‘Welcome to the West’ showcases Xavier’s design talent

If there was ever a time that flawlessly displayed the myriad of talent Xavier students possess, last Saturday was that time. That evening in the Smith Hall atrium, Xavier students put on a fashion show called “Welcome to the West.”

The event was organized by senior Prince Nortey and junior Victoria Mbachilin in under a month.

“We wanted a platform…to not only showcase my designs and others’ designs, but offer a platform for various students to show their hidden talents to the Xavier community,” Nortey said.

The brands featured were GrindGrind, Varem Apparel, Nest Phil Global and Moon Dame.

GrindGrind was founded in 2014 by Xavier alum Anthony (Ant) Renfroe. It is clothing that allows its wearer to take part in actions that produce better and faster results.

Varem Apparel is a new line that has yet to officially launch. “Verem will officially launch in the summer of 2018,” Mbachilin said. The official website drops April 22.

Varem Apparel took a colorful and playful take on traditional athletic wear with leggings, hoodies and sports bras made of eye-catching prints. Mbachilin hopes to release a new winter line at the end of 2018.

Nortey’s Nest Phil Global is a line that exemplifies confidence and elegance. Founded in January, 2018, the line will have a website online with the beginnings of Nest Phil Global’s women’s clothing line. The pieces shown during the fashion show resembled traditional West African casual wear with a sleeker design. The shirts were solid colors with distinguishable African print and colors accenting the pieces.

Moon Dame is a line that was founded in 2016. “I saw the need to intersect fashion, healing, sustainability, empowerment and environmental justice…that is why I started the line (Moon Dame),” founder junior Benmun Damul said.

The audience responded empathically to her designs. The garments were made from sheets and other forgotten fabrics. When asked what’s next, Damul said, “I plan on creating more on a large scale (and) start selling to the public.”

In addition to the lines, there were musical performances by four Xavier students and a dance number by the African Student Association’s (ASA) dance team. Senior Jibrail Sadava DJed and senior Shon Weathers opened the show performing several of his own songs, with vocals by senior Amir Davis. Between lines, senior Deena Dakhiel serenaded the audience with two popular Rihanna ballads. Fifth-year Taylor Zachary, who also served as the host for the entire event, slowed things down with a piano piece. Videos and poster promotions filmed and edited by Xavier alum Montel Adkins were also presented.

Overall, “Welcome to the West” was an event that more than showcased what Xavier’s students of color are capable of.


By: Abrena Rowe ~Staff Writer~