Morris Library. It is sponsored by the Carbondale Branch of the NAACP and SIU’s Black Resource Office.
Anyone interested in participating as a model, volunteer or by donating clothing, or who is interested in performing should contact Robin Johnson at 618-521-9751.