BSA fashion show includes all cultures

Tuesday, Nov. 19, South Dakota State University’s Black Student Alliance redefined fashion shows by including people of different cultures and unique styles for the third annual “Culture & Cause” fashion show. 

The show offered the audience different pieces of apparel, including designs from SDSU students, modeled by BSA members on the runway. 

BSA members continued the fashion show this year in hopes that showcasing their cultural style may answer some questions people have on unique cultural style and awareness. 

Nadifa Mahamed was a designer included in the show. She has original designs she started this past July of shirts combining the outline of Africa and South Dakota, symbolizing her connection to both. 

“La Galere” is her apparel line, which means “hard time” in French. She explains it as the struggle or the hustle. 

“I am inspired to show people that look like me and are from my culture to stand up for themselves and follow their dreams,” Mahamed said. 

Another BSA member featured in the show, Marchaman Kunati, has a different connection to fashion than others. It has connected her to her mother, who she hasn’t been in contact with since she was born.

A native of Ghana, Kunati came to America at a young age with a family she didn’t know in hopes of a better life. About two years ago, she got a strange call from someone in Ghana who claimed to be her mother. 

After finding out the caller was indeed her mother, they learned they had a deeper connection with one another through their enthusiasm for fashion. 

“I started drawing my own clothing. I thought maybe I should get a sewing machine,” Kunati said. “But then I got connected with my birth mother so I started sending my ideas to her”.

When Kunati sent her mother designs or ideas she had for African clothing, her mother would make it for her and send it back. Some of these designs were displayed in the fashion show. 

Her designs with her mother stood out compared to the other apparel because of the bright African fabric and unique design. 

Kunati hopes one day to own a multicultural mall and name it after her mother and father. Her goal is to bring attention to different cultures and to honor the unity between her and her parents. She plans to go to Ghana to meet her mother in person next semester.

“Culture & Cause” is a time to showcase different fashion items that follow the minority populations. The club wanted to show their own interpretations of different cultures. 

“The show is always student-driven,” said Akeah Aschmeller, BSA President. “All the money goes right to the Multicultural Center to offer more cultural events.”

BSA is thankful for another successful fashion show and for those who go to events out of their usual comfort zone.