The world needs people who are conscious about the issues affecting communities, the environment, and the world in which we live. As we enter a new decade and move into precarious times, we need to put our energy into solving problems as they arise. EVOLVE showcases designers who are aware of their impact on the world. Their collections shift ideologies, create alternate realities, and highlight a re-imagined, healthier future through clothing and performance.

Throughout history, fashion has been a marker of societal, political, economic, and cultural status. Sponsored by the Office of Culture & Identity (OCI), the Annual Benefit Fashion Show was established to celebrate and sustain the growing diversity within MICA. This year, each collection presents creative solutions to the world's problems. 

Designers created an innovative series of looks that spoke to class, activism, sustainability, politics, diversity, and other current themes as an impetus for change. Their collections reflect how their creations would EVOLVE MICA, fashion, and the world.

Our Past

It has been 27 years since the Annual Benefit Fashion Show (ABFS) began as a Black Student Union program. Created by Dr. Frankie Martin, the show was initially designed to highlight students' creativity and artistry of the African diaspora who were often overlooked. Since then, ABFS has EVOLVED to encompass larger diversity and inclusion initiatives and is one of the year's most anticipated events on campus that brings together a community of diverse majors, identities, and ethnicities into one dynamic event.

Our Future: New Name, Same Mission

The Office of Culture and Identity is committed to the needs of future generations of artists, designers, and scholars. Providing a multiplicity of voices and viewpoints is essential to our mission of imagining and shaping a more equitable future.

We believe that diversity fuels excellence when people from differing experiences, identities, perceptions, and social and cultural backgrounds work together to expand their authentic perspectives through cross-cultural awareness, understanding, and dialogue. 

Through curriculum, accessibility, and policy, we strive to provide the highest quality of programs and services that enable students to become capable critical thinkers and well-informed artists who are better prepared to function and EVOLVE as creative instigators on a global stage.

In acknowledgement of the 27 years that the Annual Benefit Fashion Show has been in production, we would like to give a special thank you to the longstanding supporters of this show. Dr. Frankiee Martin, who was once the Director of what is now known as the Office of Culture and Identity, as well as Derek Blanks, the renowned photographer who was once a MICA student.

Thanks to Dr. Frankiee Martin, the Annual Benefit Fashion Show was born. Dr.Martin dreamed up a show where students on campus could highlight their talents as a student-directed runway style showcase, which was originally organized as a part of MICA's Black Student Union. It was Dr.Martin's efforts that allowed us to continue celebrating diversity and the love of creating on campus, year after year.

With the loyal dedication from Derek Blanks, the Annual Benefit Fashion show is able to execute the most professional photos in promotion for the show. Blank's eye allows designers who participate, the unique opportunity of having their collections shot by a world-known professional photographer, who is MICA's own.

A very special thank you for their continued support of the show!