Looking Back: King's students volunteer at NYFW for the first time


In February, a group of King's students volunteered to help FTL Moda during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Seven months later, a larger group from King's is volunteering with FTL Moda again to assist them at New York Fashion Week. Meagan O'Shaughnessy was one of the original volunteers and the EST is kicking off its New York Fashion Week coverage with the following article, written in February after O'Shaughnessy's first volunteer experience with FTL Moda. In the next two weeks, the EST will be publishing articles about students' experience volunteering with FTL Moda this semester. Follow O'Shaughnessy on Twitter @Meagan_VO and Instagram @meagan.vo. On the cold and snowy Saturday morning of February 14, 2015, ten students gathered in the school lobby. They were waiting for FTL Moda, an international company that endorses new talents in fashion and modeling fields. The King’s College offered its downtown space in order for FTL Moda to prepare for their upcoming show scheduled the next day at the Salon at Lincoln Center during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Students from The King's College volunteering with FTL Moda in February. Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy.

The students worked closely with the coordinators, designers, and models of three separate labels:  Hendrik Vermeulen Couture, Rozalia Bot, and Antonio Urzi. The creators of Herdrik Vermeulen Couture’s collection, dubbed Smoke & Mirrors, described it as “a world of vintage charm, timeless elegance and dramatic grandeur.” Rozalia Bot, “inspired by the excellence of nature,” to the designers was to celebrate "the beauty of our bodies." Antonio Urzi is a collection named after its designer whose resume includes fashion brands Armani and Versace, boasts cliental such as Lady Gaga, Rhianna, and Beyoncé. His creation’s looked performance ready and said his inspiration for the  collections were cyborgs and goddesses. From 9am to 8pm, the student group helped with models fittings and styling as well as collecting and tracking the models information and unpacking and packing boxes. Their reward, however, came in the form of backstage passes for the show at Lincoln Center the next day.

Behind the scenes at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy.

FTL Moda, who hosts several fashion events worldwide, emphasizes its innovative ready to wear collections. Their Fall/Winter 2015 show, titled Loving You, featured nine international designers. Yet this was no traditional runway show. FTL Moda collaborated with Fondazione Vertical, a foundation that supports research labs trying to cure spinal cord injuries. They also teamed up with Models of Diversity, a global London-based agency for models with physical disabilities.

On Sunday the students arrived at 4pm to receive their credentials. They hit the ground running the moment they arrived.

“I helped compile model's information, steamed and ironed collections for the three different designers, and worked quick changes back stage during the show," said MCA sophomore Dorea Slagle ('17). “I expected to come into a tense and frantic atmosphere. Instead I met the loveliest people who kept things running smoothly and made everyone feel welcome."

Matt Brunicardi, an MCA senior, spoke about how seeing the actual show take place was his favorite part.

“It was the culminating moment that all our hard work and efforts had come to, and I was literally running back and forth taking models by their hands towards the stage, as well as shouting out instructions, and giving pep speeches to get everyone's energy up," said Brunicardi.

The show was a huge success, receiving both national and international coverage from multiple news outlets. Nevertheless, a momentous accomplishment was the relationship forged between The Kings College and FTL Moda.

“We loved working with each and every one of you," said Trish Hanson, the events lead coordinator after the show. “This wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for (the volunteers) help. We want you all back in September!”

Passes for volunteers. Photo by Meagan O'Shaughnessy.

For King’s students, especially those interested in a career in the fashion industry, this opportunity is imperative.

“I believe King's is taking baby steps to give students fashion career-related opportunities," said Charity Lewis ('16). “For the college to provide FTL Moda with space and student volunteers is a huge step forward.”

“One thing that should be considered is that our MCA program doesn't emphasize very much on fashion, if even at all," said Brunicardi. “With that being said, we are located directly in the heart of New York City, which is the fashion capital of the world, and that very notion should motivate students to apply themselves as best they can to break into the fashion industry through every opportunity.”