Mayfit brings runway looks to the Dillo dancefloor


Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer

A custom-made top created by members of UNITY Charity Fashion Show. This and other unique fashion pieces were available for purchase at Mayfest’s “Mayfit” festival on Wednesday.

Evan Robinson-Johnson, Photo Editor

The shimmering purple sequins and oversized ruffles could be seen shining from across Norris East Lawn. There, amidst pleather skirts and distressed jean jackets sat a Dr. Seuss-like creation waiting to complete a neon, retro-themed Dillo outfit — thanks to Wednesday’s pop-up Mayfit festival, students were able to purchase unique vintage and student-made clothing to sport at this Saturday’s Dillo Day.

Mayfit was organized by Mayfest Productions as part of an effort to include more organizations in the week leading up to Dillo. Wednesday’s fashion-focused festival featured clothing made by members of Northwestern’s UNITY Charity Fashion Show, used clothing from Goodwill and an assortment of vintage styles curated by local company ShopNOV.

“I love clothes!” Bienen first-year Emma Crumpton said. “And I really wanted an outfit for Dillo.”

Crumpton had assembled a leather jacket combo from UNITY with a faded yellow ShopNOV T-shirt and said she planned to pair it with her own black boots to complete the look.

ShopNOV’s owner and founder Adrienne Baskin said she first got into vintage clothing when her own children went to college.

“In those days you could thrift clothes for nothing,” she said. “So I became the T-shirt lady.”

Baskin added that although her children are now over the age of 40, they still wear some of the vintage tees they wore in college.

Baskin displayed a diverse, “authentic” inventory, but many students put items back on the rack after seeing the price — most T-shirts and shorts were ticketed at $45. For more affordable options, students turned to UNITY’s nearby table, which boasted a spread of thrift store finds and student-made looks.

That purple sequin shirt? It was recently featured on the runway of UNITY’s spring show, modeled by Weinberg junior Lawan Alade-Fa.

UNITY model head and McCormick junior Michelle Kim said it would be “amazing” to see some of the group’s looks around Dillo Day. UNITY co-president Medill junior Lilli Boice, shared Kim’s enthusiasm for the “one-of-a-kind” pieces to reach the Northwestern community.

“I think I would actually cry if I saw someone wearing one of our designs,” Boice said.

Kim added that the Mayfit festival was a great way for students to get more affordable clothing for Dillo, making participation in this year’s theme more accessible.

Items such as vintage patches, ice cream and a neon green bucket hat seemed to fit the evocative “retro” theme of this year’s festival. As the rain subsided, students poured in from all directions, drawn by the music of student groups such as Debbie-Marie Brown & Company and the aromas wafting from a pair of food trucks.

Crumpton said in addition to the lower costs, she appreciates thrifting because it opposes “fast fashion,” or clothing that is produced cheaply and crudely. Recently, fast fashion has been criticized for creating excess waste and poor manufacturing conditions for workers. In response, individuals like Crumpton have chosen to boycott fast fashion brands to protect more sustainable production processes.

“It’s not a lot,” Crumpton said. “But if everybody does one thing we can start to change the fashion culture.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled ShopNOV, misstated UNITY co-president Lilli Boice’s position within the organization and misspelled her last name. The Daily regrets the errors.