By: Juliette Hollihan
When I was little, I was a huge fan of Hilary Duff. I would watch her on Disney Channel almost every day and I asked my mom to buy me her CD as soon as it hit stores. But while I was definitely a fan of her acting and her music, I was almost always more concerned with what she was wearing. I specifically remember one episode of Lizzie McGuire where Lizzie was trying to win best dressed at her school and she just had to buy the perfect pair of jeans. I quickly became obsessed with finding a pair just like hers, and when I did, I would not take them off. I danced around my room in them, confidently singing “Come Clean” at the top of my lungs and pretending I was on a stage.
As I grew older, my love for fashion only grew stronger. The bookshelf in my room quickly began to fill with issues of Seventeen and Teen Vogue. I wanted to know what was in, what was out, and what my favorite celebrities were wearing at all times. I quickly began to realize that working in the fashion industry was something that I wanted to pursue. So when it came time to choose a major in college, my choice was clear– fashion design and merchandising.
However, I never expected that my love for fashion would also help me find a sorority. During recruitment, I met the ladies of Alpha Chi Omega, and learned about how they host an annual fashion show to raise money in the fight against domestic violence. I immediately fell in love. I was beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to combine my love for fashion with my passion for helping others.
The Iota Lambda chapter of Alpha Chi Omega at TCU is dedicated to helping victims of domestic violence. For the past 24 years, we have organized our silent auction and fashion show to raise money for our cause. This year, we raised over $50,000 for the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and our local philanthropy, The Women’s Center of Tarrant County. Collectively over the years, we have raised more than half a million dollars in our fight.
The fashion show is not just a great fundraiser, it is also a lot of fun and the whole chapter is given a chance to get involved. We have four Fashion Show Chairs who work non-stop for an entire year to ensure the shows success. For the past two years, I’ve worked as an “Angel,” which is essentially an assistant to our Models and Retailers Chair. My job required me to speak to the other Greek organizations on campus in order to recruit models for the show, help style the models and drive them to fittings, and to assist with transportation on the day of the show. It’s been a really great experience and it’s helping me to build my resume, since I hope to work in either runway or styling when I graduate. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I plan on running for the position of Models and Retailers Chair for next year’s show.
It’s wonderful to see so many young women join together for a cause in such a creative, entertaining way. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It can affect anyone, with no regard to age, race, or gender. Getting to be a part of this organization that does so much to raise awareness and to help victims of domestic violence is something that brings me immense joy and pride. I know that being apart of the fashion show will be a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life.