Styling Florida A&M’s Royal Court is no easy task. Zharia Parrish, a one-year MBA candidate, is using her love for fashion and her beloved university to stay on top of all things Royal Court related.
Parrish took the chance of applying to be the Royal Court adviser for the 2022-2023 academic year, after helping her close friend and line brother, the ’23 Mister FAMU, Armani jones, hunt for candidates.
“I made a joke about being a Royal Court adviser and Armani said he thought it would be a great idea,” Parrish said. “I applied before summer break, and I got an interview. It was really competitive, but I impressed everyone in my interview and was selected.”
Being the Royal Court adviser not only means making sure outfits are put together, but hair and makeup as well. Shortly after getting the position, Parrish began a hunt for a makeup artist who would be willing to sign a contract with the school, agreeing to provide services for all home games. Since Royal Court members must pay for hair and makeup out of pocket, Parrish’s goal was to keep costs as low as possible.
Bringing outfit concepts to life sometimes requires additional assistance. Parrish and her male adviser work closely with the director of Student Activities, Andre Green, to work through ideas and get suggestions approved.
“Normally when I’m looking for concepts I plan with my other adviser Isaiah, so the girls and boys coordinate,” Parrish said. “I’m always thinking of ideas, because I want the court to look their best and plus the pressure from current students and alumni can be intense.”
When preparing to go out of town, whether for recruitment tours or away games, Parrish oversees everyone. There is a fitting for outfits two to three days before leaving and Parrish sends out reminders with a list of items needed.
“It’s really a lot of planning and making sure that everyone is in place,” Parrish said. “The most challenging part is that we are all peers, and we all operate in a level of hierarchy, and sometimes we have disagreements, but we always push past them. Sometimes I have to be the bad guy.”
While Parrish does receive a stipend of $1,000 for the year, being the Royal Court adviser means so much more to her.
“I feel like the court is a family and we’re always looking out for each other,” Parrish said. “Also, it’s fulfilling for me when they appear and they look really beautiful, I feel like all of my hard work paid off.”
When asked what fans can expect from the Royal Court at next week’s Florida Classic, Parrish said something new and chic, never before seen.