Text: Naomi Shimada
Photography: Tyler Davis
Mecca Parker, a junior Mechanical Engineering major, is a model coordinator for the SPIRIT Fashion Show this year. From the DC metro area, here at CMU he plays basketball and loves coding, reading, and building things.
For Parker, the SPIRIT Fashion Show is the creative manifestation of the SPIRIT organization as a whole.
SPIRIT is about diversity and inclusion of people with the goal of championing black awareness at the forefront of its mission. SPRIT Fashion Show encapsulates those ideals in every aspect from the show theme to the we models select to the looks assembled by designers. While advancing toward that goal, SFS also serves as a sort of canvas that displays all the beauty and uniqueness that sometimes may be overlooked by other people on campus.
Last year Parker decided to join SFS because he wanted to get out of his comfort zone and try something new.
It takes a lot of courage to go alone out onto a stage in a room full of people and walk as if youʼre the best thing since sliced bread so I saw the show as an opportunity to learn more about who I am and build more confidence in myself. I have also always been drawn toward creativity, not just in fashion, so I thought the show would be a great opportunity for exploration.
As a model coordinator, Parker does a lot of planning and communication between the model coordinators, the rest of E-board, and the models.
Being a model coordinator is a unique but fun job. There’s a good amount of pressure because half of the show is the models and their choreography on the runway and as model coordinators, we’re pretty much solely responsible for that! It is exciting but we also don’t take the weight of the task lightly.
Being a model coordinator can be a difficult at first, though, says Parker, because the first big task is selecting the models.
Your first big task is to select only 40 of the models that auditioned when there are lots that you wish you could have offered a spot in the show. After that, the fun part starts where we get to work with the new models and help them progress into the best models they can be. The most rewarding part of my job is seeing how the models grow and progress and become more confident in themselves as we get closer and closer to the show. I love seeing the imaginative looks that the designers make and how our models take them and make them their own.
While SFS can look effortless, there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it. The models have put in a lot of work to refine the show.
This year, our group of models has grown a lot. I think as the modelsʼ confidence and comfortability with each other grew, so did their modeling skill. We were a little rough around the edges when we first began, but after months of practice, weʼre almost ready to show off all of our hard work to CMU and the rest of Pittsburgh. Our progress is mostly due to the modelsʼ eagerness to take the model coordinatorsʼ advice and their keen ability to pick up the new choreographies.
Come see the SPIRIT Fashion Show, Parker says.
People should come see the SPIRIT Fashion Show because thereʼs really no better fashion show in Pittsburgh! You wonʼt find a production as grand as ours and as inclusive as ours in Pittsburgh area. SFS 31 is going to be a movie!!!