Q&A: James Hu, head of Unity fashion show public relations committee

Hayley Glatter, Copy Chief

STITCH and Unity teamed up this week to throw Northwestern Fashion Week. Wildcat fashionistas were treated to programming ranging from speaker panels to hair and makeup tutorials, all leading up to Sunday’s Unity fashion show. The Current caught up with Unity public relations head James Hu to find out what students can expect from the event and what place fashion holds in the NU community.

The Current: Can you tell me a little about the events encompassing Fashion Week?

James Hu: Fashion Week is an event that Unity and STITCH are collaborating on this year. … Thursday is something called “Fashion Night Out.” That’s something we had two years ago as well. We’ve asked a lot of the Evanston clothing stores to open a couple hours later than usual, so they’re staying open exclusively for Northwestern students, and that’s part of a Northwestern-Evanston community event. Friday, we’re having a bake sale at The Rock, as well as a walk-off with a red carpet, so people will feel special walking down the red carpet. It’s all building up publicity for the show, and Sunday is the Unity show itself.

The Current: What has the collaboration been like between STITCH and Unity?

JH: It’s been very good so far. There’s been a large group of STITCH people who have been very interested in this collaboration, and the people in Unity in charge of this fashion week are my committee, the public relations committee. So we’ve basically been working together every week, having weekly meetings to talk about what logistics need to be done, what ideas we have for the week and stuff like that.

The Current: What was it like communicating with some of the Evanston businesses? How did they respond, and what’s that relationship like?

JH: I just asked them for donations, sponsorships, and a lot of them were very willing. The managers and owners were very enthusiastic about working with us. They love the idea of Fashion Week and the things that we do, so I found it a very pleasant experience overall.

The Current: Which stores are participating in the event?

JH: For “Fashion Night Out,” I don’t have a complete list, but some of them are The Gap, Crossroads, gigi BOTTEGA (and) Envy.

The Current: What can people expect from the Unity fashion show?

JH: The Unity charity fashion show is something that we put on every year. We’re currently in our seventh year. I guess what you can expect is that we’re really engaging the community this year. All the models that we have walking the runway are student models, selected and trained over the course of many months, so that should be very good. We also have student groups involved. In the past we used to hire outside musicians, but this year for the intermission, we decided to hire student dance groups to perform, so that’s further engaging students. We’re also having a drawing and a giveaway with goodies from Evanston businesses. But the biggest thing that’s different about this year is that we are located in the Hilton Orrington. … We feel like that’s a really good move because the Hilton is really nice, and it’ll feel a lot more special than before, so that’s something I’m looking forward to.

The Current: Why do you think having events like this is important on a campus like Northwestern?

JH: That’s something I’ve talked about with people in STITCH as well. We feel like while there’s a lot of people who are interested in fashion at Northwestern and do dress well, just in general, there’s not a very strong or cohesive fashion community like there is for other things that people are interested in. So we feel like hopefully Fashion Week is something we can do year after year and slowly increase the body of fashion-conscious students on campus.

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