by Mellissa Thomas
After four years of previous proposals from students, Full Sail finally welcomes its first-ever fashion show in the Full Sail Live venue, Rage on the Runway (ROR), on September 27, 2013.
The free show, presented by Fusion Festival, promises to be an immersive experience uniting students from all the schools studies: show production and touring, marketing, design, film, music, entertainment business, and much more. We interviewed three key team members on September 20, 2013 to get an inside track on the show.
The Brainchild, the Expert, and the Marketer
Rachael Garrett, avid event planner and ROR’s Project Manager, initially birthed the idea as a project for her Product and Artist Management course in the Entertainment Business Masters program. “It was random,” she confessed. “We had to do a project, and I thought, ‘why not do a fashion show?'”
She approached her classmate, fashion editor and fashion show director Britany Ruby (preferably known as Ruby), to put ROR together. Garrett penned the proposal and pitched it to the university’s Executive Committee. She included in the proposal the incorporation of all degree disciplines in the fully student-run project, and that this would be an annual show, guaranteeing student involvement, which is important considering the school’s month-to-month graduations.
While they awaited a response, “We pretty much had to move as if the proposal was already approved,” Ruby explained. The duo started making moves and phone calls, making sure to meet weekly.
Two months ago, Garrett met the young woman who would help spread the word school-wide, Brittany Parsons, in the Advanced Entertainment Law course they shared. Garrett learned of Parson’s marketing and PR background and recruited her to join the team.
How They Began
The three young women shared a snippet of their history and inspiration with DOFW.
Ruby (right) wields an Applied Communications degree with a minor in Fashion Merchandising in Ohio (where she previously knew Garrett), and her fair share of internship and life experience in the industry. She was a fashion editor for student magazines and directed fashion shows. She also briefly worked in New York and interned for SELF magazine. She’s currently building her resume as a freelance event coordinator, and is a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser. It stands to reason then that her serendipitous reunion with Garrett would make history.
Garrett (right) is no stranger to the rigors of event management. She was the creative director for a J’adore Fashion Show in 2011 on campus at Central State University and got her first stage management gig with the Marked Summit concert in Orlando (which featured Contemporary Gospel superstars like Israel Houghton). She holds a Bachelors in Music, with a concentration in piano, from Central State University.
Brittany Parsons (left) originally wanted to go to pharmacy school, but changed her mind in college. She caught the entertainment bug when she saw an interview with the tour manager for her favorite band, Def Leppard. She then started researching what that career entailed, and learned more about PR. She did a brief event planning internship in Kentucky before making her way to Full Sail. She inherited her current PR position in Full Sail’s Entertainment Networking Society. “All of the club’s officers had graduated, and I went to what I thought was an interest meeting,” she said. “They went down the table asking people what position they would want, and I said, ‘public relations’, and got the position.”
The Buzz and the Resources
According to the trio, once they began mentioning the show, the campus and their social circles were excited. “A lot of students are interested,” Parsons told DOFW. “Especially because the show isn’t just about fashion.” ROR will feature live music, spoken, and vendors as well, including Ruby. “I live in student apartments — some go to UCF, Full Sail…I’d talk to my neighbors about the show, and they already knew about it,” Ruby said.
Garrett added that most of the people she spoke to usually already knew about the show and ask if they could volunteer. The trio agreed that news of the show spread campus-wide in less than a week.
Thanks to the buzz, they’ve been able to secure models from the University of Central Florida (UCF), Full Sail University, and other places; and Show Production students are volunteering to work the show’s lighting and sound.
September 27th promises to be an electric night at Full Sail’s Live Venue, so don’t miss it. Doors open at 6:30pm and the show starts at 7pm. The event is free, but you’ll need a ticket. Go to the Fusion Festival website and Facebook page to find out more.
All images are the property of Fusion Festival, Britt Parsons, Britany Ruby, and Rachael Garrett. Used by permission.
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