Today: Feb 25, 2024

TRU Experience raises breast cancer awareness

Olivia Richman, General Assignment Reporter-
Couture clothing, runway walks and pink: this is what the TRU Modeling Troupe and the Organization of Latin American Students brought to the TRU Experience modeling show this Friday in the Lyman Center. Marissa White, one of the coordinators of the fashion show, said she was excited that the event would not only entertain, but benefit the Susan G. Komen fund for breast cancer.
“The goal is to honor those who have lost their battle with breast cancer,those who are still fighting, and to just bring awareness of the disease” said White, an alumni of SCSU.

The event was $5 for SCSU students, $10 for students from other universities and $15 for the general public. The proceeds were all donated to the Connecticut Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“Last year’s show was a great success,” said Jerica Ortiz, a management information systems major and model. “We raised over 4,000 dollars. And this year we hoped to exceed that.”
The show was presented by the SCSU Organization of Latin American Students, or OLAS, who “spread awareness of Latinos and our culture,” said OLAS President Jennifer Rodriguez, a psychology major at SCSU. “The fashion show is something different and it’s for a good cause. We’re not just walking, we’re giving money; philanthropy.”
In the pink and white pamphlet handed out upon entering the fashion show doors, OLAS is described as a group that will express their “commitment to the recruitment of Latino students and continue to relate and work with the Latino community of the New Haven Metropolitan area.”

Another important part of the fashion show is the TRU modeling troupe, who describe their mission in the pamphlet as giving back to their community “one runway at a time.”
“TRU is a group of models that were formed to do runway shows to raise awareness of today’s issues,” said Ortiz. “Last year’s runway was for heart disease.”
Before the show, the TRU models and OLAS had a lot to put together. Not only did they have to get as many pink decorations as possible to decorate the stage in honor of breast cancer, they had to get designers, such as Amena Nicole, Rodrick Gilchrist and Amanda Morriar, to make clothes for them, according to Rodriguez.
“(They design) the clothes for free, but we’re putting their names out there,” said Rodriguez.
According to White, this year’s theme was the “TRU Experience” and covered three different genres of fashion: Medieval time period, African ancient royalty and the future.
“I was very excited for the clothes,” said Ortiz. “(They’re) very unique, eccentric and futuristic.”
As a coordinator, White had to design, choreograph scenes and be a walking coach to the TRU models, said White.
“A lot of our models come in with no model experience,” said White. “I teach them how to walk and dance in heels and how to move their bodies.”
Not only does the fashion show have straight runway walking, it features choreographed scenes, which Rodriguez describes as “choreographed modeling.”
“I designed an African-inspired themed scene,” said White. “The scenes are choreographed modeling walks. We do a lot of dance-type themes in heels. Different time periods, different genres of music and different clothing.”
Rodriguez said she was very nervous to be one of the runway models.
“It’s nerve-wracking,” she said, “definitely.”
“I wanted to do this fashion show because it gives awareness to breast cancer,” said Ortiz, “and TRU is all about giving back to the community.”
According to the pamphlet, makeup and hair was done by the Brio Academy of Cosmetology in Hamden, and hair extensions were by Renee Brown and Amanda Morriar. The TRU modeling troupe is made up of Ortiz, Erika Garrett, Niurka Collado, Haley Vincent, Jasmine Hayes, Chevaughn Martin, Janny Chin, Janell CcCovey, Melissa Bautista, JaQuan Brinkley-Johnson, Jayson Sessions, Daniel Tilley, Chy Walton, Dave Ann Fowlin, Shampayne Smith, Rodell Santiago, Y.O Ere, Rodriguez and Andrea Pender, a walking coach and scene choreographer.
“This show (was full) of fierce walking, hot clothes,” said Rodriguez, “and all for a great cause.”

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