MCCC Fashion Students Hit Their Stride in Annual Runway Show


Trenton, N.J. – All that glitters can indeed be gold – and colorful and flashy and elegant. On May 3, Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Fashion/Apparel Design and Fashion Merchandising programs put on a show for an overflow crowd at Trenton Hall that resonated with style, glamour and some serious joy.

Eleven Fashion Design and ten Fashion Merchandising students presented the festive fashion event in Trenton Hall on the James Kerney Campus. Collections for each fashion student included a blouse and skirt set, a dress and a styled item of apparel. Students chose a theme that inspired them – from royalty to burlesque, from parrots and macaws to the seasons. Models included friends, fellow students, and family members as young as toddlers.

Congratulations are in order for designers Ashley Alvarez, Amir Black (a Trenton high school senior), Icyss Bracewell, Gianelle Herrera, Jaiden Hines, Alithini Karnavas, Christian Mendez, Cierra Scura, Khoi Tran, Kylela White, and Sheron Williams.

Second-year merchandising students played a major role behind the scenes, greeting guests at the door and carrying out all aspects of event logistics. They also created two storefront window displays featuring a beach theme and fashions by Scura, one of the program's senior designers. The first floor community room was filled with their merchandising displays, inspired by brands such as Nike, Sephora and Urban Outfitters. The designers added fashion boards that inspired their collections.

The Fashion Merchandising team included Davon Parker, James Martin, Varun Palekar, Taylor Hawkes, Jordan Fortson, Odunayo Awoyomi, Hyun Yoon, Juliana Jusino, Brooke Olstead and Gianna Tucci.

The event was hosted by the MCCC Fashion Club and overseen by Fashion Program Coordinator Katina Lindsay and instructor Beth Dubrow.

Lindsay notes that this event is the culmination of a full year of study. "In the case of some of our Fashion Design students, they did not know how to use a sewing machine in September. The degree of skill they have acquired to get them to this point is truly amazing," she said.

“Students poured everything into this show, including long, intense days leading up to tonight,” Lindsay continued. “They worked extremely hard to give guests a wonderful evening. We hope everyone came away inspired by their talent and their passion for fashion.”

The designers are equally excited for the future. Many, including Tran, Herrera, Alvarez and Mendez, aspire to have brands of their own one day. Merchandising major Juliana Jusino, who already has a freelance make-up business, hopes to one day be a professional make-up artist for Fashion Week.

Awoyomi and Fortson are looking forward to transferring after graduation. "I love the expressionism of fashion," Fortson said. "My future plan is to transfer to LIM in New York and take part in visual merchandising internships."

Raffle tickets were drawn throughout the evening. All proceeds of the event went to the Monica L. Weaver Scholarship Fund. Weaver served as JKC’s dean and provost for a decade until her death in 2018.

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Fashion Design and Merchandising students, as well as their models, gathered on the runway at the show's finale.

Designer Cierra Scura and her collection inspired by the "Scarlet McCaw's Paradise."

On the runway with Kylela White and her "Sea Siren" collection. (Also pictured is Jaiden Hines, another designer who modeled for White.)

Designer Ashley Alvarez with her "Burlesque" collection.

Gianelle Herrera, left, with two of her models prior to the show.

Students' fashion boards were part of the community room display.

The Fashion Merdhandising team greeted guests at the door.

Sheron Williams presents "Miss K" (faculty member Katina Lindsay) with a gift in recognition of her guidance and support throughout the year. Other students, from left, are Christian Mendez, Brooke Olstead, Icyss Bracewell and Cierra Scura.