Looking ahead to the 2024 APIDA Heritage Fashion Show

<p>Photo Courtesy of Esbehidy De La Cruz</p>

Photo Courtesy of Esbehidy De La Cruz

The Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Fashion (APIDA) Show will held on Wednesday, April 24, in Campus Center Room 450B and 450C at 6 p.m. The show is one of the longest running fashion shows at IUPUI and is housed under the Asian Student Union (ASU).  

Katherine Shr, the show’s co-director, gave details regarding the purpose behind the upcoming show. 

“It’s kind of a way for people to be able to both show off their cultural wear and the impact through their clothing, whether that’s modern day or historic,” Shr said.  “I think it’s just a great way to express yourself”.  

According to Shr, there are months of planning involved, including gathering staff for the numerous roles in the committee.  

 “We have a sponsorship chair, finance chair, PR chair, our model coordinators and design coordinator,” Shr said.  

In addition to the planning process, the committee looked for models of all races and ethnicities, preparing them for the process. 

“Those are people outside of the committee, so it's anyone who is interested is walking, regardless of race or ethnicity,” Shr said. “We have regular model practices, like learning how to walk on tempo and what that looks like.” 

APIDA Fashion Show 4.JPG

Photo Courtesy of Esbehidy De La Cruz

Hang Doan, who is part of the committee’s public relations team, also spoke about the roles within the committee, including the role of model coordinators and how they help prepare models for the show.  

“They’re kind of like drill sergeants, in the nicest way possible, because we watch their walks, and they’ll give them constructive feedback,” Doan said. 

For both Shr and Doan, the contribution of each member is essential to the event, especially within the final stretch leading up to Wednesday’s show.  

“Every committee member has a different responsibility, so I can’t speak for the other committee members for their experiences, but I know they take on a lot,” Doan said.  “It’s the thing where so much time goes into it and all of that work is going to be consumed within four hours.” 

With the planning and work involved, Doan also shared the theme the committee wants to present within the show, which is showcasing different cultures while allowing people to be themselves in an authentic way. 

“We want to this to be an experience that showcases the Asian culture with a sense of professionalism, which I think is important,” Doan said.  

Doan spoke about how Asian clothing and culture has been discriminated against throughout history in the U.S.  

“Media has this way of showing Asian clothing as dirty or strange and weird,” Doan said. “Even though today things have changed, there’s still prejudice and attitudes left over.”  

 With the event, Shr and Doan hope it will help change this perception by combining clothing and presentation. 

“Clothing is a really great way we can overcome that with, because we show clothing in way where people are proud, and they are beautiful and shining in their clothes and their culture,” Doan said.  

APIDA fashion show 3.JPG

Photo Courtesy of Esbehidy De La Cruz

This message adds to the show’s main theme this year, which involves Suzanne Collins’ novel, “The Hunger Games.” Doan explained how the novel’s background ties to the goal they are looking to achieve.  

“There are different classes, so there’s the Districts, which are the common people, and they wear very simple clothing,” Doan said. “Then the Capitol, has very extravagant [clothing], inspired by high fashion, runways and Victorian-era garments.” 

The disparity between the two groups influenced the committee to tie the novel’s idea of volunteers wearing symbolic clothing as a sign of resistance to what models will present resisting past discrimination of their cultural background.   

“To us, we’re taking our interpretation almost as a form of representation and resilience,” Doan said.  

As the show grows closer, Doan and Shr hope their idea will help allow people across all cultures to come together and introduce themselves and their backgrounds.  

“I hope the fashion show introduces people to make friends with people they don’t normally talk to,” Doan said. “At the end of the day, it’s to make sure they feel comfortable and confident in the ability to express themselves through clothing.” 

Daniel Guevara is a sophomore studying Journalism at the School of Liberal Arts. He is a campus writer for the Campus Citizen.

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