Modeling on the runway at New York Fashion Week.
Becoming fashion influencers on social media.
And, showing their outer and inner beauty are the goals of FACE Models, is a student-run organization at the university that allows students to express themselves with confidence through modeling.
Fashionable, artistic, creative, elegance models was started in 2016.
Imani Tyson, sophomore, music major and club president, says she is on a mission to, “promote creativity, diversity and innovation for people who love clothes, but also want to learn how to walk in [fashion shows].”
“We want to expand [FACE] and create a real stand up, show-stopping club on campus so we can continue to be the best versions of ourselves,” Tyson says.
Tyson says that FACE is always excited to meet new people. Meetings are conducted on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30–10 p.m.
Ryan Williams, sophomore, political science major and vice president of FACE, became involved with the club last school year.
“As I got involved and got better, I thought that I can hold an equal position to help other people get to the same place [as me],” says Williams.
Matilda Appiah, sophomore, business major and treasurer, says she learned about the club at the Involvement Fair, where models had a walk-out presentation in all-white outfits which caught her attention.
“I loved how they kept up with themselves,” Appiah says.
FACE holds one fashion show every semester. There is a small fee for show admission. But for Southern students, it is free.
In Spring 2023, the FACE program was a Burlesque theme, a 1920’s show featuring vintage aesthetics.
“The Burlesque theme was something that I pitched to the e-board back when I was the vice president,” Tyson says. “It was definitely something different than we ever did.”
“We like big productions, so we like things that are going [to have students] be like ‘dang, how did they even put that together,’” Tyson says.
For the Spring 2024 show, Tyson says she does not want to give up to much information. But, Tyson says, “We always stick outside of the box when it comes to productions.”
FACE is geared to preparing students for modeling outside of the university. The club wants students to get involved in other fashion shows and other fashion-oriented content.
Tyson is a brand influencer on social media platforms like Instagram. She has worked with some of the biggest United Kingdom clothing brands like BoohooMAN and Prettylittlething, but some smaller local brands.
Creating a social media presence played a big part in Tyson getting these brand ambassador deals. Tyson has nearly 4,000 followers on her main social media page.
“You got to always keep looking for opportunities,” Tyson says. “Once I found the application online about the requirements [to become a brand ambassador], I realized I had to have a certain amount of followers.”
Tyson says that gaining followers can be tricky, but posting consistently and utilizing the tagging feature on apps like Instagram helps.
Williams and Appiah both have walked for New York Fashion Week. The preparation and skills taught by FACE prepared them for this experience. Both of them credit FACE for teaching his techniques and how to be professional for these shows.
“I’m glad I joined FACE because [the club] really gave me the base of knowledge on what’s going on. There were no rehearsals for New York Fashion Week, you had to come prepared,” Williams says.
“FACE taught me how to walk on the runway, what side to be on, how to hold poses, how to turn. I felt like I was more prepared for the show than other people because I had FACE and that experience,” Appiah says.
FACE not only teaches modeling, but also how to be confident versions of themselves. Members says they are thrilled they became members. It has not only brought out their beauty, but the best version of themselves.
“It was a journey of self-confidence,” Appiah says. “Seeing other beautiful girls that looked just like me on magazine covers walking made me think, what is stopping me for real.”
“I just love putting on clothes, that makes me happy. Modeling is an extra plus because when I hit that stage, it’s like I’m altering this different version of myself,” Tyson says.
“It’s just a privilege to be able to show off your own authenticity and that’s what I enjoy about modeling,” Williams says.
By Jay’Mi Vazquez