RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The lawn of Thomas Jefferson High School transformed into a runaway on Tuesday evening as models showcased student-created designs for the “Girls for a Change” “Secure the Bag” fashion show.
RVA Fashion Week models were joined by Thomas Jefferson students on Tuesday, April 18 as they showed off clothing donated by DTLR and Dillard’s that “Girls for a Change” participants helped style, as well as outfits the girls designed using thrifted clothes.
One of the evening’s models was Sami Tyson, a Thomas Jefferson sophomore, who modeled an outfit she had designed herself out of a thrifted sweatsuit and pair of jeans.
“At first I was so nervous. Like I did not know how I was gonna do,” she said. “The RVA Fashion models were also very encouraging, like, they made sure I was okay before I went out there.”
Model Bradley Cox says he quickly volunteered to help RVA Fashion Week pull off its first partnership with Richmond Public Schools once the “Girls for a Change” students got the green light for their show.
“Coming from where I was brand new before and then being able to pass some of that down to new people, it felt good,” Cox said.
Brittany Hatcher, a Thomas Jefferson junior, was initially surprised by the idea of the show.
“I was pretty shocked. I was like, ‘Fashion show?'” she said. “At first I thought it was just going to be like, oh a little school fashion show, a little school community.”
Hatcher ended up bringing her passion for animals and nature to the runway with a tropical-inspired jacket and pants featuring birds and butterflies. On the evening of the show, she was pleased to find that the crowd enjoyed her design.
“Apparently they liked it, so it was very nice knowing something I like personally was liked among the crowd,” Hatcher said.
While Hatcher already had an interest for art and drawing before the show, she says the experience has given her a new appreciation for fashion design.
“I like making the clothes and wearing the clothes I made, that was actually pretty nice,” Hatcher said. “I didn’t think about it before, but now I know.”
Hatcher and Tyson both agree that the whole process has taught them that they are capable of than they might think.
“The life lesson that it taught me was to keep going even if you don’t want to, because I kept going even though I didn’t want to and I’m happy with the product,” Tyson said.