Fashion Show gets new director, cleaner image

There will no longer be the raunchy scene of buttocks and greased muscular chests.

This year’s homecoming fashion show is spinning in a new direction under the leadership of past models.

Alice Mathis, director of the Office of Student Union and Activities, selected Kim Kirby, a 1996 inductee of Images Modeling Troupe, to be the chairwoman of this year’s event.

“One of the things on the evaluation was that we need new blood with new ideas and different approaches for this year’s show,” said Mathis. “I think that Ms. Kirby has a lot of style and a lot of quality; we are looking forward to seeing a more tasteful and professional show this year.”

Last year was Mathis’ first year at FAMU and as director. She had to stop certain participants from being viewed by last year’s audience that she felt did not portray a respectable image of the University.

“I was so shocked to see those girls come out scantly clad,” said Mathis. “They left nothing for imagination.”

Kirby, the community advisor for IMT and former employee of the office of student activities, has not helped with the Homecoming Fashion Show since 2000.

She submitted a proposal after viewing last year’s show, feeling that it was not well rounded.

“I wanted to get the faculty more involved with outside modeling organizations and not just have a show that people feel like only patronized one organization.”

Kirby chose Anthony Thompson, a 1996 inductee of Epicurean Fashion Experience, as co-chairman of the event. She selected Tajma Darlington, a 1997 inductee of EFE and Linté Brown, a 1999 inductee of IMT as directors.

“I selected a director that I feel and believe is open-minded, and maturity is on another level, yet cognizant of the diversity and the age range of people in attendance,” Kirby said.

The new directors feel this year’s show needed to be more appealing to the audience.

“The show last year was alright, but the scenes were too long and repugnant showing no creativity,” Darlington said. “The FAMU Homecoming Fashion Show should always be one of the best shows of the year.”

Although some people applauded the idea to turn the show over to a “old school” models, others did not.

“I honor the old schools who have paved the way for me, but the old have to leave and make room for the future to continue,” said Anthony Mincey, chairman of last year’s Homecoming Fashion Show.

Mincey said he believes the alumni models do not have the relationships with the faculty and the time to put into the show that is needed.

“These people have jobs…and don’t have time to run around on campus all day to get things that need to be done,” Mincey said. “If you lose the passion, then you won’t have a good show.”

Mincey said he is anxious to see the turnout of the show after hearing problems they have encountered with a facility to practice.

This year’s fashion show participants have practiced outside of the Benjamin Banneker Tech Building for the past month.

With tryouts drawing over 200 models from all over Tallahassee, the directors had to accommodate the largest turnout in show history.

The directors say they chose models of all shapes and sizes.

“They just had to fit what we were looking for on the runway,” Darlington said.

Meeting since July, the organizers’ new direction has implemented a new stage design, with a more tasteful male and female lingerie scenes and a FAMU scene that will include the faculty, student clubs and organizations and athletics.

“We are not trying to take over, but we want to fix what has been broken,” said Darlington. “The old school is tired of coming back and viewing the same type of show each year.”

The only thing Thompson wants the “new school” to see is that members of the old school are still trendsetters asking this year’s audience to sit back and “experience fashion.”

Contact Danzell Bussey at