On Friday, April 26, the Akerstrom Arena in Whittemore Athletic Center was transformed into a runway for the second annual Kimball Union Fashion show. The completely student-run event was conceived and designed by Akar ’20.
“I started the fashion show last year to find my voice and also to have a 100% student-based creative activity culminating in a huge event,” says Akar. Each year, along with the lead collaborators, Akar chooses a theme to explore through the fashion show. The spring 2018 show, Our Power, focused on women’s empowerment in the workplace and the spring 2019 show, MINE, explored issues surrounding female body image.
Akar worked throughout the winter and spring trimesters in a joint Art and STEM afternoon activity to prepare for the show, which featured 42 student models and over 70 members of the KUA community including volunteer tech and stage crew members, press and publicity, ticket sales, designers, lighting, and hair and make-up. “We had 35 original looks,” remarks Akar, “I designed 31 of those myself while Emma ‘21 designed the remaining four. Emma, Lucia '21, and I constructed all of the pieces together. I’ve learned so much this year, from sewing to collaborating with large groups of people.”
The fashion show included a successful fundraising component. Akar explains, “We raised money by selling first row seats for $15 each. About $400 was raised and donated to the Basadi Women's Project in South Africa.”
As a rising senior, Akar has big plans for the spring 2020 Kimball Union Fashion Show. “Next year, I’m planning to do the third annual fashion show as my senior Arts Scholar Capstone project. I want to upgrade and make it even bigger to include more designers, more sewers, more models – whatever interests people have, I want them to contribute to the show and showcase their talents.”
Founded in 1813, Kimball Union Academy is one of the oldest private boarding high schools in New Hampshire and the country. KUA blends the best of the New England boarding tradition with an innovative, modern educational program for a diverse group of day and boarding students from across the country and around the world. Located in Meriden, New Hampshire in the heart of the Upper Valley, Kimball Union is minutes from Dartmouth College and has direct access to Boston and New York.