Fashion | February 6th, 2024
In the Land of Fashion at FAMU
By: Tatyanna McCray | Staff Writer
If anybody knows a thing or two about fashion, it’s students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The fashion culture at Florida A&M University is rich in patterns, prints and diversity, keeping up with the latest trends.
As students travel and cross the highest of seven hills, a cycle of closet revamps occurs, with some students embracing new rad styles, while others remain true to their personal essence of beauty.
In recent years, the world of fashion has brought forth haute couture and several fashion don’ts. Now with the help of social media, influencers and the average person can create “get ready with me” looks, mimicking the popular trend from YouTube of yesteryear known as “lookbooks” detailing where each item they’re wearing is from, and sometimes the price of items.
Backpacks? They’re almost a thing of the past. Students are now more interested in arriving to class stylishly with designer totes, and other customized or popular gear. Brands such as MCM, Coach, Micheal Kors, Marc Jacobs and Telfar are some of the many sported to compliment dazzling outfits.
On any given day of the week, numerous style profiles can be identified around campus. From business casual and streetwear to chic, the baddie aesthetic and other fashion looks, students at FAMU consistently create new meanings of personal style. There’s enough vogue and inspirational spark to go around for anyone eager to switch up their style or add complementary additions to it.
Dachia Morris, a third-year business administration scholar, believes that modesty is key when it comes to fashion and personal style. “During the last 10 years fashion has become more revealing; with clothing becoming more exposed and seductive. I love a nice, classy look,” she said.
Much like Florida weather, fashion trends change consistently. What was in last week can be deemed out of fashion quickly. The pressure to keep up has led many students to feel pressured to dress and act a certain way. In addition to this, debates have been sparked surrounding the current state of style. It is believed that trends have a strong influence on the masses, leaving little to no room for originality.
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Social media has also played a prominent role in the influence of fashion. As influencers and celebrities sponsor different brands, fans flock to the latest items ready for a photo op. The evolution of fashion can be seen through the trends in clothing throughout each decade. Bell bottoms and denim were a hit in the ’70s, while leather jackets became a regular part of wardrobes in the ’80s. This was followed by the birth of the now very nostalgic fashion of the ’90s, consisting of street style, fashion chic, Afrocentric prints and many other considerably timeless looks.
Sa’Meara Davidson, a second-year psychology major, feels that fashion is timeless, stating, “I feel like the fashion world doesn’t lack anything. Everyone has their own style and even when some things look the same, people manage to dress it differently. I feel like it has evolved for the better but has also implemented touches of the past. We’re looking back and appreciating older fashion trends and finding our sense of identity within our cultural fashion trends.”
Although the culture of fashion is rich on HBCU campuses, the black community is no stranger to being duplicated but stripped of acknowledgment. Often, aspects of black art, fashion and trends are taken and admired on mainstream levels, hiding the origins. Thankfully, because of the vast growth and detailed research on the internet, black creators can promote themselves and their craft.
In fact, students and alumni alike have begun using their creativity to create graphic tees, sweaters and other accessories to show homage to their beloved alma mater FAMU. In recent years there has been an increase in black-owned businesses, ranging from clothing to makeup, skincare, and other beauty products to cookware and much more.
Senior Taylor Cooper, a psychology major, shared, “As a student, I highly enjoy Afro-centric fashion that I see around campus. I wish to see more emphasis on black owned clothing brands.” Cooper likes baggy jeans with a nice T-shirt and a complementary pair of shoes to match but feels the fashion world should do away with the outline and print of women’s bodies on clothing.
Get the Look?
Finding one’s personal style can be tough because there are so many options to choose from, and revamping your closet is not always cheap. However, it is well worth it and can be an instant confidence booster. There are several style quizzes available for students to take and study those who exhibit their preferred look. From budget-friendly to pricey alternatives, there are options to shop for in-store and online to achieve a specific look or wardrobe revamp. Find your inner fashionista and let it reign supreme! `