Queen's Black Fashion Association hosts first show

'Renaissance' walks the runway

QBFA explores fashion through the ages.
Supplied by Jessi Moore
Queen’s Black Fashion Association (QBFA) is in its second year at the university, continuing to create a space dedicated to inclusion while paying homage to the foundation of Black culture within contemporary trends. 
Last week, the club held a series of panels and workshops leading up to their first fashion show on Saturday, Feb. 13. Dubbed ‘Renaissance,’ the week-long conference sought to explore the revival of fashion from the past and the post-COVID era. 
The Journal sat down with QBFA co-founders and co-chairs, Laura Saint-Elien, ArtSci ’23 and Jaida Egboye, ArtiSci ’23, to reflect on the young club’s second conference series.
“On campus, there wasn’t a lot of fashion clubs on campus in general, let alone diverse ones. We wanted a safe space on campus where we could talk about fashion, especially one where we can talk about how fashion has been influenced by Black culture,” Saint Elien said. 
Egboye told The Journal that at a predominately white institution like Queen’s, having a space for Black and minority community members is especially important. 
“We’ve been wanting to do a fashion show since we started, we wanted a trademark for [QBFA].”
With a sold-out show on Saturday afternoon, QBFA began their show in the Rosehub Innovation Centre in Mitchell Hall. 
Models strutted the runway in two groups for each of the show’s five sections. Each section marked a decade spanning from the 1960s to 2000s, with each decade having a group of models for fashion from that decade, reimagined in contemporary times. 
At the end of each decade, there was a miniature dance number in which the classic and reimagined styled models came together, uniting the past and present.
Emcee Ruth Osunde, ArtSci ’25, set the energy high with her introduction before the first five models walked out in classy outfits reminiscent of the 1960s. For the next hour and a half, models served looks with kitschy tunes for each era of fashion courtesy of DJ Dante Caloia, ArtSci ’23. 
The 1980s featured an aerobic baby pink one piece over blue tights with a lime green weight in hand. It would have stood out even more had it not been for the 1990s and 2000s coming in hot. 
A little denim on denim never hurt anybody, especially not in this show, where a Canadian tuxedo moment shined between two varsity-esque stylings from the ’90s. Not only was this show a celebration of fashion, but one showcasing Black culture through its stylings as well. 
The 2000s offered a collection of outfits where the models accessorized with inflatable boomboxes, snapbacks, chunky belts, and a variety of ultra-cool sunglasses. 
Each model’s presence on the runway was unique and carried a persona, making it exciting to watch them come down individually before exiting in unison. The authentic celebration of diverse students at Queen’s is not something the student body usually sees or actively participates in, yet QBFA provided a safe space for enjoyment, fashion, and a whole lot of style. 
For Saint Elien and Egboye, enjoying the show in all its glory was a gratifying experience. 
“Just seeing the vision come to life was the best part, for Lauree and I. We’ve had a lot of our university experience occupied by COVID and we’re able to do all the things we’ve been talking about for so long,” Egboye told The Journal.
“Allowing first and second years to have a space where they come together isn’t something we had in first year, we want to continue giving Black students and people of colour a safe space to talk about fashion and the origins of trends,” Saint-Elien said. 
Check out QJ's video on the show here.

All final editorial decisions are made by the Editor(s)-in-Chief and/or the Managing Editor. Authors should not be contacted, targeted, or harassed under any circumstances. If you have any grievances with this article, please direct your comments to journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.