Bryant Fashion Forum Bridges the Gap Between Fashion and Business at Bryant

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By Kaitlyn DiNapoli

One of the biggest missions of Bryant University is mixing a student’s individual passions with a career and that’s exactly what the Bryant Fashion Forum does for students with a passion for fashion. The club’s mission states: “The Bryant Fashion Forum encourages students to focus on career paths that pique their interest in the fashion industry through site visits, educational workshops and speakers from the fashion community while studying their desired business focus.” The club has been working to establish its name on campus and have been fully committed on executing their mission to benefit students at Bryant. 

One of the biggest events the Bryant Fashion Forum held this year was the production of Fashion Week Rhode Island. Thursday, March 8th through Sunday, March 11th, the Organization Lights | Fashion | Philanthropy took two new venues by storm and broke out the runway for the next Season of Fashion Week Rhode Island. Fashion Week Rhode Island is a four-day event that features a wide variety of not only fashion designers, but also artists, dancers, and musicians, and is synchronized with Fashion Weeks around the world. All of the seasons of Fashion Week Rhode Island have the same end goal of spot-lighting local businesses as well as gaining potentially new clientele for the featured designers and exhibitors featured in each runway show.  

As part of the production, these themed events take place in different towns across the state of Rhode Island in unconventional settings such as the Mercedes Benz of Warwick and even in the Rotunda at none other than here on campus at Bryant University. The Bryant Fashion Forum was presented the opportunity during the Fall of last year to host Fashion Week Rhode Island by the Creative Director, Yemi Sekoni. The Fashion Forum jumped on the opportunity and was eager to start planning the execution of the event. Current President Kayla Knox and Vice President Kaitlyn DiNapoli were two of the students heavily involved with the planning and production. During the planning of the show the Fashion Forum made it a priority to involve the Bryant Community. Each show includes pop-up boutiques to provide guests the exclusive opportunity to shop for the looks and accessories seen moments before, on the runway. The Bryant Fashion Forum took the initiative to add additional vendors of Bryant’s student entrepreneurs. They showcased and sold products from their accessory companies and clothing lines. Bryant Grad and designer Connor Donahue even had his line walk the runway. 

Vice President Kaitlyn DiNapoli says, “The experience our members got from being involved with the production of Fashion Week Rhode Island is something we are immensely grateful for. It was a great way to get educated on yet another aspect of the fashion industry as well as offering leadership opportunities and learning about what the business side of the industry is all about. With this club, we have tried to get as many opportunities and experiences as we can with people in the industry and it has varied from the construction of a design all the way to touring distribution centers. It’s about getting your foot in the door. We feel we set a solid foundation and are eager to see the growth with more events like Fashion Week Rhode Island.” DiNapoli also says “Being around other students who have the same passion and hearing personal accounts from people in the industry who have succeeded is motivating.”  

The Fashion Forum is always welcoming new members so be sure to check out @bryantfashion on Instagram for information about meetings and events!

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