The 2nd annual NABA (National Association of Black Accountants), ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) & Bryant Fashion Forum “Dress For Success” event took place yesterday November 30 at 6:30 p.m. in the Roto. The principal coordinators for this event were Desiré Marshall (Co-president of Bryant NABA), Derrick Wong (President of Bryant Fashion Forum), Kayla Bryant (V.P. of Bryant Fashion Forum), Harlyn Juarez (President of Bryant ALPFA) and Kanverly Cruz (executive board of Bryant ALPFA). As stated on the handouts, this was a “collaborative fashion event, designed to showcase the Do’s and Don’ts of Professional Wear.” Ever so promptly I was there around 6:24 p.m. There, I met the host Kevin Martin, suited up as always. Kevin Martin is the assistant director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. He was all over the place running through the poses that some of the models were to make, adjusting his presentation slides and welcoming attendees at the same time. There was cool low music playing in the background and I must confess, never had I seen student attendees so put together for any event at Bryant like tonight. Also present were corporate sponsors TJX and Liberty Mutual. While catching up with some friends, President Machtley walked over to me and and said, you know what “I have a red pant just like yours at home. I love wearing them.” We all had a great laugh! Of course, he was referring to my red pants. Everything was ready to begin as planned at 6:30 pm. Then the dreaded fire alarm went off. Everyone as protocol demands had to exit the Unistructure into the cold outside. After 15 bone-chilly minutes (that felt like forever) the hazard was resolved and the show went on.
Kevin’s presentation was titled “Keep in Mind.” He explained that appearance did matter but that it varied by the industry. “How you feel is also as important as how you look” he said, “Fit also matters.” He went on to explain aspects of appropriate casual clothes and why it mattered explaining that at a non-formal company event, you still want to make a statement with your appearance. His tips for casual wear was oxfords, low white sneakers, chinos, slacks or shorts, Polo’s and light sweaters for men. Especially for the men, he also advised avoiding explicit words on shirts. For women, he favored sandals, flats, moderate to mid heels and darker denim. Especially for the ladies also, he advised for no see through or nothing too revealing or too short.
He went on to speak about Business Casual, Business Professional, Business Formal, and outfits for interviews. The runway show itself began at 7:15 p.m. Two models walked the runway at any given time, one after the other each in either the Do or Don’t category. After their walk, Kevin would then point out the good things in the outfit and the items that were to be avoided. The event concluded around 8:30pm and also include an opportunity to network.
Photos by Prisca Kakpo