Runway 2017: LAUNCH

A student-organized showcase of 125 original garments designed by fashion juniors and seniors

RICHMOND, Va. (April 11, 2017) – Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising presents “Runway 2017: LAUNCH,” to be held at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 200 N. Boulevard.

This annual juried event allows attendees the chance to view fashion from VCUarts’ rising designers. Attendees will experience a professional runway show, with segments organized into “Knitwear,” “Dresses,” “Collections from VCUarts Qatar,” “Menswear,” “Denim,” and the highlight of the event, the “Senior Collections.” Following each segment, select garments will be recognized as critics’ choices.

The team responsible for producing “Runway 2017: LAUNCH” consists of 11 hand-selected juniors and seniors who have participated in this year’s Advanced Show Production class. The students work in committees on different aspects of the show, from model selection and training to backstage operations. They work both in and outside of the classroom producing a variety of public and private events leading up to the main runway show. LAUNCH is a collaboration between the student producers, design students, fashion faculty and sponsors.

“What is the future of fashion and retail as we have known it? Even now it is breaking apart and reforming itself in the era of the millennial customer and the evolving digital age,” says Patricia Brown, chair of Fashion Design and Merchandising. “As fashion reinvents itself, how do we best help our students launch their careers in such a fast-changing environment? This event is the result of a journey of exploration and discovery, and the launching of our graduating designers and merchandisers into the new fashion space.”

A limited number of tickets are available for purchase online at Runway Seating (front rows) is $100 and Preferred Seating (all other) is $75. There is the option to purchase $10 tickets to view the event livestreamed on the screen of the VMFA theater. The show will be livestreamed at


April 11, 2017