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Slaying with Sustainability at the Inaugural Endicott Fashion Show

Behind the scenes at the Endicott Fashion Show
Interior architecture majors Gabrielle Blum ’22 and Michaela Ellison ’22 are behind Endicott’s first-ever fashion show, which will feature looks designed by campus clubs that are made from unconventional materials.
By: Danna Lorch


In previous years, interior architecture majors Gabrielle Blum ’22 and Michaela Ellison ’22 used to impatiently count down the days until it was time for Endicott to compete in the annual IIDA New England fashion show.

As the local chapter of the International Interior Design Association, IIDA New England brings together students with some of New England’s most prestigious architecture and design firms and pairs them with industry partners to come up with runway looks made of unconventional materials.

“The chance to network with industry members and designers from within the chapter is invaluable and often can lead to opening the door to potential internships or employers after graduation,” said Nicole Ward, Vice President of Student Affairs for IIDA New England.

A popular student-led club with 40 members, Endicott College Architecture and Design Club (ECAD) is an IIDA Campus Center. “What we really loved about the previous fashion shows was the opportunity to connect with industry professionals and being able to come together as a club to design an outfit,” said Ellison, who has been involved with both the club and the IIDA show since her sophomore year.

This winter, Blum (who is president of ECAD) and Ellison couldn’t stand to miss out on their favorite event, which won’t happen until fall 2022 due to the ongoing pandemic. So, with the help of other ECAD members, they pioneered the Endicott Fashion Show on February 17 to save the day.

Student clubs and organizations around campus have been invited to take part in the friendly competition—the College’s first-ever fashion show—by serving a boundary-pushing look incorporating unconventional materials.

“We’ve asked them to create an outfit that really represents who they are as a club,” Blum explained.

The fashion show takes place in conjunction with the College’s Campus Race to Zero Waste, a competition of more than 300 universities and colleges striving to significantly reduce their waste footprint over eight weeks.

A design-forward lineup of faculty members will judge the event, including President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., and his wife Eileen. Prizes will be awarded in multiple categories.

The fashion show will take place in Cleary Lecture Hall, with student models slaying the runway to hits spun by EC Radio. And don’t expect the usual six-foot tall, size 00 models, either.

“We want to show that students have different interests, and we all look different, but we can come together as a community and be one,” said Blum.

Blum, who is also a sustainability fellow in the Office of Sustainability and works at an interior architecture firm in Boston, admitted to being short on sleep but long on excitement in the lead-up to the event. Ellison, a dance minor, will choreograph the show.

And just what will these bespoke outfits look like? Selia Potas ’23, president of online magazine Her Campus at Endicott, offered a teaser: “Her Campus is all about empowerment, confidence, and friendship, and we want to showcase that in our outfit, design, model, and all-around experience. Essentially, Her Campus will be making and representing the Girl Boss outfit of 2022.”

And for the ECAD team, the design started with methodical sketches by Emma Ratner ’24, utilizing an unusual palette of repurposed textiles and objects.

“We’re going to incorporate blueprints of Endicott College’s campus buildings,” hinted Ellison. “We’ll get them printed onto fabric and sew it into pants. It will be a representation of the materials we utilize as interior designers.”

Those materials are becoming greener on campus and in the surrounding community, thanks to Endicott’s commitment to increasing sustainability. One big way to reduce waste is by upcycling fashion and home décor. Blum noted that the Interior Architecture Program delves deeply into the lifecycle of furniture, textiles, and building materials.

“If we’re looking at carpet tile, it’s not just about if it contains plastics—we want to know what will happen to this carpet at the end of its life,” she said.  

By calling on campus groups to reuse and repurpose unexpected materials for their fashion show looks, ECAD is also challenging the entire Endicott community to think long and hard before they shop.

The Endicott Fashion Show will take place on Thursday, February 17, in the Cleary Lecture Hall.Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will start at 7 p.m. To learn more, email and view all Campus Race to Zero Waste events