The annual VCUarts fashion show is a titanic collaborative exercise, a project that calls on the talents of fashion juniors and seniors in design and merchandising to succeed. It’s a tradition that’s persisted for 50 years, but the effort and passion students pour into the event has only grown in caliber. In Style Weekly‘s latest cover story, the periodical profiled students Taylor Virgil, Mercedes Miller and Levi Haskins, whose labor and love of fashion helped make the 2019 runway show “Shimmer” a marquee event.
Early on in class, Hawa Stwodah, assistant chairwoman of fashion, says you can tell which students are designers and which are merchandisers. And she knew Taylor Virgil was a design student right away.
“It was immediately in my class that she began to ask a lot of questions,” Stwodah says. “She didn’t just ask how, but why. I knew I had a true designer on my hands.”
Virgil’s Mom, Romaine Johnson, says her daughter has always been drawing since she was younger. “I draw and paint myself and decorate,” Johnson says. “When it came time for college, she came to us and said ‘I want to go to art school.'”
Virgil also says that her aunt, who is a fashion designer, helped turn her imagination toward fashion.
“I knew I wanted to do fashion design, I knew that since I was a little girl,” Virgil says. “My aunt … does accessories, upcycling, revamping, personalizing different items that she finds like designer bags.”