On the campus of Florida A&M University, a unique sense of style and self-expression weaves its way through the student body. Beyond the lecture halls and textbooks, FAMU students find an exciting canvas for creativity in fashion. From the iconic orange and green attire to the diverse range of personal styles, FAMU students use their clothes to express themselves rather than the typical forms of expression.
Second-year broadcast journalism student and F.A.C.E.S model Tamia Williams explains how she doesn’t feel forced to dress up consistently despite the HBCU stereotype of always having to do so.
“I do think FAMU’s culture influenced my fashion choices, but positively,” Williams said. “I never feel forced to dress up for class because I still know how to dress regardless of what I’m wearing that day. No one can take that away from me, and everyone is allowed to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable for the day.”
Being able to display her personality through different fabric patterns and vibrant colors gives Williams a sense of release by putting on something unique. Fashion has also helps with her individuality on campus.
“Fashion plays a huge role in my individuality,” Williams said. “When I pick an outfit it’s mostly based on my emotions for the day.”
FAMU Royal Escort and second-year business major Rayn Fields also shared his input on how fashion has influenced him more this school year than it has before.
“My style has changed between this year and last due to not only the position I’ve fulfilled on the royal court but also my understanding of the importance of always looking presentable as you may never know who you will cross paths with,” Fields said.
He also believes that going from dressing comfortably to business casual consistently has changed how he presents himself and its effects on him.
“I believe what you wear should always be a positive reflection of yourself since your outfit can also reflect your mental health,” Fields said. “This year, I have made it a priority of mine to hold myself to this standard and allow my clothing to reflect my sense of professionalism and integrity,” he added.
Second-year business major and founder of Uproar Modeling Team Morgan Sampson shared her experience of how fashion is more than just clothes, but an impact.
“I love dressing around campus,” Sampson said. “Fashion has always been an outlet for me to the point where it just feels natural, like brushing my teeth. It honestly motivates me on my off days to go to class,” she added.
When it comes to mixing fashion with her modeling organization, Sampson decided to take a different approach to allowing her models to express how they dress.
“I wanted to make modeling fun again,” Sampson said. “Giving my models creative freedom with how they dress made modeling more enjoyable for them, and provided a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone could flourish professionally,” she added.
Fashion can be found all around FAMU’s campus in various styles and patterns. It is one of the profound ways that students express themselves outside of the classroom.