As models prepare to hit the runway, designers finalize their creations and executive board members hone in on their marketing strategy, the Cornell Fashion Collective’s annual fashion show is back. Designers are set to show off their talent in Barton Hall on Saturday, March 11 starting at 4:30 p.m.
Members of CFC said it requires immense levels of planning efforts and teamwork to have a successful show, especially after overcoming significant financial obstacles after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID kind of screwed us over because the day before our show, [students] got sent home for COVID,” said Devin Schneider ’23, president of the CFC. “We had already paid a lot of money, and we had to refund tickets and lost a lot of money.”
Schneider said that with the help of Cornell’s alumni office in the form of crowdsourced funding, CFC was able to gain additional sources of revenue for this year’s show.
“The original goal of the campaign was $10,000,” Schneider said. “I said ‘I think that’s a little low balling it — we can do better.’ We ended up raising $36,000, which covered the entirety of the production budget for the show.”
CFC’s successful fundraising efforts provided board members with a sense of hope and exhilaration for this year’s show. However, funding was just one of many challenges CFC encountered while putting on this year’s fashion show.
Mattie Nguyen ’25, director of design for the CFC, told The Sun about the struggle to blend each designer’s unique style.
“Finding that sweet spot where everybody is challenged and putting their best foot forward has been the challenge, and it’s a rocky road,” Nguyen said.
CFC also allows designers outside of the University’s fashion department to showcase their collections in the spring show.
“The biggest challenge is finding the intersection of where people are coming from and a space where we can create the best work that we can, both from the designers within the [fashion] department and people outside the department,” Nguyen said.
Nik Martin ’25, the director of graphics for CFC, detailed the initiatives the collective is creating to sell their goal of 3,000 tickets.
“Even though there are 15,000 people on this campus, selling 3,000 tickets is a lot of tickets to sell,” Martin said. “The other week, I printed out the flyers, walked around the 10 different buildings across campus and hung 350 fliers. We’ll go the extra mile to make sure the show is where it needs to be.”
Fashion shows are not just runway struts, cool designs and fancy collections — they are also the blood, sweat and tears behind the curtain.
“People come and people go every year,” Nguyen said. “But by the point that we are at now — where it’s a week from the show — everybody’s really all in.”
Erica Yirenkyi ’25 is a Sun contributor and can be reached at [email protected].