Who would have thought that the fashion community was so BIG in the OC?

It is so big as a matter of fact that there is a whole week dedicated to celebrating the exciting fashion industry happenings in Orange County.  The Orange County Fashion Week began just two years ago in 2010 and was a collaboration of designers, make-up artists, musicians, artists, and entertainment all celebrating the huge momentum of the fashion world being generated right outside of Chapman’s campus.  Designers such as Michelle Rose and Marc Echo, and big-time organizations like American Apparel, Mac, and Shelter Surf Shop all contributed to the weeks festivities of runway shows, parties, and special events.  All of the proceeds went towards the ElephantMan Foundation which promotes campaigns for inner beauty awareness, and living a fashionably healthy and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Orange County Fashion Week may be a smaller and more local version of, let’s say, New York Fashion Week, but it is making big waves within the industry and is increasing its size and impact within the community every year.  It shows just how much opportunity there is for young talent to be supported and recognized within the fashion industry since it can be sometimes a rather daunting career path to pursue.

Other organizations profit from Orange County Fashion week besides just designers and models.  Companies such as PopChips, Izze, and Smartwater gain publicity through donating snacks and drinks to the event.  Influenza Magazine, a major online periodical with great circulation in the southern california also contributes media coverage and publicity to the featured designers and companies involved in the event.  This just goes to show how much opportunity there is during Orange County Fashion Week for the entire community of businesses and corporations to become involved with the events, and how they can profit from them as well.

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If Chapman were to install a Fashion Program on campus, we would become directly involved with this exciting and influential world of art and creativity.  Orange County Fashion Week goes to show how the fashion world is making its mark within the Orange County community.  It is important for Chapman to recognize the importance of fashion as a serious art form that should be studied and pursued as an academic degree.  There is no reason why Chapman can’t be more involved within the fashion world.   The first step in moving in that direction is to create a fashion studies program at Chapman that can utilize the talent already on campus, and future talents to come.

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