Central Michigan Life – The Organization for Black Unity Fashion Show Returns In Person: “Find Your People”

The Organization for Black Unity (OBU) will present its 22nd annual fashion show at 6:30 p.m. on February 26 at the Plachta Auditorium.

The OBU Fashion Show is an event that showcases black culture and pride through fashion.

Junior, OBU President, Ahlexis Cole and Senior, Co-Director Makayla Smith began organizing the show in October 2021. Cole said organizing the show is a continuous learning process.

“You learn something new that you didn’t know even when the show was two days away,” she said. “It’s a lot of trying to organize things, but also going with the flow.”

The theme for the fashion show is “In This Category Is” – design themes remain unknown until announced on the night of the event. Smith said the organization chose this theme to showcase a range of different styles.

“We know everyone has their own style and looks at certain things,” she said. “It’s a mystery. You won’t know until you get there.

The OBU fashion show will feature designs made by Central Michigan University students and black-owned vendors.

Lansing junior and fashion design major Gabriela Salais has two designs in the show. This is the first time that her clothes will be presented. She said she was thrilled for people to see what she created.

“It’s a very proud moment for me,” said Salais. “I put so much hard work into it and it wasn’t easy.”

Last year, the OBU fashion show was virtual. Cole said everyone did what they could during COVID-19 to put on the best show possible via video.

Now, with the return of the in-person fashion show, Smith said everyone involved — from the directors to the models — worked tirelessly to make it an exciting and new experience for audiences.

“You just get a different connection when you’re actually there compared to a video through,” Smith said.

For OBU, the event is more than a fashion show. It’s a way to build relationships and expand networks. Cole said the OBU gives people confidence and growth.

“We don’t just want to be known as a fashion show,” Cole said. “We want to be an organization that offers a chance to find your people.”

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