Fashion Show Unites Knox Students, Local Teens

May 16, 2011

by Paige Anderson ‘14

Fashion from the far reaches of Africa, Europe, and Asia was showcased at "Bright Lights, Big Cities," a fashion show that teamed up Knox College students and Galesburg youths.

Knox students who are involved with the new group Success Performance Inspiration Community and Education -- known as S.P.I.C.E. -- presented the event.

The show boasted Knox students and teens from the Boys & Girls Club as the fashion models. Models wore international clothing which S.P.I.C.E. members found in Chicago boutiques. The program also included performances by the Knox College Bellydance Club, called the Oriental Hipsters, and dancers from the Terpsichore Dance Collective.S.P.I.C.E. fashion show

S.P.I.C.E. members said they were excited by the ability to connect with the community and with other Knox students.

Alyssa Kennamer, a first-year Knox student from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, said she appreciates events like this, where people "really come together in the Knox community and the greater community."

S.P.I.C.E. members established a new mentoring program this academic year to create a closer bond between Knox College and the surrounding community. S.P.I.C.E. mentors work with teenagers in the Galesburg Boys & Girls Club by helping them to visualize their future and take steps toward achieving their goals.S.P.I.C.E. fashion show

Shruti Patel, a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina, came up with the idea for S.P.I.C.E. after last year's AAINA fashion show, which also was held at the Boys & Girls Club. Patel and other AAINA students loved the connection that they made with the teens in the show, and they wanted to develop it further.

S.P.I.C.E. co-founder Alyssa Gill, a first-year student from Berkeley, California, said the group aimed to make this year's fashion show a community event. "This is Knox, this is the Boys & Girls Club, and this is Galesburg," she said.

"Right after the show, the boys and the girls who participated were so happy, they felt so good," Gill added. "That's the most important thing to me, because the fashion show is for them."

Proceeds from the event, which also included a dinner featuring Indian food, went to the Boys & Girls Club and Heifer International.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 48 states and 51 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Photos by Honor Heymann '14