Raising cancer awareness through fashion

Adam Kelly, Assistant Editor

An ice sculpture made with the logo for the event. 

An ice sculpture made with the logo for the event. 

On Thursday, Sept. 7, a runway competition was held to benefit the Greenville district of the American Cancer Society. The fashion show, called Couture for a Cause, made its annual debut -- but with a twist.

All of the fashion designs were made of recycled or repurposed materials. Designers didn’t hold back on using reused items for their projects. Models wore dresses made of used coffee filters, CDs and even homework of one of the designer’s children.  

Every model that wore a design was a cancer survivor, currently battling cancer, or lost a family member from cancer as well. Every design had a story that represented its creator as well as the model.

Artists, designers and students from across the country attended the event as well as applied to have their designs showcased in the runway show. Artists and designers of all ages were eligible to submit work to the non-profit.

Applications were narrowed down to the top 30 contestants, but ultimately, 18 designers were given the chance to show their work on the runway.

Vision TV staff Journie Crenshaw and Alyssa Ashe interviewing the designer that won best of show.

Vision TV staff Journie Crenshaw and Alyssa Ashe interviewing the designer that won best of show.

The design above, which won best of show, was made of toilet paper and the homework of the designer’s child. Called ‘New Beginnings,’ it represents anyone, not just cancer survivors, who have gone through a difficult time in their life.

Vision TV staff attended Couture for a Cause to cover the event for the weekly broadcast done by North Greenville University's Mass Communication department.

SCAD student and designer, Emily Huff and model and cancer survivor Bren Miller.

SCAD student and designer, Emily Huff and model and cancer survivor Bren Miller.

As a 10-year breast cancer survivor, Bren Miller discussed her excitement for the event. Miller said, "I've done lots of things with breast cancer, and this event is very special to me."

Many designers put months of work into their designs. One designer, started working on her design at the beginning of the summer. After she finished her work, she had put in over 80 hours into her design.

Guests sat and awaited the models to walk the runway to show off their outfits in front of the judges. 

Guests sat and awaited the models to walk the runway to show off their outfits in front of the judges. 

A former Project Runway contestant came to judge the designs as well. All of the judges engaged the crowd by giving encouragement to the models as many have never walked on a runway before.

After the models walked down the runway, and the emcee's gave every model's story, the judges narrowed contestants down to the top 10. All of the models were supportive of each other and created friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Couture for a Cause will be an annual event in Greenville to raise cancer awareness and donate all the profits to the American Cancer Society.

Aspiring artists and fashion designers at North Greenville University can participate in the event by submitting their recycled or repurposed designs. If their design is chosen, they will have the opportunity to showcase it and choose someone they know to design for.

Students could design for a cancer survivor that works at North Greenville University, and they can even model the design by submitting an application. Through their design, NGU students can represent staff on campus through their designs in future Couture for a Cause events.

Students can donate to the American Cancer Society here to aid the benefit and fight against cancer as well.